Korean Traditional Wedding Ceremony-Pae Baek “폐백”
What ‘s the Pae Baek?
The Korean Traditional Wedding Ceremony called Pae Baek.
Traditionally, the Pae Baek is a ceremonial practice where
the groom’s family accepts the new bride into their
home as part of the family.
Obviously, these traditions have been catered to fit the modern
Korean family as well as the traditional.
Back in the day, the bride paid respect to the grooms family during the ceremony
with close family and friends being present.
However, the modern Korean family incorporates both families
as a way to bless the marriage.
Through the years, Pae Baek’s have been the same in terms
of the ceremonial practices.
However, the way to go about presenting this practice has been catered to each couple.
Some couples choose to have the Pae Baek immediately
after the Western Style Wedding at the reception location.
While others choose to have it before or after the
Western Wedding at their home.
It is a time consuming ceremony so choose wisely.
During the ceremony both the bride and groom wear Hanbok(한복).
These traditional outfits date back to the Joseon Dynasty where
women and men of the Royal Family wore these decorative,
bright colored outfits for formal functions or ceremonies.
The 20th century has modernized the Hanbok for practical reasons.
But for the purposes of the Pae Baek,
the Hanbok remain in the traditional sense where the bride and groom
wears a head dress and many layers of the vibrant colors of royalty.
Elements of the Table (폐백상)
Generally there is a Korean Style table set up where the Grooms and Brides family
sit on one side of the table (one family at a time) and the bride and groom on the other.
The table is set up with two wooden ducks facing each other which symbolizes fidelity.
Why ducks? Well like Geese these birds mate for life.
Also present on the table are dates which symbolizes the female gender
and chestnuts which symbolize the male gender.
These are thrown at the bride for her to catch in her dress.
And tradition states that however many the bride catches, is the number of children
she and her groom will be blessed with. The dates and chestnuts are later eaten by the couple.
During the ceremony the bride and groom bows and pours tea or
wine to the parents and often other members of the family.
Then in turn the parents and family members impart words of wisdom to the couple.
During this ceremony the bride and groom are bowing, pouring wine and the groom
even gives the bride piggy back rides around the table.
This symbolizes the journey of the new life ahead.
The groom may also give piggy back rides to the mothers and grandmothers.
Plenty of cash and words of wisdom are provided for to the new bride and groom.
PAE BAEK ORDER
1. The groom’s parents are seated first.
2. The bride and groom bow deeply and a half-bow (standing) to groom’s parents.
3. The bride and groom serve rice wine(or tea) to parents after bow.
4. The parents offer words of wisdom and blessings to the couple.
5. The parents will throw dates and chestnuts which the bride and groom will attempt
to catch with the bride’s apron. According to legend,
the number of dates and chestnuts caught signify how many girls(dates)
and boy(chestnuts) the will bear.
Later in the evening, the couple is supposed to eat the dates and chestnuts that were caught.
6. The parents also give them white envelope filled with money to start
the new couple in their way.
7. As the elder member of the groom’s family is seated next.
Bride and groom give them a single deep bow.
Do the same things (serving rice wine, throwing dates and chestnuts and giving white envelope …)
with elder family member.
8. For sisters and brothers, the new couple and sisters and brothers
give a single deep bow to each others.
The sisters and brothers offer words of wisdom and blessings to the couple
but no serving rice wine, throwing dates and chestnuts and giving white envelope …
9. Repeat with the bride’s family after the groom’s family.
10. The groom carry the bride piggyback around the room as a signal that
he is prepared to support her fully as her husband.
Wedding Story provides all the services Pae Beck needs.
Please contact us for more details.