PART TWO ...
I don't know about you, but I have been waiting for this next installment about the story of Jon and Soh-ee ... so without further ado, I give you over to Jon ...
So now I’m preparing to get married, twice, and I’m not really in a position to provide much assistance for either of the 2 ceremonies. In Korea I don’t speak enough of the language or understand the culture well enough to give any valuable input, and the other ceremony will take place half way around the world which means my family is kindly taking care of anything that can’t be arranged either telephonically or over the internet. The exciting part is, as preparations are made, that the 2 ceremonies are going to be so vastly different. The first word that comes to mind when I think of a Korean wedding is “automation”. Two places need to be visited in order to prepare for a Korean wedding; the photo studio and the wedding hall, both of which are found in abundance. The photo studio rents out the dress and tuxedo, arranges a photographer and bouquet and does the hair and makeup. The wedding hall arranges the venue, food, bubble machine, smoke machine and strobe lights. What else do you possibly need for your special day?
First we had to decide on a wedding hall. We visited a number of venues to see what they offered. Our first hurdle was that we weren’t expecting that many guests; not by Korean standards anyway. In Korea everyone you attended school with, worked with, went to church with or even rode on the same subway with goes to your wedding. Everyone attending the wedding pays money which goes towards the costs. The money ranges from $30 or $40 to $200 or more, depending on the closeness of the relationship. It’s an interesting concept where everyone is basically investing in their wedding by paying little bits here and there. Then when it’s your big day the money “comes back to you”.
Next was the wedding studio. At the studio a wedding consultant spoke to us about photo/album options as well as dresses and tuxedos. In Korea no one buys their wedding dress. I really like this idea and never could understand why so many women spend so much money on a dress they’re only ever going to wear once. Maybe it’s just because I’m a guy.
Koreans love sparkly and shiny. The men also wear makeup for the photo sessions prior to the wedding as well as the actual wedding! I had a hard time explaining that I was very against wearing makeup. Yes, even makeup that you wouldn't see. Eventually I convinced the consultant to let me wear a standard black tux, and no makeup.
Another thing Koreans love is photos, and they’re very good at taking them. The photos we saw looked amazing. How it works is you go to the studio about a month before your wedding date. You then dress up as if you’re getting married and have photos taken. That way, on your wedding day, you can have a slideshow and photos displayed of you getting married, while you’re actually getting married. I probably sound cynical, but it was actually a really fun day at the studio. My fiancé loved the attention. She wore 4 different wedding dresses, had her hair done in 4 different styles and her makeup changed 4 times. I didn’t wear makeup, but I did wear a number of different tuxedos.
The next step is the actual wedding. Invitations are being made now and in a month and a half I’ll walk down the aisle for the first time. Let hope the future is as fascinating as the past few years have been.
Wow! How much fun does that look?! Beautiful images too so full of inspiration. I would never have guessed at the Korean's way of getting married. I can't wait to read all about the ceremonies now!
Until next time ...