Over the weekend we had the privilege of attending a co-worker’s wedding.
We made our way to “The Queen’s Hall” located in the fancy and elaborate basement of Busan’s massive convention center by 10:45 am, with fifteen minutes to spare before the morning ceremony was set to begin. We found our co-worker in the appropriately titled “Princess Room.” Her petite frame was delicately positioned in a velvet chair, a long veil cascading behind her. A gorgeous pastel colored floral bouquet rested in her arms, and a sparkling tiara was placed atop her glamorous up-do, making her truly resemble a princess. We waited in line and posed for a photo with her, offering our congratulations in advance.
Shortly after finding our seats in the sea of people gathered in the wedding hall, the ceremony began.
We were unable to understand the words but we could feel how beautiful and meaningful they were. Although there wasn’t a wedding party, the parents of the bride and groom sat in armchairs at their children’s respective sides, viewing the romantic exchange from the best seats in the house. A slideshow played a montage of the couple’s previously taken wedding photos. In each one, the couple looked gorgeous together.
Before walking down the aisle for the first time as husband and wife, the newlyweds turned to face their guests, threw their hands in the air and in turn exclaimed the Korean version of “Hurray!” Colorful strings of confetti filled the air and off the couple went.
Family photos were taken.
Then the bride threw the bouquet in a toss unlike any we've seen. Rather than being flung into a sea of single women, the coveted floral gem went directly into the arms of one woman, poised and patiently awaiting its guaranteed arrival. Our supervisor explained that the woman had been chosen to marry next, and if she didn't marry within six months then she never would. No pressure there!
The more traditional part of the wedding followed, where the bride and groom changed from their western wedding attire into traditional Korean hanboks. In the small “Family Room,” the now married couple faced each set of their parents separately and bowed to them, simultaneously receiving monetary gifts.
Nearby we found a set of small rooms for wedding photo shoots, which we took advantage of, a year and three months after our own big day.
Among the props were these platform wedding shoes for shorter brides needing to gain a few inches (or rather, centimeters).
An immense buffet waited for the wedding’s attendees in a large dining hall. The spread consisted of various seafood and meat dishes, fresh sushi, rice, green salads, fruits, vegetables and petite desserts.
Fresh kiwi and mango juices, as well as the Korean rice drink Sikhye were on tap. Beer and Soju lined the tables for mixing and consuming at the guests’ discretion.
The bride and groom stopped by each table to accept well wishes from family and friends in their traditional attire.
Adorable children showed off their own hanboks.
The day could not have been more gorgeous, with a nearly cloudless blue sky and the warm sun off-setting autumn's chill.
Ryan and I spent the rest of the afternoon at the beach, where he played volleyball and I read and wrote at Starbucks while sipping a Toffee Nut Latte out of a cheerful Christmas cup.
Although our day wasn’t nearly as exciting as this man’s, spotted coming down for a landing from my outdoor seat…
…it was definitely a perfect autumn Sunday.