In Korea, weddings are not sacred ceremonies, the public witness of the bonding of two souls, and all that mushy crap. Weddings are a place to see and be seen. And to eat. When you arrive at a Korean wedding, you should have an envelope full of cash. When you give this envelope to the money-taking person, they will give you a ticket. This ticket is a food ticket and guarantees you a buffet lunch or dinner, depending on when the wedding is being held. And if you don't feel like going to the ceremony, no big deal. Just get in line for the food. I mean, you gave your money already, right? You did your part. (This is why the cost for the wedding is almost always recovered at the wedding itself. There's no registering for gifts or anything like that- people just bring you money, and lots of it.)
For those kind people who actually care or even know the bride and groom, they can watch the ceremony. I say watch because they won't be able to hear it. Yesterday Kenny's dad was officiating at this wedding and he asked the attending guests to be quiet three times, to no avail. It was so noisy that we weren't sure when it was over, and neither were the bride and groom. People let their cell phones ring, some people answered their cell phones, some people shouted into their cell phones while standing up and waving wildly at the person who couldn't find them in the crowded wedding hall. Old friends caught up, families chatted as if they were at the park, and the kids ran wild. It was chaos. And I was glad when it was over.
My dream wedding is a tiny affair in a church where no one talks during my ceremony and no one gets up to leave or to go eat. (This is, of course, a new dream. Because I didn't really have a wedding dream before a wedding was a reality. And now I want weird things that normal girls in the western world take for granted as a given!) I want my ceremony to be intimate and meaningful for me and Kenny and also for those who attend. We're going to try to make the ceremony a really serious affair so that people won't be tempted to talk or call their great-aunt and talk about the weather. There are no bridesmaids or groomsmen and there's no rehearsal (because the place where your wedding will take place is usually a wedding hall with weddings booked at all hours, so you can't rehearse there). We have to feed everyone. I'm adjusting to this whole Korean focus. In a western wedding what the bride wants is what happens. We have entire channels of TV dedicated to brides and their whims and their temper tantrums and their over-the-top dream weddings. But here, it's all about the guests. Your guests should be comfortable and should be entertained and most of all, should be well-fed, because, frankly, they paid for it.
And to tell you the truth, I don't really think my wedding is going to be the best day of my life. And I'm not sure I'd like to bill it as such, either. It's going to be a good one, hopefully, but it's only a beginning. Kenny keeps saying we shouldn't have our best day on the first day of our marriage- what will we have to look forward to? He's so funny. But in so many ways, he's right. I didn't have a huge wedding dream, things I decided when I was seven years old I couldn't live without. And although I'm not too keen on a lot of the things that take place during a Korean wedding, what really matters is that I'm marrying this man. We're writing our own vows (God help us all, who knows what's going to come of that!) and we're also washing each other's feet before we exchange rings and say "I do." I love the idea of starting our marriage off by serving each other in that way. So we're still having the wedding that we want, in small ways. I'm dancing up the aisle to a Tom Petty song (the chorus of "Here Comes My Girl") and I'm not wearing shoes. (Although what I will be wearing is still up in the air.) Kenny claims that his only demand is that he be allowed to wear a bow tie. Anyway, I guess I might want to start thinking about a few things. Like booking my parents' flight tickets.... or worrying about a wedding dress.... or... no, that's about it. I guess it's not real to me yet. And I'm still just thinking it's really cool I'm getting married 3 months after my sister does. Isn't it cool how things work out?
Okay, February 21st, here I come. Relatively calm and worry-free.
But I swear if some ajumma starts running her yap during my service, I'm gonna whip around and offend an entire people group! Lord help us all...