Many women no longer bite their nails and wait until their boyfriends pop the question but propose themselves.
Lee Seon-hwan (30), an office worker in Seoul, proposed to her boyfriend, Koh Jung-wook (30) last year and tied the knot in November. "Our relationship did not specify gender roles, so I was the one who proposed," she says. "My husband was moved to tears."
And Park Eun-hye (24) from North Jeolla Province also proposed to her boyfriend. "I thought my husband didn't have the courage, so I went ahead and proposed," she says. "I think it's biased thinking to believe that men must propose marriage."
Women go about it differently though. Some present seals engraved with each other's names or offer cakes with a message saying "Be my husband."
Event planner Lee Chan-hee, said, "The woman often shows the man video of memorable moments or reads a letter, while the man traditionally offers a ring."
Another fad is the bride dancing at her wedding. Singing grooms have become fixtures at weddings, and brides are now joining in on the action. For them, the traditional image of the demure and obedient woman is an anachronism.
Event planners teach brides how to dance and help them choose the music, film and edit the video and even provide back-up dancers. The price is between W500,000 and W1 million (US$1=W1,065). Event planner Sohn Young-joo said, "Half of our female customers want to put on a dancing show at their wedding."
Prof. Yoon Sang-chul at Hanshin University spots a correlation with changing social norms. "This reflects the rising status of women in society and a spreading awareness that both the bride and groom are co-owners of the family unit. We can also interpret the latest trend as women taking the initiative as more and more men are afraid of commitment."