Friday, July 6, 2007

Juliet and Daryl's Wedding

Congratulations to Juliet and Daryl. I used to work with both the bride and groom at this dot-com in San Francisco. We remained friends even after the whole dot-com fiasco, but it was fun while it lasted.

Juliet and Daryl got married at the Brazilian Room in Tilden Regional Park in Berkeley, California on April 30, 2005, just a few weeks before my own wedding. Unfortunately, I missed the entire outdoor "Western" ceremony at 4:00 pm because I was finishing my class for the Wedding Consultation Program in Oakland, but luckily I was able to join in the traditional Korean "Paebek" ceremony at 5:00 pm and the reception afterwards.

Juliet is Korean and to honor her heritage, Juliet wore the traditional Wonsom while Daryl wore the Cheogori (coat) and paji (baggy pants) with the moja (black hat). The ceremony started out with the Gyobaerye (Bowing). With the aid of her helpers, the bride bowed twice to the groom. And with the aid of his helpers, the groom bowed back once to the bride. The bride then bowed two more times to the groom, who bowed back once more. They finished by kneeling down and facing each other. The bowing represented the promise of commitment to each other.

Then it was the Hapgeunrye (Drinking) portion. First, one of the helpers poured alcohol into a small cup for the groom, who then drank it. Another helper poured for the bride who sipped it or only pretended to drink. The groom's helper then poured into the cup again (or used the gourd in the other variation) and the groom drank again. The bride's helper poured again, with the bride sipping or pretending to drink again. Finally, the groom and bride joined together and bowed three times: once to their parents, once to their ancestors, and once to the guests.

Followed by the P'yebaek (Bowing to Husband's Parents). Immediately after the wedding, the bride met with her new parents-in-law. This ceremony took place in an area of the main room sectioned off with a folding screen. The groom's father sat in the east side, while the groom's mother sat in the west. The bride bowed to them four times, showing her respect to her husband's family and ancestors and expressing her loyalty. She often presented them with a small gift of food.

It was my first time attending a Korean ceremony and it was just fascinating. I love ethnic weddings and learning about all the different cultures. Juliet and Daryl changed back to their western wedding attire for the reception. It was a great day!

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