Picking a venue

Yesterday, my fiancé (still feels weird calling him that because the proposal was so recent) and I went to Mokdong to check out three wedding venues we researched online. We’ve set the date to November but wanted to find the perfect venue way ahead of time to ensure a time slot. I originally thought of doing a quiet garden wedding outdoors, but that turned out to be impossible because our guests would freeze in that late autumn weather. I’ve decided to go all-out Korean and not do the whole bridesmaids and groomsmen tradition. I just want a simple,beautiful wedding with as little fuss and stress as possible.

The first venue we checked out was Sky Wedding Hall.

I had high hopes for this venue because I could combine both indoor and outdoor wedding styles. The reception is held indoors, but the hall had a huge glass ceiling so sunlight comes streaming in, and at the end of the reception they opened up the ceiling to release a huge bunch of balloons up into the sky! My second favorite part was the outdoor terrace on the upper level with rose vines inching up the walls, from which the bride would descend a beautiful staircase as her entrance into the bottom level hall. Everything was great… except for the reception hall itself! It looks good in photos, but upon seeing it in person my first impression was: too artificial. Fake grass, flimsy chairs, tacky navy walls, fake flower arch over fake cake stand… and mini heating fans attached above each lamp over the windows in cold weather. If only the hall’s colors and decorations were a bit more elegant, we would’ve booked it immediately.

The next venue was called ‘The Brillie’. Turned out to be the best out of the three! I’m 90% set on this one 🙂

It was exactly what I was (I mean, we were) looking for! A quiet, elegant hall with soft lighting and warm tones. Not too flashy, not too uptight. The ‘wedding package’ they offered was a pretty good deal too. All of the venues we checked out had more or less the same pricing and package deals – all were about 3,000,000 KRW (less than $3000), and the buffet was 33~38,000 KRW per guest. I think our total wedding budget will come out to be roughly 12,000,000 KRW (about $11,000). Some of the package features include: hair and makeup for the bride and the mothers, photoshoot studios to choose from, renting dresses for the wedding day AND photoshoot, DVD of pics and videos taken, etc. What I liked about The Brillie was the way they introduce the bride. After the groom comes down the aisle, the music changes, all of the lights turn off, and as the bride enters and slowly walks down the aisle with her father, the center ceiling and aisle lights come on slowly one by one, guiding her path 🙂

The last venue on our list was 웨딩의 전당 (Mokdong Wedding Palace).

This one was wayyy too flashy. Literally. The gaudy LED lights were blinding and… loud. It felt like a nightclub at 10PM before anyone comes in. One good thing was that this place had four separate wedding halls, while the other two venues had only one. The employee gave us a tour of halls that fit our guest head-count (about 200). It’s not that they were ugly, but just… a little too “modern”? She told us that this type of wedding with LED lights and video projections and concert-like setup was hot among young couples in Korea nowadays. Well, we’re turning 26 and 29 this month so we’re not THAT old, but I could silently hear the same thoughts as mine going through my fiancé’s head: “This… does not feel right.” We politely declined any further consulting and got the hell out of there hahaha.

As you can see, all three venues have their own unique atmosphere. We weren’t expecting each one to be so different! If you’re looking for a venue for your big day, I strongly recommend bunching together halls by similar location and visiting each one in person. You just can’t get a real feel for the venue from photos you find online!


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