Our Korean Wedding

March 13, 2018

It was finally the day. 

1341 days since we first crossed paths and 192 days since PH "popped the question" and I squirmed in acceptance  (which, by the way, if you somehow managed to miss the post about the proposal story, you can find it here).

On the day of our Korean wedding, we may have felt the onset of nerves had things not been fully and completely put into the hands of professionals who churn out weddings on a weekly basis. All we needed to know was where we needed to be and when we needed to be there.

Our wake up call was at 7:00am in order to be in a makeup chair for 8:00am.

My hair and makeup took until about 9:00am when I had some time to chill with fam and indulge in a bite of a bagel.

I got suited up at around 10:00am which was also when I saw my bouquet for the first time. I had no idea what kind of flowers or even what colours they would be. As it was from the beginning, I was able to put my full trust in the system and I wasn't disappointed. In addition to my dress, I was also fitted with a bolero, veil, and earrings from the shop.

After suiting up and an having an impromptu photo session inside the makeup studio, it was time to hit the road. Our wedding hall was only a short drive away from the makeup studio and we were there just before 11:00am.

My place to be was in the "bridal waiting room" where I would sit for about an hour while our guests came through to take photos. Meanwhile, PH was out in the foyer with his parents greeting guests as they came in. At around 11:35, our "helper" (who was next to me all day fluffing my dress) let me know that it was just about go time.

The first part of the ceremony was the mothers' lighting of the candles and greeting of the guests. The candles symbolize something about our warm and bright futures together.

As PH and I entered through the back of the hall, we could hear the music of our wedding video playing. I felt eyes on us but we had to stand there until it was our time to shuffle down the aisle.

Once we reached the top of the hall, PH and I greeted each other and our guests with a bow. This was nothing we had rehearsed, so I just had to follow PH's lead. One of the moments I remember most is during our bow to each other: I started coming up from our bow only to see PH still deep in his bow, so I slowly leaned back down. Giggling. This was just one of many instances with knowing glances and giggles.

We each took turns reading our vows in both Korean and English, and honestly once that part was done I immediately felt as though a weight was lifted. Something funny about our vows: a lot of our Korean family and friends said that during my reading of the Korean vows I spoke with a North Gyeongsang Province dialect. That's the region where PH is originally from, so it makes complete sense that my Korean would mimic his, but it still just sounds like Korean to me!

After we exchanged rings, PH's uncle served as a witness to our marriage and read our declaration of marriage. 

Next it was time to greet our parents with a bow which was followed by our 'celebration song'. For weddings in Korea, people typically have someone perform a song either vocally or played on an instrument. I was really looking forward to having something upbeat and fun, so I was so happy when PH's students offered to do a dance. What I did not know was that I was to become involved.

All that was left was for us to be pronounced as married, and walk back down that long aisle. One last surprise? Confetti canons that PH had set up to scare the bajeezus out of me.

Just kidding! Not quite over yet. 
The last thing we had to do before wrapping up the ceremony portion was to take photos. In Korean weddings, friends and family come up in groups to get photos taken up on the 'stage' at the front of the wedding hall. 

Lunch time!

Immediately after photos we had to track down the bag that our hanboks were in so we could change for lunch (hanboks are infinitely more comfortable than Western wedding dresses, by the way). This wasn't a time to eat but a time to mingle around the restaurant to greet guests and thank them for coming. The buffet wasn't a place reserved specifically for our guests; it was in the same building as our wedding hall and was used by guests from the other 2 or 3 wedding halls in the building and as a result was extremely packed. We were able to sit for a few minutes, take a breath, and have a bite or two.

Party time!

I anticipated us having some down time in between lunch and our reception/afterparty, but that didn't happen. We quickly gathered all of our  things from the wedding hall, headed home to drop it off, and changed into something more comfortable (and colour coordinated, duh!).

And just like that we were able to send off a wonderful, special, and seamless day with friends, family, beer and all-blurry selfies.

Wedding venue: Emerald Wedding Hall
Reception venue: Farmer's Brewery
Invitations: Card 1st
Photography: Arinuan Snap
Nails: Tiara Nail
Hair, makeup, tuxedo, hanboks, bouquet, accessories: 


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