My First Hanbok & Getting Married To A Korean Man

My how the time has gone. I didn’t realize it’d been three weeks since I last posted on here until today when I logged on. When planning a wedding, or in my case two, but mostly half of only one, things just pile up.

This past weekend I got married to Jae-oo in our first wedding ceremony. As we’ve decided to become a multi-cultural duo we’ve opted for a very traditional Korean ceremony in his home town and then in a couple months a traditional American ceremony in my home town. That’s getting a little ahead of my topic for this blog though as I’ve decided to go back a week or two to where I actually had to get involved in the wedding process.

Upon getting engaged 5 short months ago I had dreams of a white dress, an aisle with familiar faces and dancing the night away. Of course that American movie scene cliche wasn’t anything like what Jae-oo was picturing and thus the discussions started. We decided first off that having two ceremonies, one here in Korea and the other in my hometown in the States, was a must. My family is a whopper with 65 active members who keep in touch, gossip, visit regularly and spend months planning reunions. 65 active members that, though active, probably wouldn’t all be able to fly to Korea. But having only one ceremony in the States was out of the question for us as well since, even though Jae-oo said he wouldn’t mind, I knew he’d want to experience the ceremony with his friends when it came down to it and I wanted to make sure he had this experience too. With that easy decision out of the way next came the difficult task of actually planning a wedding.

Gwangjang Market: Hanbok Shopping, Custom Korean Hanbok, Korean Traditional Clothing

As a girl who has been watching movies her whole life with main characters getting married I of course had a lot to say, but being that I was in Korea I didn’t even know where to start or who to say what I was thinking to. Jae-oo and I basically decided that since we’d be doing the white dress American style at home wedding in a more Korean traditional style would also make sense. This would keep the ceremonies unique unto themselves and special for their own reasons. The remainder of the planning went to Jae-oo’s mother and sister who, thankfully, took on the load without question and prepared with gusto to make the necessary calls.

One of the jobs that did fall to me, but mostly Jae-oo, was to get a Hanbok. Jae-oo’s mother was ready to buy me my very own but as she lives in Busan and we’re in Seoul, finding a place to get it and choosing the style and color fell to us. It took us a few weeks and a lot of input from fellow Korean gal pals as to the style and where to buy it. When it came down to it I decided against this jacket style that is more comfortable, according to my friends, but opted for the more traditional style for my first Hanbok. A day spent vintage shopping at Gwangjang Market (광장시장) ended with me in the Hanbok section with my mother and sister and Jae-oo and I picked my colors and paid on the spot. Measurements were taken and off we went to come back to see the finished product.


Gwangjang Market: Hanbok Shopping, Custom Korean Hanbok, Korean Traditional ClothingTwo days later, we were back to try it on and take it home. I chose blue even though the woman really wanted me to wear pink. I’m really not a pink girl and stuck with my choice of blue on the bottom, which according to her is more for older women. I figure I’ll wear it more if I like the color and Koreans don’t tend to buy a lot of Hanboks so eventually I will be older and then it’ll suit me just fine. She really wanted to put pink on the top after I chose the blue bottom but we compromised on white with a purple sash. I love it. It came with bloomers, shoes, special Hanbok socks that look like an elf made them with his feet in mind, the main dress part, jacket, little vest under the jacket, a matching purse, and a large dangly decoration thingamabob. It wasn’t the cheapest nor the most expensive but an appropriate middling price around W250,000.


Gwangjang Market


서울특별시 종로구 예지동 2-1

2-1 Yeji-dong Jongno-gu Seoul, Korea


Bus: 106 , 140 , 143 , 150 , 160 , 273, 101 , 103 , 201 , 260 , 262 , 270 , 271 , 370 , 720 , 721, 163, 2112 , 7212

Subway: Jongno 5-ga station, exit 7 OR 8. Find an entrance, the market takes up one entire block.

Hours: 9:00am – 10:00pm


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2 Responses

  1. July 29, 2016

    […] for curtains, pants and suits to Hanboks, bedding and linen, it’s all in Gwangjang Market. The small alleyways are strewn with stores where one can be measured to have a suit made or head ups…. The market is known for having quality goods at inexpensive prices. From buttons to thread and […]

  2. October 10, 2016

    […] the foodie delights on the ground floor, upstairs are stalls and stalls of gorgeous goods. This is THE place to go to get a great deal on a custom Hanbok that can be purchased for anywhere from W150,… depending on the material and embroidery work chosen. A bit more difficult to find, but worth the […]

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