Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Hellena's (Hye-Ok) Wedding in Seoul August 30, 2014

We were so excited to attend Hellena's wedding our first Sunday in Seoul. It was held in a typical wedding hall and we walked in while the previous wedding was just finishing up. Hellena had been dating her fiancé for nine years if I recall. We met him back in 2007 when they came to our apartment for a visit along with Hellena's niece (above) and nephew. Her niece was quite a pistol then and still is but now she can speak English thanks to an English hagwon (private school) she attends. She is not shy in the least and will totally steal your heart.
I saw Hellena's fiancé the moment we entered and I asked in Korean where Hellena was. He pointed to a stairway and up the stairs we went.
We found Hellena in the middle of a photo shoot with her photographer. She was so happy to see us. Rocketman immediately took out his camera and took most of these pictures.

           The photographer was great and would gesture to Rocketman to take his own pictures.
                    I took this one of Rocketman with Hellena's niece. She is a cutie patootie.
                                                              I saw a lot of this going on too.
Our dear friend, Jennifer, came with her husband and baby girl. The baby was adorable but wanted to stay close to mama. She is one day older than our grandson Judah but weighs half of what Judah weighs at present.

            The photographer had Hellena and her friends do all sorts of fun poses, popular in Korea.
                                            Rocketman took this picture of me and Hellena.
There was a lot of photo taking. Hellena kept telling me that she just wanted everything to be over. She was pretty nervous.

                                 She is sooooo beautiful. She took my breath away.

                                              I took this photo of Hellena and Rocketman.
Soon it was time for us to take our seats. Rocketman took a picture of this balcony that Hellena told us she would be walking on.
Hellena's mom is on the left and on the right is her new mother-in-law. Her father-in-law is deceased so an uncle stepped in as that role. She never met her fiancé's mother until a week before the wedding even though they had dated for years.

                                                     The groom waiting for his bride.
The wedding is orchestrated by the wedding hall staff from start to finish. This is the MC with two helpers.
                                                                       There she is waiting.
    The balcony lowers to the first floor.

                           The staff opened the door and Hellena's fiancé was directed to help her down.
                                             Then her fiancé went back to the stage.
                                   And Hellena's father came to escort her down the aisle.

Even the officiate is part of the staff and there is nothing legally binding about the ceremony. The marriage certificate is done separately before or after the wedding. Hellena was going to do that after the honeymoon since everything happened so fast.

During the ceremony, the couple bows to both sets of parents. We have seen this in every Korean wedding we have attended.
                   But I hadn't seen the hugging and it warmed my heart. This is Hellena's parents.
                                              And this is the groom's mother and uncle.

                    At the end of the ceremony, the couple bowed to the audience and that was the end.

                                              But it wouldn't be a Korean wedding with.....
Picture time!  This is the family picture and I have no idea who most of these people are. Hellena has one sister and you can see her on the right side with Hellena's niece in front of her. Her new husband is an only child.
Come on people, smile!!!! Then the photographer called up all the friends and we were included in that picture.
The girls: Me, Jennifer, Hellena, co-worker of Hellena's and Hannah. I remember all the times that Hellena, Hannah and Jennifer would come down to Suwon and our apartment after work for dinner and a sleepover. So many good memories.
We got Rocketman in a few photos too. After the wedding was the buffet and who doesn't love a buffet. It had the standard Korean wedding food. Hellena had changed into a second dress for the reception. They honeymooned in Jeju Island.

Want to know a secret?  Hellena was "speeding" which in Korea means she was pregnant before she got married. Here's another secret, she is four months pregnant in these pictures with identical twins! She found out the last week we were there that the babies are identical twin girls. She barely has a baby bump at all. The reaction from her folks was that they were so happy and over the moon. The reaction from her mother-in-law was disappointment and,"well, next time you must have a boy!" Lord help her:(


  1. Beautiful! Niece is adorable. (They didn't do the staged bouquet toss?)

  2. They don't do a bouquet toss but they always do a cutting of the cake using a sword. It comes at the end of the wedding and I'm not sure what becomes of the cake. We've never had wedding cake at a korean wedding but we've always experienced the sword cutting.


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