Week 11 - A Korean Wedding Tradition

Welcome to Week 11 in our ’52 Rituals in 52 weeks’

In keeping with our promise of taking you around the world with these posts, this week we have decided to bring you something from Korea. While it will not always be practical for you to use some of these more specific cultural traditions in your own ceremony, we hope that seeing the efforts that some go to in using rituals in ceremony will inspire you to find one that suits you both as a couple or as a family and even perhaps create something different, starting your own family tradition that one day your grandchildren might carry on. All rituals and traditions started somewhere and with someone who found significance in the world around them.

Korean weddings are well known for their eccentric rituals and flair. Long ago it was custom for the couple to practise some long held rituals as part of their ceremony. The groom would ride a white pony all the way to the bride’s residence (regardless of the distance), carrying with him a white goose. The goose was, for Korean’s, a symbol of fertility and presentation of the goose to the waiting bride would ensure good luck when it came time to have a family.

In modern Koreathe Goose still holds the same sentiment, although wooden geese are now preferred given the difficulties of working with live animals!

Koreans are big on forms of representation when it comes to rituals in ceremony and also engage in a tradition whereby a pair of wooden ducks (representing the bride and the groom) are taken by the couple and placed in the home they will share after the marriage.

If the ducks are placed to face each other, then it represents that the couple are happy with each other and are on good terms, but if the ducks are faced outward, with their tails facing then it signals that perhaps there is unhappiness between them. (Pity the poor groom who comes home to find that his bride has faced them tail to tail!)

Let’s hope your ducks all face each other!

The Wedding Guru’s