Want to Marry a Korean? Here’s 7 Things You Should Know! – Seoulistic

Want to Marry a Korean? Here’s 7 Things You Should Know!

So without him knowing it, you’ve been planning on marrying G-dragon for a whole year now. And in your stalker mind, you’ve even dreamed up your own wedding! Well if it ever becomes a reality, make sure you know what’s expected of you if you’re marrying a Korean! (Weirdo :P)

Note: This is a list of common expectations for when Koreans marry other Koreans. But of course if you’re a non-Korean, you will become a multicultural family, and that means your Korean lover and his/her family will have to adjust to you as well. So not all may apply.

1. You’ll Need Mommy and Daddy’s Permission
Son, don’t you be marrying no crazies!”

So you’ve been dating that Korean for a while now and you’ve even got the whole Korean style proposal thing done. The girl’s got the ring and the boy’s got the swag. Congratulations! But it aiin’t official yet. Although getting married is about love, in Korea, many people also see marriage as a union of two families. And that means most marriage plans are on hold until the scary moment when both sides of the family meet. The families of the potential bride and groom will get together for an official dinner at a nice restaurant to make sure no one’s getting married to a family of crazies. And even if it’s a real life Korean drama love story full of childhood first kisses, life threatening diseases and sacrificial eye transplants, if the parents say no, then the wedding might not happen. (Of course, people sometimes go ahead and do it anyway. :P)

2. Parents will Pick up the Tab
“Daddy, Can you buy me a wedding?”

Weddings are expensive ordeals in any part of the world, and people everywhere don’t hesitate to spend butt loads of money on that one special day. And of course, weddings can be very expensive in Korea too. But if you’re still at the bottom working your way up to the top manager position at the local McDonalds, don’t worry too much. In Korea, most young people are broke too. That’s why most families will pay for their share of the wedding costs. That means most brides and grooms in Korea will not pay for the wedding themselves, but their families (parents) will. Korean parents see marrying off their children as their very last duty as a parent. Goodbye, so long, fare thee well young child. It’s a crazy butt load of money (see #3), but they’ll get it back. Big time (see #7).

3. Splitting Wedding Costs is Crazy Complicated
Or just avoid by marrying a Samsung heir

Wedding costs are always tricky arrangements for any marriage, and that’s why most families will figure out things amongst themselves (i.e. if one family is richer than the other, they may offer to cover more of the costs). So if you somehow convinced the heir to the Samsung empire to marry you, you’ll most likely get the most bomb wedding ever for basically just being an awesome husband or wife. For the rest of the not-so-lucky 99.999941%, many Korean families will split marriage costs like this:

Groom Side Bride Side
Wedding Ceremony (50%) Wedding Ceremony (50%)
Honeymoon (50%) Honeymoon (50%)
Apartment/Housing – the home itself (100%) Furnishings like furniture, appliances, etc. (100%)
Yemul (예물) – Wedding gift for the bride Yedan (예단) – Wedding gift for the groom’s family

Splitting wedding costs can be crazy complicated and that’s why we need the scientific chart above. It’s easy enough to see the wedding ceremony and honeymoon are usually split down the middle. But the groom’s side typically provides the payment for the home/apartment, and the bride’s side usually provides all the furnishings inside the home. Fair and simple enough to follow right?

Ok, now see if you can follow this! The gifts involved might be the cultural part you might not have known about. Yemul (예물) comes from an old tradition of giving a bridge wedding gifts of red and blue yarn. Unfortunately for modern day cash-strapped grooms, that usually translates to a matching jewelry set: diamond ring, earring and necklace (or other jewelry). But brides return the favor with yedan (예단), a gift for the groom’s family, typically a cash gift that equals 10% of the housing costs as well as gifts for the family such as nice silverware, bags, jackets, etc.

Of course, none of this is set in stone as it’s different for every marriage (especially true for multi-cultural marriages!). This one you’ll have to talk out with your future Korean spouse/in-laws.

4. You Might Not Get that Cool Korean Name You’ve Always Wanted
Unofficial ones are still gravy tho 😛

In many places in the world, it’s common for the bride to take the groom’s family name. Ms. Smith becomes Mrs. Johnson in many places everyday. But if you’ve ever made up a Korean name for yourself because you think they just sound so darn cool, your dream of having an official Korean name might not come true. In Korea, brides keep their family names, even after getting married. That means even if Seonmi Choi marries Kyungsu Park, she will still keep the name her daddy gave her, Choi. But if you’re kind of creepily obsessed with having an Korean name, there’s no law against it. You can still do it at city hall. 🙂

5. Holidays Might mean Work (for Women)
Follow orders from bossy Korean aunts

Now that you’re married to the love of your life, you’ll probably be spending time with his family on the big national holidays. And the two big ones out of the year, Chuseok (추석) and Seollal (설날), are typically when families gather with their aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents, the whole shebang with lots of people and lots of food. But in most Korean families, women are in the kitchen all day to prepare the food. If you’re a woman that’s married into a Korean man’s family, don’t worry too much. It’s usually pretty fun to talk with the other ladies of the family while preparing the food. And even if you don’t have any idea how to do anything, there’s usually a bossy aunt in every family that takes over the kitchen like she’s running an army.

Tip: For Koreans, a new female family member not helping out in the kitchen isn’t always the best. So even if you’re all thumbs when it comes to cooking, try to offer your help (if you’re trying to get on their good side!).

6. New Years Mean Less Money
In exchange for hardcore bowing

Just like in many Asian countries, New Years in Korea (Seollal – 설날) is a time for little kids to receive cash envelopes from their elders to bring to school and compare with everyone how much they got. If you’re Asian, you know how awesome it feels to have envelopes piling up in your back pocket. But for all you non-Asians out there that’s never experienced counting that stash of New Years money in some corner when no one’s looking, sorry to say that you’ll only be counting the money you’re giving out. That’s because if you’re married into a Korean family, that means you’re part of the adult side. And even though you’ve never received money as child, you’ll be expected to give money to your own kids, as well as your nieces and nephews. At least they give you a hardcore New Years bow in return.

7. You Might Have to Live with Parents (Again)
Korean mama food

You thought it was over when you moved out didn’t you? Well remember when your Korean in-laws paid for all your crazy wedding expenses that almost mortgaged the house? Well they’re old and retired now. And for Korean families with more traditional values, many sons and/or daughters will invite their parents to live with them when they reach an elderly age. Although this is a changing trend in Korea, and many Korean families just tend to get the elderly parents their own home/apartment nearby (if they can afford it), if the Korean family that you married into has more traditional values, you might have to live with the in-laws for a while, which is not necessarily a bad thing. You’ll get real Korean mama food and a someone to help take care of the kids, too :).

To learn more about dating and marriage in Korea, check out our ebook:
How to Navigate Korea’s Unique Dating Culture: The Must-Have Guide for Successful Relationships

If you’re going to a Korean wedding, here’s the gifts you should give:
Korean Culture Says Buy These Gifts!

Keith Kim is a Korean-American who has been living in Korea for almost a decade. Being in a unique position as both a Korean and a non-Korean, he's put all his experience and knowledge for surviving in Korea in Survival Korean . Read it to learn how you can survive in Korea. Follow him on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.


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  4. SAM says:

    Hi! My name is SAM. i am Originally from Egypt I have been living abroad for ong time . I am 47 years old , single man. I am in Chinafor many years . i really admire Korea so much and I want to get married to a korean lady but, she must be honest, good and suitable one and serious for being a life-partner too. can we start serious understandable talking to know each other ??

    My WeChat is Iamsamsam2014
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    Email : [email protected]

  5. Xy says:

    Hi. I just want to ask.
    My sister’s Korean friend kind of asked her if he could marry me, I think twice, but i only heard it clearly once over a farewell dinner. We (the others in the table) thought that it could be a joke but we noticed that he became quiet when we thought it was.
    So I was thinking if it was meant to be a joke or if he really did mean it, what do you guys think?

  6. Mohammed fadhl alansi says:

    I love Korean

  7. Mohammed fadhl alansi says:

    I wish friendship with a Korean girl and wish to marry and live in Korea

  8. im robin says:

    i settled with honest and true love with korean girl i hope i find soon to meet

  9. Alex says:

    hi everyone !

    I am an honest guy and would like to start friendship with a Korean girl for possible future marriage.|
    My e-mail address is [email protected].
    Thanks !

  10. Rezve says:

    I wanna marry a korean girl…. Hear is my whatsapp number 01626179688…

  11. Honey says:

    I also love south Koreans

  12. Honey says:

    I also love south Koreans l want to go Korean

  13. lucia says:


  14. Aurora says:

    I just love Korea…I have crush on Korean boys…but I don’t have any Korean friend

  15. Shubham says:

    Hlw it’s Shubham. And I want to marry a Korean girl.

  16. Kathy says:

    Thanks for this post, as I have a long distance relationship with a Korean man. And it has become quite serious, we both have talked about marriage. So now we have been researching how to do the whole marriage thing.
    I am an older woman, and he is older man as well so some of these issues will not be something we will be dealing with the general help is most appreciated.

    • FHK says:

      I’ve been dating with a 45 yr-o Korean American man since he was 43. It’s tough, really harsh and tough. Looking back, I didn’t feel happy and settled for the past 2 years. Time invested, I really don’t know what to do.

    • Ian Hugo says:

      Kathy I want to lick your sexy dirty poop hole after you pass stools in the toilet

  17. Osezua says:

    I am Nigerian father I wish for my son who is just about 15 year old to marry a Korean. I hope after his secondary education he’ll get a scholarship to attend a Korean University so can understand their culture and tradition very well. We are Christian (Anglican) while I am in the choir, my wife is in the guild of steward (Usher) and our son is an Altar servant.

  18. Nonna says:

    Happy to read these ideas hahaha! But my Korean boyfriend was already talking about this before and I was not thinking that was serious haha and now we already passed for a year of having relationship and seems like he is really serious for always letting himself to check if I’m okay or not each day <3 SPREAD THE LOVE

  19. Remy says:

    Im remy from malaysia..male 28..i want to marry a korean girl..i want to do a business in korea..here my no kt 01030374433 whatsapp +82177081768

  20. Mika says:

    Hi. I’m Mika, my new Korean boyfriend asked me for a marriage. And I’m not ready for this because I’m younger than him, in a sort of I want enjoy myself as an individual, but he keeps reminding me about marriage, I do love him, but as I can see with these information 50% of my weeding costs will be taken by me? And I’m not ready for this 🙄. Do I have the right to tell my boyfriend if he really wanted a rush marriage with me in a condition that he will pay all the expenses for our weeding? Or at least the 80% of it? OMG! I don’t know what to do. 😔I need advice. 😅😅 Thank you.

  21. Anita says:

    Hi Am Anita From Nigeria
    I wish to travel to south Korea
    I love Koreans
    But I don’t have any Korean friend
    I wish to have one thank u
    You can contact me throw my WhatsApp contact

  22. Ana says:

    Hi my name is ananna and really want to marry a korean boy like ji chang wook plz help me and im a Muslim and Bangladeshi but coming soon i m going to America

  23. Gilbert shela says:

    What is special to Mary a person because of his or her nationality.i believe that you have to fall in love
    First before you take the next step.By the way they are so many other Asia women Chinese ,Japanese,Taiwanese,Philip Ina..Beautiful women .

  24. Kenny says:

    I love Korean guys, which to make friends with them.

  25. Alex says:

    I just want to say “Hi” to all Korean girls and if you are looking for a sincere long-term relationship ,please, send me your messages at [email protected]. I am a European guy looking to find his “queen” in Korea.Thanks and all the best !Alex

  26. Joey Seo says:

    Great article~ Thanks~!!

  27. AHMED OUARDI says:

    I wanna marry a Korean girl…. Here is my Whatsapp number 00971558535686

  28. Ronalyn Parco says:

    I have a Korean boyfriend.. and we are going to meet by November this year,for the first time..
    Wish me luck please .
    Thank you😊

  29. George sesay says:

    I m george sesay from Liberia I m interested in Korean girl to marry. My what’s up number +231776189335 or email [email protected]

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