Monday, May 9, 2011

This wedding had a sword and games (but not games with a sword)

So it's been almost a week since I talked about Katey and Jaywon's wedding, and about a million things have happened in the meantime. Korea celebrated Children's Day on Thursday last week and my school went on a field trip (during which I was forced to hold a frog) on Friday. Obviously I have tons of pictures and stories from both of these events, yet my annoying preference for chronology prevents me from writing about them until I've finished the series on weddings. Luckily for me, today is Buddha's birthday and I didn't have to go to school. I'm debating throwing on my rainboots and heading to a coffee shop... but... so much effort...

Introducing: Wedding Number 2 - Polly and Kelly!

Kelly is Korean, and Polly is Norwegian. In fact, his actual name appears to be just a series of consonants, so he lets us call him "Polly" so our American brains don't explode. Quite kind, if you ask me.

Like for Katey and Jaywon's wedding, the weather was beautiful. The ceremony took place outside under a canopy, and it almost - almost - felt like we were in a garden instead of in the middle of a huge city. Kelly's family had invited everyone in Seoul to the wedding, and since the wedding hall didn't seat 12 million people, Polly and Kelly had to narrow down their personal guest list. There was one table (seven seats) designated for our small group, and I'm pretty sure I was only invited because they wanted to see their wedding on my blog. (hehe)

The wedding itself was adorable because the pastor translated for himself. His English was leaps and bounds better than my Korean, so I can't make fun of him in the slightest, but it was still so precious. It's been weeks, so I can't remember most of what he said, but I do remember that at the end, instead of pronouncing them "man and wife" he proudly declared them "a couple!" I'm pretty sure they've considered themselves a "couple" for a while now, but it's good to know it's official.

After the ceremony, Polly and Kelly stuck with the tradition of cutting the cake and feeding it to each other (which I totally thought was American, but I guess it's just Western). However, no offense to the countless American weddings I've attended, but this cutting of the cake was by far the most awesome I'd ever seen.

They cut the cake with a sword.

Unfortunately, they didn't treat the cake like the formidable foe it actually was, and they sliced it quite politely, causing minimal damage to the structure. You can rest assured that I'm going to demolish the crap out of my wedding cake, and my brand new husband will be backing away slowly to ask the preacher if he actually has to sign the paperwork.

They followed the cake-cutting with a first dance, another tradition I've been sad to go without in Korea. Although in the States, the first dance is traditionally just for the newlyweds and no one else participates, at this wedding, not a lot of people were even watching. Korean weddings are kind of all about the food, and since most of the guests were eating during the ceremony (not rude; normal), many people had left by the time the dancing began. This was actually okay since Polly kept sneaking his hand on Kelly's butt, and Korea wouldn't have approved.

My favorite part of this wedding was at the end. Since receptions aren't really done here, the wedding is usually over once you feel you've eaten your money's worth. Being Western, however, Polly wanted people to stick around and enjoy themselves, so they hired an entertainer to come play games with us.

You know how much I love games. I was elated.

The entertainer only spoke Korean, so the Korean speakers at our table had to translate everything for us. Therefore, our table lagged a little in understanding the games, so we usually took a little while to pick up on what was going on. The first game involved a rolled up napkin, rhythm, and my friends looking like dorks.

It was a little like hot potato and a little like that clappy game you play at camp. The picture above is a reenactment; we were all much more focused during the real game.

We played another game where three songs were played on top of each other, and the audience had to try to guess what songs were being played. Since my knowledge of kpop is limited to "Sorry, Sorry" and "Nobody But You", I was decidedly unhelpful during this game and instead took pictures of all my friends listening intently.

Oh yeah, Marlene doesn't know a lot of kpop either.

We headed inside when the weather started to get chilly, and continued the games there. Polly and Kelly thanked us all for coming and told us how much we mean to them, which was a sweet and thoughtful gesture on a day that should have been about just the two of them.

At the end of the ceremony, Polly was supposed to sing a song for Kelly, but they couldn't get the music to play. While we were inside, they piped the music through the speakers and he serenaded his bride.

It reminded me, of course, of this:

Didn't know I had that video, didya?

As with Katey and Jaywon's wedding, I'll summarize the important points for you.

Things I will not be including in my wedding in the States:
- People my parents invited but I've never met.
- Chaos (Polly will tell you Korean weddings feel ridiculously unstructured compared to Western weddings).
- Lack of other people dancing.

Things I'm totally going to have at my wedding in the States:
- A preacher who self-translates into another language. My entire audience will likely speak English, but won't that be fun?
- Slashing the cake with a sword.

1 comment:

  1. HAHAHAHAA I did not know you had that video! doesn't he sound good?? haha :)

    Also after reading that, now brad wants a piece of cake.

    and if i could post a video of YOU I would post the one of you cutting your cake junior year with a butcher knife. I think i can imagine what you're wedding will be like :)

    GAMES! Like red rover?! like scooch?