December 3, 2022


  • Rachel Kwon, of New Orleans, married her longtime partner Jee Hwan Kwon in June.
  • Rachel said they followed South Korean wedding traditions, yet she kept her dress as a surprise.
  • Rachel created a strange device out of an umbrella and fabric so that the groom would not see her dress.

An American woman who recently married in South Korea says she devised a temporary device to hide her wedding dress from the groom before the ceremony.

Rachel Kwon told Insider that she moved from New Orleans, Louisiana, to Gyeonggi-do, outside of Seoul, South Korea, nine years ago. She met her now-husband, Jihwan Kwon, there in 2014. Rachel and Jihwan, from South Korea, got married in Ansan (a city in Gyeonggi Province southwest of Seoul) on June 18.

Rachel said the couple’s wedding often follows South Korean wedding traditions. For example, they snapped a photo in bridal attire months before the ceremony, and used the photos for their invitations and to decorate the photo table at their place. Rachel said that she wore a variety of different dresses for the photoshoot – none of which she wore to the ceremony because she didn’t want the groom to see her wedding dress ahead of time.

Although it has become common in recent years for US couples to take a “first look” with their partner before the ceremony, Rachel said she wanted to stick to the American tradition of keeping her dress a secret before walking down the aisle. .

And she came up with a unique way to hide her dress before she walked down the aisle – with an umbrella and lots of fabric.

Rachel hid her dress from the groom with homemade methods

Rachel said that in her experience with weddings in South Korea, it is common for the bride and groom to welcome guests and take pictures with them in their wedding attire before the ceremony. But because Rachel wanted her wedding dress to be a surprise, Jie Hwan greeted her guests while Rachel wore her gown.

Next, the plan was for Rachel to go to the private wedding waiting area to spend time with some close family and friends before the ceremony – but there were a few snags.

“The private dressing room available for me to use to change my dress was on a completely different floor than our wedding hall,” Rachel said.

“This meant that I had to find a way to ensure that my husband – who was greeting guests in front of the wedding hall – would not see me in my dress as I walked through a crowd of our guests from the elevator to the wedding antechamber right next to him.”

wedding contraindications

Rachel Kwon posed with the canopy and piece of cloth covering her dress before her wedding.

Rachel Kwon


Rachel said she originally planned to cover her dress with a bed sheet before one of her friends came up with the idea of ​​using a canopy and white fabric. Rachel sewed it together the day before her wedding, and her twin sister and sister-in-law took her to the bridal antechamber before the ceremony.

That way, Jahwan could surprise at the altar with her wedding dress: a floor-length silk gown that she paired with matching elbow-length gloves, a veil tucked into a chic updo, and dazzling earrings.

Rachel and Jihwan Kwon

Rachel and Jihwan Kun on their wedding day.

Rachel and Jihwan Kwon


On June 23, Rachel posted a video of Jahwan’s reaction to her walking down the aisle in her dress on her Instagram page, Tweet embedShe has 94,000 followers as of Friday.

A post shared by Rachel Kwon (@rachelheheh)

Rachel found her old wedding dress for $200 in New Orleans

Rachel said she bought her wedding dress for $200 while visiting her family in New Orleans. On Tuesday, she shared a post on Instagram about her experience.

A post shared by Rachel Kwon (@rachelheheh)

She went for a simpler look than the dress she wore in the pre-wedding photos. “I actually wore a big princess dress during the pre-wedding photoshoot and I didn’t feel like myself at all,” she said.

Rachel and Jeewan

Rachel and Jihwan Kwon in a pre-wedding photo session.

Rachel and Jihwan Kwon


Looking back on the big day, Rachel said she “doesn’t regret” hiding her dress from Jhawan until the moment she walked down the aisle.

“I just wanted to […] I spent my movie moment in the ’90s with my husband, walking down the aisle to Sixpence None the Richer’s Kiss Me.”

All it takes to make this happen is a little creativity.





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