Fall in South Korea is a romantic time of year – bright, crisp leaves fill the air with their vibrant colors and the sweet scent of autumn drifts through the streets. As this special season approaches, many couples in South Korea are preparing for their wedding celebrations. But not just any type of wedding – a modern take on tradition that explores classic Korean culture: a Hanbok Wedding!
Martin and Susan’s wedding was a beautiful gathering of close family and friends, full of warmth despite the slight chill in the air. They’d wanted to create an intimate atmosphere – something more akin to American-style weddings – with their reserved personalities, but they couldn’t have been happier that this dream had become reality. It felt like two families were coming together as one for a night filled with love and joy!
We both wanted something more unique for our wedding and didn’t want to do the most common wedding hall style here. Especially with friends and family coming we wanted to do something special. We looked online for various small wedding type venues but eventually stumbled upon Sunwoongak, and it was perfect. We had looked heavily into hanok weddings, but many venues were either outside of Seoul or extremely small (many held less than 50!). So the fact that Sunwoongak had more space for a moderate amount of people was exactly what we wanted. Also being at the base of Mt. Bukhan, it was likely that the colors would be in full bloom in mid October when we had planned the wedding.
When we went in person to do a consultation, it was love at first site and we knew that there was no where else we would want to have the wedding. It was early November, near the end of the fall colors season and it couldn’t have been more beautiful.
We chose to have a more toned down palette to complement the fall colors, telling both the flower vendor and cake vendor that we wanted fall colors to complement the fall foliage. For the hanbok, the vendor we went through had a beautiful light blue hanbok that felt just right to contrast the fall colors. Overall we wanted a somewhat muted palette.
TAKE ON TRADITION
We decided to do our own take on a fusion wedding, as we had picked a hanok venue and to wear hanboks. Martin’s family is largely christian, so we decided to have the ceremony itself as a christian ceremony. We also had a friend of Martin’s father conduct the ceremony in both Korean and English, and the family pastor did a closing prayer.
One of the main reasons we booked the venue was for the fall colors. We felt really lucky that peak season hit right on the wedding day. The wedding planner even told us the tree by the entrance turned red just that day!
The bride also encouraged friends to come in hanbok or daily hanbok to the wedding if they liked and a few friends wore their own daily hanbok, and a few, including her cousin, rented them. One friend even had her own made here for the wedding so she could keep it later.
We also decided to do an open pyebaek. Even thought it wasn’t tradition they allowed the bride’s mom to try it as well as the groom’s grandparents which was a really nice experience. The grooms grandparents only had daughters, so they had never had a chance to do it, and it was really nice to give them that experience as well.
Since we would wear western wedding clothes for the studio, we decided we wanted to do something a little different and do hanboks. We also chose a modern take on the traditional 대례복. The vendor we went through had a selection of several high end looking designs but I had my heart set on the powder blue dress and chose that one for the wedding.
WE’RE GLAD WE…
We were really happy we went with the location we did. And invited Susans family to wear hanboks, it really created a unique atmosphere and felt like it would be memorable for so many other than us as well.
We had a little secret mission going on before the ceremony.
For the exit we had decided on doing a bubble exit with the bride pulling a bubble wand from her sleeve and the venue would use a bubble gun to make more bubbles.
Shortly before the wedding day we learned that we would need to provide the bubble liquid ourselves. We thought it would be easy to do and we could just order it on coupang or pop into a local daiso but with all the things to do leading up to the wedding day we hadn’t gotten it yet. So I called on some friends who all popped into various daisos but had no luck. However, one friend was able to stop by lotte mart and got the bubbles for us last minute, even handing off the bubbles liquid to another guest of ours they didn’t know since the shuttle was full so that the liquid would reach us on time.
It felt like a covert operation, but we got the bubbles safely to the wedding planner and he was able to do the bubble guns for us!
We’re really thankful to all of our vendors and Lorryn of course! Everyone really went out of their way to make the day run smoothly and turn out beautiful.
In particular, the hanbok shop we went through, Bettl Hanbok, really went above and beyond for us. They had a wide variety of sizes and we able to even fit my brother in a hanbok for the wedding day. They were helpful and generous, even throwing in an extra set of tops that we were able to use before the wedding itself.