This Sunday saw Farmboy and myself hitting the alter...to watch my Principle's daughter getting married (had you all there for a second hehe), in what turned out to be the strangest and most bizarre experience.So I will try and give you a very detailed discription of what went down, because I have no pictures you see, well there was no time to take pictures is probably the best excuse...so here goes!
I had been warned to bring an envelope of cash ~W30 000 if you dont know the bride/groom, up to 100 000 if you are friends with either of them~ before hand by my co-teacher (and luckily I did because no cash=no lunch here in the land of Kimchi). Basically each guest brings with him/her an envelope of money to give to the wedding party, and it's all very business like...2 desks, one for friends of the bride, and one for friends of the groom. Once the money has been grabbed, it is counted and the amount is recorded next to your name, which you then sign. Upon receiving your 'gift', you are issued with a lunch coupon. Aparantly the money is counted up at the end of the ceremony and used to pay the buffet costs.
Coupons in hand, Farmboy and I walked to the actual wedding hall, well, the wedding was over before we even had time to raise our eyes to the alter, and then had to push and shove our way into the que for lunch. Which as it turns out was full on that floor, so we had to go and have our lunch with another wedding party on the second floor!
Basically these wedding halls have a wedding venue and a buffet room on each floor, if I'm not mistaken, there were 10 floors at the venue we were at, and each party gets 20 mins to say their "I do's" and then make like a tree and leaf, to join the other guests at the buffet. Its the stranges thing. Each floor has a different name, "Serenity", "Romantic", "Harmony", "Tranquility" etc and the 'flowers' and decorations are suited to each 'theme'...I say 'flowers' becasue they are all plastic and fake, which means less mess, and I guess less hasstle to organise and arrange for each wedding.
So think of it like a production line, one bride in, other bride out, next bride in, next bride out, and most of the guests dont even see the bride. I mean I have never met my Principle's daughter, I barely know my Principle, and I didnt even get to see the bride to say congratulations...oh but I did get to have lunch with about 4 wedding parties...each of us borrowing the bottle opener (and no, not for beers or any sort of alcohol, for coke and pepsi), and leaning over one another to grap our plastic cups and napkins
On the plus, the buffet was quiet yummy..but definately not worth R180 a pop!
All in all we were out of there in 55 minutes flat...hows that for efficiency :)
If you are living in Korea, you will undoubtably have to attend at least one wedding, its quiet an experience...just dont forget your envelope...and of course an open mind.