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Making wedding gift - Korean traditions

Hi all, My brother-in-law is marrying a wonderful Korean woman in
Korea this year. I want to make something as a wedding gift, but I
know very little about Korean traditions in such a situation. I was
thinking about making some eating or serving utensils in silver with
gold ornamentation [keum-boo, which I do a lot of], but I don’t know
what the typical forms are. Are there gifts which are particularly
associated with weddings, or good fortune, etc.? Are there particular
flowers or animals that are appropriately symbolic for this occasion?
I would welcome any and all suggestions. You can reply to me directly
or in the forum.


Anne Hollerbach

Anne: Ducks and geese (usually made of wood) are traditionally used
in Korean weddings, as both birds are believed to mate for life, and
thus represent fidelity. Ducks are usually given in pairs,one for
the bride and one for the groom. A friend returning from Korea
brought me a small wedding duck some years ago, but I imagine they
come in many sizes…and I can’t locate the explanatory paper
that came with it. Dee

Anne, Dee is correct re the giving of ducks as wedding gifts in Korea.
I spent a number of years there in the early 70’s and at that time
there were lots of wooden ducks on the antique market, some old and
some made to look old. I have seen carved ducks that would rival our
best carvers here in the US but sometimes the very crude ones were the
more unique and desireable.

Another popular item is the bat…actually it is a stylized rendition
of a bat. In Korea, bat motifs are found on most anything dealing
with the marriage. They are found as brass or iron fittings on
chests, etc. I have a beautiful pair of Korean very heavy silver
wedding bands with the bat motif cut into them. I am not sure just
where the symbol derives but check out your local library for books on
Korean culture and traditions.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFO where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry.

Anne, If you decide not to go with a pair of ducks/geese, one
suggestion is to make jewelry out of 24K gold. Koreans absolutely
adore 24K gold and dark red coral. Both dark red coral and 24K gold
jewelry are associated with weddings and the redder the coral the
better. I remember my mother having both a dark red coral ring (an
oval cabochon is either 22 or 24K gold) and a diamond ring when she
was engaged. I’m not sure if modern grooms present their brides with
coral rings anymore but the red coral would go really well with your
sister-in-law’s bright red Korean traditional wedding dress. I went
through the pye-baek (Korean wedding and tea ceremony) last year so
let me know if you have more questions. Soeun