Thursday, May 19, 2011

The third and final wedding of April

The month of April was full of wedding bliss, and if you're just tuning in, you can check out Katey and Jaywon's wedding here, and Polly and Kelly's wedding here.

Introducing: Wedding Number 3 - Jungmin and Mark!

My last weekend wedding excursion was to celebrate my lovely friends, Jungmin and Mark. Mark leads the bible study I've been attending, so basically the wedding was a day to dress up all fancy and hang out with all my closest friends. Doesn't get much better than that!

Jungmin's family is from outside of Seoul, so the happy couple rented a bus to get us to the church. Since the church was quite far away, we stopped during the journey at a rest area. Most of you already know this, but American rest stops look like this:

Not so in Korea. Korean rest areas look like strip malls. In fact, I had to take four pictures to get the entire rest area. I'll only post one, but imagine it times four.

When we pulled up, I had no intentions of getting out of the bus. I had to wake up at the same time I do for school on a Saturday, and that meant I wanted to spent every minute I could asleep in the back corner of the bus. Marlene's husband, Augustine, stayed on the bus with me. A few minutes after everyone disembarked, Augustine asked me if I'd ever tried jwipo. When I told him I hadn't, he hopped up and insisted we go get one. Now, I didn't know what jwipo was, so I bet you don't either. It's this:

Basically it's a flat piece of dried fish that's been briefly cooked on the grill. And you've been buying M&M's at rest stops all this time.

Although it wasn't my favorite Korean food, it wasn't bad since it was pretty much just fish jerky. It did, however, leave an awful taste in my mouth that I had to suffer through for the rest of the bus ride there. It makes a little more sense now why Koreans brush their teeth fifty-six times a day.

Jungmin and Mark's wedding was the first I have attended in Korea that took place in a church, and it looked lovely. When we arrived, we hurried downstairs to eat before the ceremony started. The combination of the fish jerky, the bus ride, and looking at pictures on Polly's computer screen combined to make me a little motion sick, so I ended up just snacking on strawberries. I did eat a ton of them, so I think it all evened out in the end.

We rushed up to the sanctuary just as the ceremony was beginning, and an usher handed us headsets. Mark and Jungmin knew that many of their guests were only English-speakers, so they asked one of our friends to translate the whole wedding for us. It was an awfully sweet gesture, and since the pastor was hysterical, I'm really glad I was able to understand his jokes.

Mark memorized a lot of Korean for his part, and we were all really proud of him throughout the whole ceremony. Near the end, his dad gave a little speech (translated by Jungmin's dad), and the way he whole-heartedly tried to pronounce the handful of Korean words that had been sprinkled into the speech made all the girls tear up just a little. It was so sweet to hear him trying so very hard to speak his daughter-in-law's language (and his accent was just plain precious).

Mark and Jungmin bowed to their parents and presented them each with a bouquet of flowers to wrap up the ceremony. Afterward, they pulled up groups of people to take pictures (as they do at all the weddings). When the "friends" group arrived, Jungmin tossed the bouquet. She had selected the girl who would catch the bouquet in advance, but it ended up being quite a struggle getting the flowers into that girl's hands. By the end, a few roses had dropped out of the bouquet, and my friend Suji and I each snagged one.

I didn't catch the *whole* bouquet, so I'm pretty sure this doesn't make me next in the nuptial line, but seeing as Suji's getting married in October, I feel like this rose has to be at least a little lucky for me. I'll let you know the second someone proposes. Dad, start practicing "annyeonghaseyo", just in case.

Look how lovely she is!

Things I will not be including in my wedding in the States:
- Again, no kissing of the bride. That's a must for me.
- A pre-selected bouquet-catcher. Let every woman have a fair chance, eh?
- Nasty fish taste in my mouth.

Things I'm totally going to have at my wedding in the States:
- A friend translating the entire ceremony into another language, preferably pig-latin (Friends, decide amongst yourselves on whose shoulders this important duty will fall).
- A hilarious preacher because weddings should be cheerful events.
- My dad speaking Korean.

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