Saturday, July 14, 2012

'Twas the Night Before Wedding

"I don't care if Monday's blue
Tuesday's grey and Wednesday too
Thursday I don't care about you
It's Friday, I'm in love"
(The Cure)

Your wedding, I had been told, is always a blur, filled with activity, responsibility, photography, and if you're lucky, a quiet moment to try to remember to take it all in. Knowing that, I was glad to spend extra time with our families the evening before the wedding, eventful as that also was with our rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, and Korean pehbaek ceremony. (The first 3 images below are from my camera, the rest are by Don Hwang Photography.)

Church Ceremony Rehearsal

On Friday, May 25, 2012, our parents, immediate families, bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, and ring bearers rehearsed the ceremony proceedings, led by our pastor and officiant, Jonah So. I carried a paper bouquet made by my bridesmaid Christine as my father and I practiced walking down the aisle -- the part of the wedding that had me the most nervous! -- and Sam and I practiced getting married.


Rehearsal Dinner

After running through the main points of the ceremony twice, we met with our extended families and close friends for a Korean dinner at Dae Dong Manor in Flushing, Queens. The tables were decorated with pretty table linens and beautiful flowers, there was a lot of good food, and my friend Brian brought some balloons to entertain the kids with his impressive creations.

Korean Pehbaek Ceremony

We performed a Korean wedding ritual called pehbaek (commonly spelled "paebaek" or "pehbeck") in a separate room. Pehbaek is a colorful tradition that represents the joining of 2 families, and allows the bride and groom to honor their parents and elders, who can offer advice, words of wisdom, and gifts. It involves a lot of deep, respectful bowing -- we bowed to Sam's mother, elder relatives and close family, to my parents and immediate family, and to each other -- as well as the pouring of rice wine or tea; the catching of chestnuts and dates or figs, to represent the number of boys and girls they would like us to have; and a piggyback ride.

I borrowed my bridesmaid Leslie's hanbok, and wore a long topcoat with an embroidered white apron draped over my hands, red dots on my cheeks, and a ceremonial headdress. Sam also wore a borrowed hanbok -- my brother-in-law Dave's, which had my grandfather's jade buttons from when Dave married my sister -- with a topcoat, hat, and boots. Our hanboks were not visible underneath all of the other layers.

Why does Sam's mother look so pleased?

...Because we caught 7 chestnuts and dates she had tossed!

Why is everyone laughing?

...Because my parents tossed handfuls of chestnuts and dates but only 3 were caught. That's still plenty!

To conclude the ceremony, Sam gave me a piggyback ride around the table as a gesture of his ability to support me as my husband.

I wish I could enlarge the photos more but it seems complicated. For now, you can just click on any image to make it appear larger.


  1. My mom was a point guard in high school, which might at least partly explain her accuracy.


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