That Time I Felt Like a K-Pop Star // Our Korean Wedding Ceremony

Hiiiiii!

Well, it looks like I took an unintentional hiatus from the blog this summer.  The last two months were spent both on the road (doing ministry and visiting family and friends) and passing the time like a rightful summer should be spent – grilling up some steaks on the back patio, sipping on delicious watermelon slush, hosting friends and playing games, lazy afternoons spent watching movies on the couch, etc.  Oh the joys of longer days full of fun and play.

But I have this strange personality where if I stop doing something and lose momentum, it’s really hard to get back in the groove (this goes for almost anything – working out, sticking to a diet, filing my paperwork, cleaning my window sills, etc.).  I’m weird, I know.

And that’s how I felt about blogging the last few weeks.  I just couldn’t get myself to write.  Yes, we have been busy.  And there is actually something I’m DYING to write about, but I just can’t quite write about it yet.  You’ll just have to wait a bit longer for that.

However, I finally figured on this quiet Friday afternoon that I needed to get my butt back into the blogging world.  And then I remembered that I totally forgot to blog about our second wedding ceremony in Korea.  Last summer.  Over a year ago.

We had our first wedding in the States the winter of 2014.  And when we got engaged, we originally just wanted to do a reception in Korea after the American wedding.  But with SO much family still in Korea (my father-in-law is the youngest of 7 and my mother-in-law the oldest of 6…plus all of my mom’s side of the family), we decided it would be worth it to have two weddings.

And alas, this wedding would become the one and only time that I legitimately felt like a K-Pop princess star.  Seriously.  Cue photos.

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Yes, I was so blessed to have my hair and makeup done for our first wedding by my super talented cousin and one of my best friends.  But put yourself in a famous makeup studio catering to some of the most famous K-Pop stars in the heart of Gangnam (you may have only heard of Gangnam from the famous Psy song, but it’s basically the Beverly Hills of all of South Korea)…and you can’t help but feel like a princess.

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Add to that a ball-gown style, bejeweled bodice wedding dress and you just know…you were born to be a princess.  Add in all of the awkward, Korean-style posing of pictures and you’ve captured these memories for a lifetime.

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Okay, I’ll try to cut down on the sarcasm…but don’t laugh at us for some of the awkward posing (check out my perfect grip on my wedding dress above!).  We decided to fully embrace how awkward Korean-style photography can sometimes be.  But sometimes awkward and cheesy can be kind of cute and endearing…right? 🙂

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Like this one!  Both awkward and cute.  But seriously…that gorgeous bouquet of Juliet roses?!  I wish fresh flowers could be frozen in time forever, complete with perfect texture, color, and scent locked in for all eternity.  And I’ll probably think the same of my skin 20-30 years from now…

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And although my brother (who flew in with my parents to take part in the Korean wedding) and I laughed at how interesting Korean weddings were compared to American weddings, there were some sweet moments captured from that day.  Like this one of my mother, mother-in-law, and me.

It’s a tradition for the mothers to wear the traditional Korean dress, hanbok, with the groom’s mother wearing blue and the bride’s mother wearing pink.  It’s not always the most figure-flattering silhouette, but the colors are so vibrant and beautiful.

Also, before the wedding starts, the bride sits in what is called the “bridal lounge” where all of her effervescent bridal glow is put on display for all of the guests to see and for them to take pictures with the bride.  I felt like a wedding dress mannequin.  New career direction, perhaps?

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But for all the silliness and fun the bridal preparations were…just look at that wedding hall!!  I swoon.  Although I LOVED having my American wedding at my old home church, with all the memories and people and personal touches…it didn’t have all the lighting and textures of the type of wedding hall I had always imagined.  But this…this felt like a dream.

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Now this was not posed (seriously!).  Hubby just loves me that much. 🙂  He had also been married to me for about six months at this point, so he knew what he was getting into this time around compared to the first wedding ceremony! 😉

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Another element of Korean weddings that slightly differs from American weddings is that the bride and groom “bow” before each set of parents as a sign of honor and respect.  That also means the groom is doing what Koreans call a “big bow” (thank goodness I didn’t have to do that in my huge dress!).  Here we are honoring my parents (notice my dad cracking up haha!).

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This sweet moment was captured of my mother-in-love as we bowed to my husband’s parents.  There truly is something special between a mother and a son and a father and a daughter that shines through at a wedding.

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Cue the angelic chorus.

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This is the traditional Korean wedding family portrait (complete with all of those colorful hanboks).  I don’t know why but Koreans don’t smile in these kinds of pictures!

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Unlike American receptions where there’s dancing, feasting, and toasting, the bride and groom are busy changing from their gown and tuxedo into the traditional wedding hanboks.  It’s considered the respectable way to show honor and appreciation to all of your wedding guests.  We go table to table and greet everyone, and that’s when they literally hand you their gift – lots and lots of cash!  Hence the pink purse I had to carry around the rest of the evening.

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After the official reception, the family is invited to take part in “pae-baek,” the more traditional Korean wedding ceremony that signifies not just the bride and groom getting married, but that the two families are being joined together as well.  Each set of parents bless the bride and groom with a happy marriage, long life, and of course…lots and lots of cute Korean babies.

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Us with my parents during the pae-baek ceremony.  Look at those fancy head-dresses!

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Last but not least, the groom carries the bride piggy-back style in a giant circle around the whole family to symbolize his eternal strength and devotion to his new bride.  Thank goodness hubby was strong enough to carry me and 50 lbs. of Korean traditional wedding clothes!  I have to say, though, this was probably the most fun and hilarious way to end our Korean wedding.  Those smiles were real!

Here’s to a long and happy life for all married couples around the world!

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5 thoughts on “That Time I Felt Like a K-Pop Star // Our Korean Wedding Ceremony

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