Korean weddings have drastically changed over the last few decades through ‘modernization’ and look pretty similar to American weddings at a high level. However, we think there are enough details that are specifically Korean that will still make this wedding a cool experience for everyone (including Alison, who hasn't been to a Korean wedding since she was 6 years old).
There will be ~400 guests at the wedding in total, not small, but still typical for a Seoul wedding. The majority of local guests will be Alison’s parents’ acquaintances and her extended family. You can check out this video of a wedding that actually happened at the venue where our ceremony will be, if you're curious what it might look/feel like!
Venue & Program
The ceremony and reception will be held at Marina Park Wedding Hall, located right by Han River. Alison’s family used to live very close to this spot when she was little, so she has very fond memories of enjoying the River with her family. You can also get a great view of the entire city from there.
The ceremony will start at 12:00pm (outdoors), followed by a lunch reception (indoors), all at the same venue. Korean weddings typically last 2~3 hours total, so we expect things to wrap up around 3:00PM.
After the wedding program though, we plan to enjoy the rest of the day with our friends/family by the river with snacks and beer, a popular local activity. Alison is particularly excited for her cup noodle by the river, which was her favorite thing to do when she was little.
What to wear
You can wear whatever makes you feel great this day! But if you do want to dress more like the locals, Korean guests usually wear a business casual look for weddings - literally, it looks like people are about to go to work, stylish and put together.
We do expect the temperature to be 45~55℉ (and it can sometimes be windy by the river), so please bring a jacket/coat.
Here are some inspirations that you can check out!
- At the entrance of the venue, you’ll notice guests leaving envelopes. It’s customary for guests to give cash to the bride/groom (or more realistically, whoever paid for the wedding...). But given the amount of time and money you're spending to be here, please skip out on this tradition (we mean it)!
- Most young Koreans speak English pretty well. If you see Koreans in their 20s/30s, they are likely Alison's cousins or friends that she met in the U.S. - feel free to mingle if you'd like.
- The ceremony will be mostly in Korean, but will only last ~20 min.
- Our friend Alex Landon has kindly offered to choreograph a simple group dance for our ceremony for our friends to do for us! This is completely optional, but will also be a lot of fun! we’ll send out more information ~1 month in advance.