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Nov 26th 2007

yoon-ah's wedding


This past Sunday one of our fellow teachers - Ji Yoon ah - got married, and we were once again lucky enough be invited to experience the event.

Back in September we went to Justin and Hee-woo's wedding, which was different from the wedding experiences that we are used to back home, but this one being a completely Korean Language wedding was even more different from the norm. Don't misinterpret our experience, however, the wedding was a lot of fun, but we couldn't help but recognize (and appreciate) some of the things that make a Korean wedding a really great experience.

Below are some of the pictures that we took:

Jillian posing with Alison and Yoon-ah before the wedding

When we arrived at the wedding hall, Jillian was quickly grabbed by Yoon-ah's mother. We were lead into a type of receiving room (picture above) where Yoon-ah was seated on a couch. We chatted with her for a while, took some pictures, and wished her well on the big day.

The lobby must have been full of about 250 people, so we were quite surprised that there were so many people here (30 minutes before the ceremony no less). What we quickly realized was that many of the people were not here for Yoon-ah's wedding, but they were here for the wedding that was happening before.

The wedding hall at the M`Class Convention Center is
prepared for the next wedding.

The way that many Wedding halls are set up in Korea is different from the North American idea (except for Las Vegas), instead of a hall being reserved for one or two weddings a day, the hall that we were at had a different wedding every hour. The set-up was both practical and convenient as guests moved from the lobby to the Wedding hall, and then to the banquet hall.

Before the ceremony we had time for some pictures with friends:

Jillian with Alison, Min-ji and Hyun-ok (Above)

Chris with Min-woo (Left) and Joon-woo (Right)

The ceremony began more like the beginning of the wedding reception than the ceremony, with music and lighting and smoke effects as the participants in the wedding are introduced by the M.C. The first to walk up were the Mothers of Yoon-ah and Bong-joon (Yoon-ah's fiance). Both mothers wore a Hanbook - the colorful, traditional dresses of Korea. As they proceeded to the front of the hall, both mothers lit candles for their children.

Yoon-ah's mother lighting candles at the front of the wedding hall

Next to walk down the aisle was Bong-joon. He marched down the aisle to the as all the lights went dim and the two follow spot lights sprung into action following him down the aisle to the thunderous applause of those present. As is the Korean custom, he bowed back to all those present.

Following Bong-joon was Yoon-ah. Escorted by her father, the spotlights once again followed her down the aisle, and when she arrived at the front, a fog machine was working at full strength providing some extra ambiance.

Yoon-ah walks down the aisle along side her father


Smoke engulfs the happy couple as they are joined at the altar. (Above)

Yoon-ah and Bong-joon in front of the official conducting the wedding. (Right)

Following about 15 minutes of speaking which we didn't understand, two of Yoon-ah's students from our academy sang a popular song to honor her and Bong-joon.

Yoon-ah's students singing at the wedding

After her students sang for them, the M.C. asked Bong-joon to lie on the ground, in the 'push up' position while Yoon-ah sat on top of him. As were were told by our Korean translators the M.C. was asking Bong-joon to prove his energy for their first night as a married couple. Hardly something that you would see during a ceremony back home, but entertaining nonetheless!

Below is a video of Bong-joon managing to eek out a couple reps.

view video in quicktime format
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Different from weddings that we are generally accustomed to this wedding did not have a spiritual component. This seems to be more common in Korea, where Christianity is prevalent but not as present in wedding ceremonies.


As is customary at all weddings, the married couple bows to their parents. (Left)

It's not the Corleone family, but it's close as Yoon-ah and Bong-joon's families pose for a picture. (Below)


Following the wedding we moved into the adjacent hall which was set up for the wedding meal. Remembering that there was a wedding a half hour before yours and one that will follow a half hour after, the banquet hall was also full of people who were not all part of Yoon-ah and Bong-joon's ceremony. The food was buffet style, a delicious spread! Unlike a reception back home where there is a formal program, Yoon-ah and Bong-joon made a brief appearance (in different outfits of course) on the stage of the banquet room to toast their nuptuals and 'cut' a 6' plastic white wedding cake for the cameras.


One view of the huge buffet spread at the wedding (Above)

Yoon-ah and Bong-joon acknowledging their guests in the banquet hall (Left)

As you have no doubt gathered, we thoroughly enjoyed attending the wedding, it was definitely one of those 'blog-worthy' events that we hope to remember for some time to come.

Many thanks to Yoon-ah and Bong-joon for inviting us to share this amazing day with them.