Korean people traditionally wear their national costumes called “hanbok” to their wedding. Even if they use a Western-style white wedding gown and a tux, they still dress in hanbok at some point in the wedding ceremony, for instance for the tea ceremony or another ritual. A lot of couples don’t even buy Western-style wedding clothing and prefer only the folk attire for their big day. But they lose nothing because Korean traditional bridal costume is exquisite – bright, eye-catching, regal-looking, and magnificent.
So, let’s find out how the traditional bridal hanbok looks like.
Koreans believe that the red color brings good luck and happiness in marriage, so they often choose the red attire for the bride and groom. On this occasion, the main color of the wedding clothes is red, but there are splashes of other colors, too. For example, the sleeves of a women’s wedding hanbok are decorated with bright ribbons – blue, yellow, pink, red, etc. The sleeves sometimes look as colorful as a rainbow.
Beautiful wedding hanbok made from fine silk and embellished with embroidery patterns
Also, the bridal attire must be very festive and ornate, so it is usually adorned with gold embroidery, colorful silk embroidery, painted patterns on the fabric, and other embellishments.
But, of course, red robes are not the only choice of a wedding dress for Korean women. They can also wear hanbok of any other color or even design. In general, the hanbok’s cut and silhouette are the same, but there can be little differences in design because Korean folk dress changed throughout the ages. The modern hanbok can be exquisite and bright, especially the festive or ceremonial or bridal attire. It is colorful, beautifully adorned, multilayered, and made from sheer fabric.
Korean bridal hanbok made from hanji paper – it really is made from paper but a very special one
The groom’s hanbok is also bright and ornate. It can match the bride’s gown in color or not. Often, women wear red outfits and men blue. But it can also be burgundy, brown, yellow (though in the past, the yellow-orange-gold palette was reserved for the imperial family), violet, gray, or even black.
Usually, the male folk costume is less decorated and has a more vertical silhouette, while the female silhouette forms an A-line.
The bridal headdresses are decorative and cute as well. There are many variations of both male and female headwear – their design depends on the historical period, the newlyweds’ desire, and other factors. But usually, grooms wear ascetic Korean traditional black hats, while brides prefer large hairstyles, with wigs, hair jewelry and accessories, ribbons with gold embroidery, etc.