Saturday, September 10, 2016

Seoul wedding 2

Continued from previous post - now to the wedding ceremony ..............

Ella did a wonderful job as the flower girl spreading petals for Kay as she walked up the "aisle" to the accompaniment of the string quartet. 

In no time at all it was my turn to be the celebrant. There were well over 200 people at this very special wedding and it all felt very emotionally charged by this time. I avoided looking at Ros and tried not to focus too much on Joel and Kay so I could get through what needed to be done. The Korean guests sat very patiently through my 8 minute presentation (we had timed it) - until the MC translated it (including Rob's poem "On Marriage").

Joel and Kay read their heartfelt vows to each other, exchanged rings and I had the absolute privilege of announcing them "husband and wife".

Kay's brother performed a very emotional and loving song for the married couple, Angus and Ollie performed their piece brilliantly and then for a complete change of pace, the Aljazeera Kuala Lumpur Bureau crew performed some very clever and funny songs in tribute to Joel (and probably just as well they weren't translated).

 ....... and then the cake was cut...........

 ......and a deep bow to the guests. Apparently the only criticism of the event that came from one the Korean guests was that Joel should have made a deeper bow at this point ?? .....
In South Korea the formal wedding photos are taken before the wedding (just one of many sensible ideas applied to weddings here) the photo session after the ceremony was really short and stress free.

The pic below is of Joel's and Kay's family guests. It's wonderful that 17 of us were able to make it - helps to balance out the group nicely!

Another wonderful meal (of many courses) was then served by the very attentive staff at Samcheonggak Palace. Kay's Dad and Pete both gave speeches during the first courses. 

A highlight for us was Pete's wonderful speech delivered in PERFECT Korean!!! Apparently he has practised a phonetic reading of his speech for weeks - using staff at the Somerset Business Centre to help him get it just right over the past few days of our stay here...... all this while he has been suffering awful flu like symptoms similar to Rob's. It was an awesome performance ..... and brought the house down!

After the meal more traditional elements of a Korean wedding were performed. ....... a traditional music group.......
Then Joel and Kay emerged in full traditional wedding regalia to perform (sometimes baffling for us) rituals to do with respect for parents, commitment to each other (I think) and a fun part where they have to catch dried dates to predict how many children they will have (Joel and Kay caught 5 (yikes!)). This part ended with Joel carrying Kay piggy back style (must have been difficult in these costumes) as people presented them with envelopes of money.

I love the way most of our men happened to rock the white shirt look (totally unplanned).
 Proud Dad and sister.........
This most beautiful, exotic and amazing wedding took place over 3 hours - I couldn't believe that so much was crammed in, in such a short doubt a lot to do with the huge numbers of attentive staff to keep everything rolling along and the South Korean culture of super efficiency (but all done with warmth and thoughtfulness).

Joel and Kay had organised a bus to take us back to the after wedding party venue in buzzy Jongno. It was a bit of a wild ride with so many well primed journos in the crowd. I couldn't stay too long as I had been fighting off (a mild version) of Rob's and Pete's flu all day and by now I felt whacked. Unfortunately I missed Joel and Kay's turn on the dance floor (a perfectly executed Tango by Joel - taught by South Korea's national Latin dance sport champion (Kay))! I've seen the clips - hope it goes on FB.


judy l said...

What a wonderful wedding and so memorable that both sides of the two families used their special talents to make it so amazing. Looking forward to the tango video.

Jane Le dieu said...

Fantastic images such a privilege for you all to attend X