Temporary Bride

The Princess Diary Café in Seoul

I would like to recommend this café especially to all the female readers because the Princess Diary Café offers the golden opportunity to wear a wedding dress without a groom or a wedding. Through an internet blog I came across this café by chance and didn’t have to search long for a friend wanting to come along. Garam and me set out for the – not that easy to find – place which makes girl’s hearts beat faster. The owner of the shop picked a strategic very convenient location for their establishment, directly next to Ewha Womans University.

The café is not particularly big but very lovingly and furnished and decorated. Because someone was in the changing room when we arrived we first ordered our drinks: an oreo shake and a blueberry smoothie.

After some time we were brought into the wardrobe by an employee and were free to pick one dress each to wear. Next to traditional wedding dresses they offered hanboks and evening gowns as well but since I’ve already tried a hanbok in Korea I definitely wanted to wear a bridal gown this time. Depending on the material and fabrication the dresses were divided into different price categories, ranging from 10.000 won to 40.000 won for one hour. The dress that I choose cost me 25.000 won which equals around 17 euro. All dresses were without sizes, in Korea “free size”, what made me worry a bit because my body is definitely build differently from the one most Korean women have. In the changing room I was given a special bra to wear before I was allowed to get into the dress. Afterwards a nice female helper asked me to hold my breast with my arms and not to breathe for a while. And then … then it became impossible for me to breathe anymore. I have no idea how women in the past could walk around in corsets every day. Before I changed my dress I had put my camera on the floor and afterwards I could even bow deep enough to pick it up again.

So, upon being tied completely and getting a veil and a tiara plugged into my hair I gazed at my own reflection in the mirror for the first time. I felt like being put back into the time when I was a little girl watching fairytale movies almost every day and dreaming of my Prince Charming to come pick me up one day and make me into a princess. And now, almost 20 years later, I made that dream come true by myself just without the prince.
Unfortunately, my dream was more painful than I had thought and after taking enough pictures I got rid of the dress again even though the hour was not over yet. Should I really marry one day than definitely without a corset!

Directions: Take the train line number 2 (green line) until Ewha Womans University station and go to exit 3. When you come out there’s a big street to your right which you walk up until the second side street to your right. When you take a few steps into that small street you can an entrance to your right with a sign saying “Princess Diary Café”. Go in there and head up the stairs to the third floor.