Korean Catholic Wedding

Typically when there is an event in a Korean person’s life, he will invite all of his coworkers.  Last month, I went to Mr. Kim’s daughter’s first birthday party.  Today, I went to my coworker Kim Bum Soo’s wedding.

Bum Soo and Mi Jin’s wedding portraits!

Bum Soo’s wife is Catholic, so there were some differences in the wedding I attended and the weddings most Koreans have… not that I can really speak to that effect.  It was in a Catholic church downtown.  There was a mass (in Korean), a chorus singing hymns, all the typical stuff.  That being said, it was definitely different than the Catholic weddings I’ve been to at home.

Catholic church

For one thing, as soon as I walked into the church, I was directed towards a table where people were collecting gifts (usually money).  Beth, Jess, Andy, and I found some seats and waited for the ceremony to begin.  Even after it started, people continued to chat with their neighbors, speak on the phone, or text friends.  In the US, people are generally pretty respectful during a wedding ceremony, but in Korea apparently you can socialize and it’s not rude… or at least, no one says anything.  At first I compared it to a movie theater – but I think fewer people talk in movie theaters than at this wedding.  It was more like a middle school assembly.  Some people listened, some people didn’t, no one seemed to care.

The reception lunch was at a Korean restaurant a few blocks away, and our staff rightfully guessed we would not be able to find it without a guide.  So, at some point during the ceremony, we got up and left the church.  People had been doing this the entire time… So no, I didn’t see the I do’s, the kiss, any of that – although I don’t even know if they do that in Korea.  But it didn’t seem to be a big deal.  The restaurant was traditional and the food was excellent.  Our dining room was filled with fellow coworkers (as well as Mr. Kim’s wife and adorable baby!).  After eating to excess Andy and I headed home, where I promptly changed into comfy sweats.  It was rainy and windy today and all around nasty outside.

Later we are grabbing dinner with friends and checking out some live music at a place called Sugar Joe’s… will report back another time.

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