Marco Devon




Paebaek of Christine and Conor | South Korea Traditional Wedding Photographer


Paebaek of Christine and Conor | South Korea Traditional Wedding Photographer

What is a South Korean Paebaek(폐백) ceremony at a traditional wedding?

Paebaek(폐백) is a South Korean wedding custom that, in its traditional form, was held a few days after the official wedding ceremony. In the past, Paebaek was exclusively reserved for the groom's side of the family to be introduced to the new family member, the bride. Modern Korean weddings have now included the Paebaek ceremony after the reception and include the bride's side of the family, too. Typically, it begins by the eldest members of the family(usually grandparents) sitting behind the table and the newlyweds opposite them. Newlyweds are expected to perform a deep bow which starts by standing, then kneeling and finally pressing their foreheads to the hands while kneeling. The newlyweds will then offer up a cup of wine(cheongju), and this follows some words of wisdom on marriage and their blessings by the older couple.

In this case, we started with Christine's lovely grandmother and her eldest uncle and his wife.

Part of the custom involves the throwing of chestnuts and dates. The newlyweds are required to catch as many as they can. The belief is that the number of chestnuts and dates that are caught signify the number of children they will bear. Dates represent girls, and chestnuts are for boys.

Weddings are a great time for photography of the couple and family.

I like to be extremely clear on what my clients' expectations are so that I provide the most professional service possible as a photographer. This communication not only helps with the photographs but also with interaction the day of the event. Christine was clear on how close she is to her grandmother and thus wanted great shots with her. Keeping grandma's age and mobility in mind, I was careful about how I made the photographs while trying to tell a story of intimacy and cheerfulness, which this Paebaek turned out to be.

Before arriving at the venue(just outside of Seoul) and meeting everyone for the first time in person, I already knew enough about the couple and the main family members so that I could make them feel 100% comfortable with having me around during such a special day. Conor and Christine were all laughs the entire time, and it made the process of photographing them all the more easier. We only celebrated and performed the Paebaek in South Korea with her side of the family as the wedding ceremony was held in the U.S, where they reside.

Conor and Christine, thank you for choosing me as your photographer.

Please do get in touch if you would like to have your traditional wedding day captured, too.

Here are a few more photographs from the special day: