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Korean Wedding
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GottaBeKD



Joined: 13 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2003 11:10 pm    Post subject: Korean Wedding Reply with quote

This post is for all of you who have married Korean men or women.

My lovely fiancee and I are anxious to tie the knot, and to cross this obstacle. Considering the way Koreans treat relationships, marriage is almost essential for me, a Canadian. Korean women often won't even introduce you to their parents until you're ready to get married. You cannot live with them, and they cannot even visit your house. To do what a Canadian couple would do before marriage, without many difficulties, is often simply impossible in Korea without tieing the knot.

My questions as I anxiously prepare are:

1. What were the biggest surprises with your korean wedding?
2. What were the biggest difficulties / obstacles
3. What legal loopholes were involved
4. What was the approximate cost of your wedding
5. What preparations did you need to take, be it legal documents / registrations or purchasing of jewellery, and other traditional items.
6. Finally what responsiblities and freedoms have you since inherited, now that you are married.


I hope some of you can answer. Even if you're not married but have some stories, that information is very useful too, but state up-front that it's second-hand please.

Kindest regards, thanks in advance!
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kimcheeking
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2003 11:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Korean Wedding Reply with quote

GottaBeKD wrote:

1. What were the biggest surprises with your korean wedding?

none
Quote:

2. What were the biggest difficulties / obstacles

none
Quote:

3. What legal loopholes were involved

Multiple trips to the embassy - gu office and dong office. some extra expenses, but if you follow the instructions to the letter it goes by pretty painlessly
Quote:

4. What was the approximate cost of your wedding

buffet cost 1.5 million
pictures (outdoor & indoor) plus dress and tux rental about 1.5 million
honoraium to the pastor of my church (optional) 400,000
Quote:

5. What preparations did you need to take, be it legal documents / registrations or purchasing of jewellery, and other traditional items.

talk to the embassy and they will give you a package to help you out. At least the Canadian embassy does.
Quote:
6. Finally what responsiblities and freedoms have you since inherited, now that you are married.

I don't understand this question. I'm married - I take care of my wife and daughter, we live together just like anyone back home or here.
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Circus Monkey



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: In my coconut tree

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2003 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
. What were the biggest surprises with your korean wedding?
2. What were the biggest difficulties / obstacles
3. What legal loopholes were involved
4. What was the approximate cost of your wedding
5. What preparations did you need to take, be it legal documents / registrations or purchasing of jewellery, and other traditional items.
6. Finally what responsiblities and freedoms have you since inherited, now that you are married. - GottaBeKD


#1 Not too many suprises, actually. More people than expected came. That was a pleasant surprise. Didn't know all of them though. I think some of them were my mother-in-laws buddies. As well, my parents were able to make it out.

#2 Planning a wedding is stressful enough, but in a different country it's sometimes maddening. Luckily, we began early with the preparations and my wife's mother-in-law looked after the necessary Korean customary stuff.

#3 This is related to #5 (legal parts) so for both of them I'd contact your embassy.

#4 My wife and I paid for it all. I think it was around 3-5 million.

#5 Regarding Korean traditional gifts and whatnot, find someone in your family who is aware of such things and let them handle it. As a foreigner, you probably won't know all of the intricaties involved.

#6 The responsibilities that we inherited are no different than what any other couple from any other country would inherit. Unless you are referring to some kind of customary obligations. Since I'm a Canadian male and my wife is a Korean female, we haven't felt any kind of undue pressures from any quarter.

If I'm reading this right, I feel sorry for you that you haven't been invited to see your wife's family yet. Although it's not necessary, it would be nice to meet these people before you get married. Having said that, realize that you are marrying your wife, that it is your wedding and don't let anyone push you around. We had to be firm on a couple things because after all, we were the ones getting married.

CM
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GottaBeKD



Joined: 13 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2003 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much for the responses, so quickly. This information is very good to know, and I am reassured that there were no eye-openers (surprises) involved. The information regarding cost was also very useful.

I suppose with number 6. I was looking for information regarding any kind of legal freedoms or responsiblities you may have now that you are married. In that I mean, regarding work visas, taxes, resident status, citizenship, and this type of thing. Does it change your ability to gain a visa or workin in Korea, what about citizenship, what about for your korean wife/groom back home, has it made things easier regarding work/citzenship there?

Thanks again for the information, I'm glad to hear that all is well for you guys, and I look forward to hearing from any others if they are reading.
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The Great Wall of Whiner



Joined: 24 Jan 2003
Location: Middle Land

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2003 5:10 am    Post subject: Well... Reply with quote

What I would like to know is:

When you marry a Korean, do you have a greater legal status in Korea?
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heartnseoul



Joined: 16 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2003 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
1. What were the biggest surprises with your korean wedding?
2. What were the biggest difficulties / obstacles
3. What legal loopholes were involved
4. What was the approximate cost of your wedding
5. What preparations did you need to take, be it legal documents / registrations or purchasing of jewellery, and other traditional items.
6. Finally what responsiblities and freedoms have you since inherited, now that you are married.


1. It took longer than 10 minutes... 12 minutes for mine I think
2. none... my wife and her family took care of all the planning and stuff... I just had to show up on time... pretty cool
3. getting my marriage registered with the Canadian government... a lot of back and forth trips...
4. hmm... excluding the ring and the honeymoon??? about 70,000,000 won... I had to pay for the frigging apartment... and this was during the economic crisis... the actual cost for the wedding was mostly paid for by my guests... Smile
5. I bought the diamond back in Canada... it was about 50% cheaper than getting it here. I was a little worried about doing all the traditional stuff at first, but my in laws were very understanding... they told me I didn't have to do any of that stuff if I didn't want to... so I didn't... although I do regret it a little now cuz I feel like I missed out on something that could've been fun... and memorable.
6. hmm... it was really tough going at first... ahh... wait... it was very good at first... I got married in December... at that time I was teaching adults at 6:40 in the morning... although I paid frigging 70,000,000 to lease my apartment it didn't have any heating... anyway, I woke up at 5:30 in the morning... got out of my shower and my wife had a hot breakfast waiting for me... while I was eating... she was holding my shirt and jacket against our gas heater... I asked her what she was doing and she just told me it was very cold outside... i couldn't believe it... I told my students about it that morning and they told me not to hold my breath cuz it would last for only 3 months... well it lasted for only 3 weeks... Smile

Anyway, it was pretty tough at first... we dated for 2 1/2 years but we still had many things to work out...

Responsibilities and freedom... same as anywhere else I guess...

Good luck!!!
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Bulsajo



Joined: 16 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2003 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What I would like to know is:

When you marry a Korean, do you have a greater legal status in Korea?


Unless the law has changed in the last 2 years (and I've heard rumours and denials but no one I've discussed it with seems to know anything concrete) then the answer is no.
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Circus Monkey



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: In my coconut tree

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2003 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should mention that the costs I quoted only included the expenses incurred for the actual wedding day. I didn't include the ring, necessary paperwork, etc... that was done beforehand. As well, one of my mother-in-law's friends lent my mother-in-law some money to help with some expenses. That was also another pleasant surprise.



CM
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Dazed and Confused



Joined: 10 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2003 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. What were the biggest surprises with your korean wedding?
My freaky in-laws.

2. What were the biggest difficulties / obstacles
My freaky in-laws and saving money to pay for it all.

3. What legal loopholes were involved
Embassy documents and the trouble of actually going to Seoul to get everything done.

4. What was the approximate cost of your wedding
11 million won. That's everything! from my underwear to the honeymoon.

5. What preparations did you need to take, be it legal documents / registrations or purchasing of jewellery, and other traditional items.
Just the usual stuff and jumping through the embassy hoops.

6. Finally what responsiblities and freedoms have you since inherited, now that you are married
I have to put up with my freaky in-laws. We lived together before marriage and hardly ever saw them. Now I am expected to spend holidays with people I don't like and who are mean to me. After 2 years I suddenly get migrain headaches when we are due to go to their house so I can stay home to aviod their company. wink, wink Wink
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Shadow



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Location: Pusan, South Korea

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2003 7:19 pm    Post subject: Keep Korean Parents out of the loop as much as possible! Reply with quote

I understand your concerns and you are in a difficult position. This is what I did before I got married. I agreed to go through the motions of asking my wife's parents for permission to marry her daughter and promised them two things and only two things.

I was invited by my fiance to meet her parents and the rest of her family at a formal dinner. When I arrived, I was interrogated at great length of what my intentions were and a lot of other nonsensical stuff. I cut them short and said that I would promise them not one but two important things. Everybody looked at me for the magic words and they came. "I promise to keep a roof over your daughter's head and to put rice in her belly." That is all I said and that was enough for them to know to mind their own business. It worked.

I decided not to get married in Korea but in Canada instead. We got married by the Justice of the Peace and we had a really nice outdoor wedding. Some friends of mine offered me their cottages for our honeymoon and we travelled around Eastern Canada for a week and had ourselves a really nice time. Since returning to Korea I have had no interference from my Korean in-laws. However, that hasn't stopped them from attempting to put foolish ideas in my wife's head from time-to-time. Good luck!
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Shadow



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Location: Pusan, South Korea

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2003 7:44 pm    Post subject: The Great Wall of Whiner is really funny! Reply with quote

I have to admit that I think the Great Wall of Whiner has a great sense of humour. Let's have a round of applause for "The Wall."
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Bruce Willis



Joined: 27 Jan 2003
Location: HaeundaeBeach. Busan

PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2003 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HeartnSeoul's cost is right on the money, considering the total cost of a Korean wedding. A year or two ago an article appeared in either the
"Korea Times" or "Korea Herald" on the cost of a wedding. The exact figure was 70 million won. Normally, it said, about 40 million was paid by the groom and 30 million by the bride. However, I think this included getting settled into a home and getting it furnished. The KimCheeKing
and Circus Monkey get off light at 5 million or less. One is much more
relieved to see figures like that after reading about the Korean average.
Traditionally in the US, the bride's family covers all wedding expenses.
But that tradition may be getting out of date. A woman in LA once told
me she went to a New York stockbroker's wedding where the cost of
the flowers alone, covering all the walls and ceiling, was $86,000.
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Hotuk



Joined: 10 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2003 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My wife and I got married in Canada, where we met. We had debated which country we'd marry in and Canada won out, so a contingent of Korean relatives flew to Nova Scotia in Sept 2000. We held the wedding outside, at my family's cottage on a cliff next to the ocean. A friend who acted as a full-time translator made it all possible - every aspect of the wedding, down to the invitations and the speeches was fully bilingual. The day went even better than we planned. It will certainly go down as the first Cumberland County wedding to feature hanboks and the singing of Arirang.

When I later got to see what Korean wedding-hall weddings looked like - and I've been to several of these weddings by now - I felt like I dodged a bullet. If my wedding had been like the ones I've seen, my head would have exploded at the altar. Here's what has made lasting impressions on me of Korean wedding halls:

1. insanely crowded: their Vegas-style scheduling means there's always a throng of people pushing and shoving in and out of the ceremony rooms. They're like factories, profoundly lacking in any dignity.

2. bubble machine and fog through the ceremony. Gross.

3. Disney Fairyland-themed gaudy decor.

4. That hateful "Congratulations" song.

5. Rude congregations: People carrying on conversations, talking on their phones, playing with kids, getting up and leaving all in the middle of the vows! It wouldn't have endeared me with my new family if I had yelled during my ceremony, "STFU!!"

If you're going to do it here, go to a couple wedding-hall weddings first. Make sure you know what you're getting into. Of course, it may not be up to you anyway, if you're a guy - I was fortunate that my bride wanted the Canada-style thing, since generally brides call the shots when it comes to weddings. My one creative input was to demand piano instead of organ. Other than that, I was a good boy and did as told.

Had I not been so lucky, and had we done the wedding here, the marriage might not have lasted the ceremony.
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mack the knife



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: standing right behind you...

PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2003 7:09 pm    Post subject: get an F-2 visa Reply with quote

nothing changes for you legally...well, that's not totally true...you are now entitled to an F-2 visa which allows you work (only with immigration's blessing) anywhere you want other than a few government/military jobs...that's what i was told at immigration...you don't have to leave the country every three or six months (as you would have to on a C-3 or tourist visa). you can work several jobs instead of just one (although the E-2 also allows you to do this with your boss's permission)...you cannot teach privately but if you get caught you will face a fine and not deportation (an older, married friend of mine has been caught 3 times).

as for how your life in general will change...your friends will not call you to go out on the town anymore for a while, at least until they've given you what they feel is enough time to fully drain your nads.....
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kimcheeking
Guest




PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2003 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bruce Willis wrote:
KimCheeKing and Circus Monkey get off light at 5 million or less. One is much more relieved to see figures like that after reading about the Korean average.


I don't think it is light. THe higher figures you quote include buying brand new furniture and key money. If I included that then our total would be much higher.
hotuk wrote:
When I later got to see what Korean wedding-hall weddings looked like - and I've been to several of these weddings by now - I felt like I dodged a bullet. If my wedding had been like the ones I've seen, my head would have exploded at the altar. Here's what has made lasting impressions on me of Korean wedding halls:

I agree with hotuk about wedding halls. I however got married in my church and it was just as quiet and nice as a church wedding back home.
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