In countries like the UK, royal marriage is still a modern event (see Kate Middleton and Prince William). Here in Korea, it’s also a tradition that people are proud of and some Koreans choose to get married in the intricate Korean “han-bok”- but it’s been centuries since the last nationwide royal marriage. This is why I’m trying to show the beauty of Korean clothing by recreating royal kings’ and queens’ costumes through this blog.
The royal marriage of Korea refers to the marriages of the royal family involving the king and his eldest son, the crown prince, who is appointed as a successor to the throne. Korea’s royal marriage consisted of six ceremonies held over a long period of several months. It was one of the biggest national events attended by thousands of people. It is also one of the best events to see the most interesting Korean traditional clothing, as is often portrayed through Korean ‘hallyu’ dramas.
The six steps of Korean royal marriage are as intricate as the wedding costumes – first, the royal court sends a proposal to the queen-to-be, and she accepts. The official wedding date is set up by the royal court and announced to the queen-to-be’s palace. After all this is done, the new bride is titled the “Queen”. When she becomes the official “queen”, the king must visit the queen’s palace to greet her and return to the royal court with her. When both the king and queen are in the royal palace, there must be a ceremony for the wedding night in which the king serves wine to the queen and the married couple spend their first night together. These procedures are divided into six separate parts with specific names. In essence, it’s similar to any modern marriage-proposal, acceptance, and the actual marriage- but there are a lot more formalities and, of course, it’s royal.
There are so many aspects to discuss when it comes to a royal marriage. Personally, the most intriguing aspect is the clothing. Korean traditional hanbok is known for being colorful and elaborate, and the royal wedding ceremony boasts the peak of Korean traditional beauty. I have studied old texts and have created both the king and queen’s costumes for years but the beauty of it never fades. I hope you too have the chance to understand the beauty and elegance of Korean royal costumes.