Korean Wedding Bowing Ceremony
폐백 Paebaek, traditional Korean wedding bowing ceremony, offers a beautiful and meaningful way to incorporate Korean heritage and culture and bring some added fun to weddings in America. The core of Paebaek features the bride and groom dressed in colorful traditional wedding attire bowing in unison to the elders to pay their respects to them. In keeping with the theme of NotJustRice.com, we offer here easy to follow and simplified approach to preparing and enjoying Paebaek.
Paebaek was originally intended as a way for the bride to pay her respects to the groom’s family as she is formally accepted into the family. The bowing signified severing of her ties with her family and promise of subservience and allegiance to her new family. Thus only the groom’s family could be present for Paebaek. Happily, this ceremony has evolved to take the positive intent of the practice and also incorporate some fun into the modern wedding.
In modern practice, both sides of the family are invited to participate and friends and guests are also invited to observe.
Paebak is typically celebrated during the reception after the meal but before the cutting of the wedding cake. The logistics are somewhat important as the bride and groom will need to change into the traditional Korean wedding attire and the table service needs to be set up. The area needs to be large enough to accommodate the families to receive the bows and have fun tossing the dates and chestnuts but within a reasonable distance for the serving of the rice wine. Consideration should also be given for guests who will be most interested in viewing the ceremony.
Professional Paebaek Providers
There are many companies that specialize in coordinating Paebaek and if you are in a region that is fortunate to have such a service, this is a care-free alternative. They provide the attire, table setting, traditional ornamentation and backdrops and help with the overall coordination. They may even provide a narrator to provide insight into traditional features of the ceremony. Unfortunately, these services tend to be in larger cities with significant Korean-American presence.
We were not so fortunate for my son’s wedding as the ceremony took place in Martha’s Vineyard and professional services were not available to us. So, we were on our own and while it took some organization and planning, all the elements came together and we had a beautiful and meaningful Paebaek ceremony.
Step by Step How-To
With keeping with simple and easy to follow instructions, NotJustRice shows step by step How-To do it yourself Paebaek – Korean Wedding Bowing Ceremony: