Friday, May 16, 2008

The Marriage Sequel

On May 10, the big day finally arrived... our wedding ceremony. Granted, we had already been married for 7 months in terms of legal paperwork, but this day was set up to be slightly more exciting than the courthouse in Seoul where we had to approach random strangers to find two witnesses to sign for us. We had hired a personal tailor in Seoul to make hanbok (Korean traditional clothes) for JooYeon, me, and her mom. Additionally, two of her aunts also had brought their own hanbok along. As I ran around like a headless chicken preparing things, JooYeon's mom prepared in her own way (to be fair, she actually got up at 6:00am to start cooking)...

JooYeon quickly rushed to get in her last date with a guy, knowing that after marriage that would be off-limits... I was jealous...

The Wedding
After our processional to the lovely non-traditional banjo music of Adam Carter, and an opening from the Reverend Joel Miller, the first thing on our program was Jeol (which I'm sure at least 50% of the congregation, including Joel himself, thought was a misspelling of our pastor Joel). Jeol (or keunjeol actually) is a respectful bow done in moments where extreme honor is due, such as the parents of the bride giving her away (in Korea, this means she is literally kicked out of the family tree, so the jeol is even more important). We followed this with a more American style blessing by hugging my parents (my mom is right there behind dad, even though you can't see her)

After showing respect for our parents, I displayed my respect for my new wife, by washing her feet. My sister played her own rendition of "Will you let me be your Servant?"/Canon in D on the piano (with a day's notice to prepare), and I did my best to work with the Korean stockings on her feet which were obvious proof that footwashing was NOT a part of traditional Korean culture...

We then sat in our chairs and listened to Joel deliver a sermon about how everything in life boils down to Love. At this time, Jusu was successful in connecting the webcam up online so that JooYeon's father and brother were able to watch the wedding live from Korea (we had been trying hard up until halfway through the opening music to no avail).

After Joel's meditation, we gave a rendition of "Naw Hana Bunimul" by Kim Gwang Seok (You're the only one for me) as a surprise to her Korean relatives. The benefit of the surprise was that they were surprised. The downfall was that our lack of practice time made my guitar playing rusty... although JooYeon covered me well with her beautiful voice.

We exchanged our rings and said our vows in both English and Korean. JooYeon had never gotten around to editing my Korean, so I'm not sure if her relatives actually understood my weak attempt to speak to her in the high respectful Korean form, but at least she knew what I was saying. And that of course, led us to the kiss!!!

My good friend Chris Longenecker finished things off with a boisterous display of four-part harmony in the congregational song 606, "Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow."

After a short video and song with our pictures, we exited for a non-traditional reception where the guests (or "customers" as I kept calling them since the Korean word for both is the same) filed through 5 stations in a Korean Challenge where they had to use chopsticks, learn to speak Korean, write Korean, and eat the spicy dish of kim-chi.

The final event took place back at the homestead, where I filled JooYeon's wedding shoe with water (traditionally it should be alchohol but we didn't have enough in stock since I hadn't yet opened Chris' wedding gift) and drank it in one gulp. I felt bad for all the ancient Korean men who had NOT made footwashing part of their wedding ceremony!

With all the ceremonies out of the way, we proceeded to open our gifts. I think I had lost my common sense through all the wedding preparations, because I misinterpreted what several gifts were, to the point of being sure that a flashlight was actually a shaver...

The day was so successful that Heather got ready with Mom and Dad to have her own Korean wedding!

1 comment:

  1. That was such a great ceremony. I am so glad we were able to make it out for it. I only wish I had been able to see more of the actual ceremony, darn those kids :) By the way I have a blog also,