Monday, May 13, 2013

Everyone's getting hitched

Saturday was my boss's wedding. My brother and sister called me in the morning to chat, but I couldn't talk to them for long because I had to get ready. For the last few weeks I'd been talking to co-workers and some Korean friends about "rules" for Korean weddings, as I had never been to one. It's ok to go "casual" especially for foreigners, but I decided to wear a dress and ended up borrowing some black shoes from Liezle. Dallas went with me and our other friend Danny (who is also a good friend of my boss's) met us there.
This is a drawing one of our students did on the board in the school's entryway.
Korean weddings are a little different than traditional American ones. First of all, text invitations are common now. I got a kakao talk message with my invite! Older people and "important" people get paper ones, but any young person will get a text. Also, they don't really have RSVP or head counts. Sometimes people call if they aren't going, especially close friends, but basically anyone can kind of show up if they want to, or not.
This is my e-vite. Cute idea though I would want an RSVP.
The next big difference is that the majority take place in a wedding hall. They are large, multi-storied buildings. Usually multiple weddings a day are held in the hall so they sort of have it down to a science. Woods's wedding was first at noon (followed by a wedding at 1, 2 and 5). When you walk in, there are people from the hall at a counter of sorts where you give them your card with money in it. They don't get gifts generally and don't do registries - it's all cash. I also found out that you should give an odd amount of money in an odd amount of bills. After you had the man your card/envelope, they give you lunch tickets. According to one of my friends, you can get $10 instead of lunch, but we didn't do that.
Our group in the wedding hall before the groom and bride came out.
At this wedding hall, the weddings themselves take place on the second floor. It's basically decorated the same for all the weddings and I think you can pay extra to change it up, but it's probably not worth it. Tons of people came and lots (including me) had to stand. You just walk into the room and if there is a seat, sit there. The parents of the couple getting married get two fancy loveseats up at the front. The mothers of the couple were already standing at the front of the aisle, followed by 2 workers from the wedding hall in white skirt suits. Then Woods stood behind them and finally Ki-seong stood directly behind Woods with her father. They had them walking down the aisle to different songs though.
They also spotlight the groom and bride and blind unsuspecting attendees.
Up at the alter (?) That's the furthest away the camera lady was. Usually she was about a foot away from their faces.
One of our students (a third grader) watching the wedding
Also, people talked throughout the entire thing. The ceremony started exactly at 12 because they had an hour to do the whole thing. It was all in Korean, so I didn't know exactly what happened, but they both bowed to their parents, they had a cute little song where they had to kiss, Woods danced  with some back-up dancers to a meadly of songs, then it was done. They took some family pictures, then a picture with friends. Apparently at some weddings, the bride and groom then go into another room, usually with a couch, and people can go in and take their picture with the couple. I didn't see one of those at this wedding. Another difference is that they choose who will get the bouquet before the wedding. The bride still tosses the bouquet and her friend (who is off to the side) catches it. Ki-seong (the bride) chose one of her best friends from high school. This girl has gotten 3 other bouquets in the last couple of months.
Bowing to the bride's parents
Shadow during the "kiss kiss" song
Walking back down the aisle. They shot off a confetti cannon and scared the crap out of me.
Both sides of the family
Then the bride and groom go to another room with their immediate families and do some traditional stuff that I didn't get to see. I actually didn't see either of them before we decided to leave. After the pictures, we went upstairs to the third floor for a buffet style lunch. There was actually a lot of food and most of it was pretty good. I ate a ton of pineapple. Ki-seong told me that she was disappointed with the buffet though. We stayed for a little less than an hour I think. Lots of my students went to the wedding too and some of them didn't recognize me because I had contacts, make-up and a dress. It was kind of funny. Today a bunch of them told me that I looked beautiful and I said, "thanks, you all looked nice too" and one of the girls goes, "I know!" After the wedding, Dallas rode around the block on Danny's motorcycle because he had never been on one before.
Even though there was no assigned seating, we ended up at the kids' table
Then Danny left and we walked by the river because it was a beautiful day. I finally took pictures of the weird tiki totem poles near the river. We debated about going back to the amphitheater because it sounded like a performance of some sort was taking place, but Dallas didn't want to walk back through the crowd and we were sort of late for another event.
Me and some pretty flowers along the river path
Totem poles
D, me and totem
Me and this guy. I almost knocked him over because they are not planted that firmly in the ground.
We walked to a bus, then went to Dallas's boxing gym because they were holding an in-house competition and his trainer wanted him to watch part of it. It was actually really fun - the best were the two little kids who went all out. Other boxers and his trainer and random ladies kept bringing Dallas and I drinks and snacks. We eventually just left the plate on Dallas's lap so they would see we were still stocked.
Dallas holding our second plate of snacks (I put the first bunch, which were packaged snack cakes, in my purse). This one included fish crackers, peach icing cookies and some crackers that looked salty, but were actually sweet.
After the boxing thing, we went home and changed and relaxed for about an hour. My friend Ines called and asked if she could "borrow" my shower because they were doing construction near her house and cut her water off without any sort of notice. It was no problem and I watched CNN while she was getting ready. As I was walking to meet back up with Dallas, a random lady started talking to me in English (this was a little odd because I had headphones in, but stuff like this happens a lot). Turns out she is an old co-worker of Kyeong-He's so that was sort of funny. Dallas and I then went to Emart to buy snacks for church game night.

I need to figure out a way to make it more appealing (I guess) because again only about 9 people showed up. I actually enjoy that because we get to play some better games (like Beyond Balderdash) but it sort of defeats the purpose of getting more people involved in the community. Oh well. At the end of the night, we showed Ines how to play Catan. We played the original version because her boyfriend, Kris, knew that one and we didn't want to teach multiple people. Brandon also coached her, so it was a decent game. On the way home, I realized that, not only did I not win any game, I came in dead last in all 3 games that I played! That usually doesn't happen to me - I might not win, but I usually end up in the middle somewhere. I still had a lot of fun though and that's what really matters.

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