Korean wedding ceremonies (폐백/pyaebaek) involve throwing food at the couple.
Last week, when we video-chatted with Mother, she said she didn’t want to throw food at us. Now she’s changed her mind. So apparently Mother and Father are going to throw dates and chestnuts at us. How many we manage to catch in my skirt will determine how many kids we have.
I am having major “oh my God, this is going to be horrible, should I have a white dress, should we be wearing the traditional red and blue wedding hanboks complete with those red face dots, should we actually plan on having dancing” second thoughts about this whole wedding now that we’re three weeks out.
Today Good Man and I went to look for pyebaek stuff. We ended up at a store in Annandale where those cheap hanbok shoes (whould cost about $5-10 in Korea) were…$55. I almost choked. Everything was insanely overpriced. I need a new wallet and coin purse since mine are three years old and totally worn out. They didn’t have the coin purse and wallet was $25 (would run less than $15 in Korea). Luckily, Mother likes me, so she’ll buy me ones in Korea. Ha ha!
We’re supposed to have six different foods for the pyebaek table: something that I think is beef jerky, food to throw at us to determine how many and what gender kids we have, a special decorated chicken, some special rice cakes and vegetables (I think?), Korean snacks, and special alcohol.
Luckily Good Man’s parents don’t really care what we have on the table (as long as we greet them properly and pour them some alcohol and they get to throw food at us, I guess). And we couldn’t find a place with the fancy Korean pyebaek food. So we’re doing a more modern blend of some fruit, rice cakes, Korean snacks, and some sort of Korean alcohol we like.
Beside throwing nuts at dates at us, we’re also “supposed” to do something where Good Man feeds me a date, I keep it between my teeth, and then he goes in for a fake kiss and takes it from my mouth, like I’m a mother bird feeding a baby.
We did find a rice cake house since we’re having rice cakes and cupcakes for dessert. Good Man is nuts. We’re buying five packs of a three different colored slabs of one kind of rice cake (약식). Then we’re buying two trays of a mixture of 꿀떡 and 인절미. Those two trays? Each tray holds two layers of rice cake. Each layer has approximately 75 rice cakes. He ordered two trays of that.
He kept saying everyone will love rice cake and I kept saying, “Foreigners think rice cake tastes like glue. They’ll eat one, maybe two, to be polite.”
He’s going to be eating rice cakes for an entire month.