Pae Baek is a traditional Korean tea ceremony. In real tradition, it’s meant for the grooms family so it’s done in private and takes about 2 hours. But since we’re not very traditional people, we asked to have it done during our reception… within 20 minutes as I know our mostly non-Korean guests would enjoy the elaborate set up, wardrobe, and games.
This was the table set-up. Everything was decorated really nicely. It was so vibrant and made a nice center display on our stage. Most of the foods were fake but we got some real little souvenirs to take home with us after the wedding.
When we were ready for our paebaek, we were taken upstairs to change into our traditional outfits. I was lent a traditional han bok to wear underneath. Then a empress gown to wear over it. The outfits were made complete with head gears for both of us. We chose this particular Pae Baek company because they have much more elaborate costumes than any other company. Most of the ones you see are the plain red and blue one (like the ones we rented for our engagement photo shoot) that are meant for high court officials. But there are more rare robes for mistresses, princess, queens, and empress. Of course we chose the highest up the chain, even though we’re imposters! Hahahaha.
The first thing we had to do was a super low traditional bow to our parents separately. You’re traditionally supposed to do it all the older family members on your husband side but we didn’t have any and we wanted to keep it short and entertaining so we only did both set of parents. I was wearing so many layers, I had to be helped by the pae baek service lady.
As with all tea ceremonies, we poured teas for our parents then for each other. Then romantically drank tea with intertwined arms. Hahaha.
And then they do this game where the parents throw a handful of chestnuts and dates at your and you have to both hold up a piece of fabric to try and catch as much as you can. Won DEFINITELY worked very hard to catch the fruits. Apparently however many you catch is however kids you will have. We caught 7 girls and 5 boys.
This is me going, “Hahahahahah you’re joking right!?”
Then you hold a date in your mouth and Won grabs the other half in his mouth. And then we pull it apart and see whoever gets the seed. It’s kinda like a wishbone or an Oreo. Except instead of getting a wish, whoever has the seed means your first born will be that gender. In this case, I won cuz I was biting down hard (we didn’t know what it meant at the time) so our first born should be a girl. Won said if he knew, he would have fought harder. LOL.
Then Won is supposed to undressed me cuz we’re supposed to have sex on our wedding night to make those 12 babies. Hahahaha. In the ceremony, it’s symbolic so Won just takes off the top of my head piece and then I was instructed to giggle into my sleeves to show what a shy and innocent virgin bride that I am. Lol for a culture obsessed with babies, they sure have high expectations for you pre-nuptial.
Then Won gives me a piggy back ride all around the restaurant to show he can carry this new “burden” for the rest of his life. Lol. He got LOTS of cheers. I always tell him good thing Im a small little thing or else he wouldn’t be able to carry me and that would be embarrassing for him. He said it’s a good thing he works out or else he wouldn’t be able to carry me and that would be embarrassing for me!
And a final picture with our set up! Kamsamida for reading!