Our American wedding ceremony and reception was held on October 7th, 2017 on my mom’s land. We used the scenery as the backdrop for our ceremony and the barn as our reception venue. It seems like everyone had a wonderful time – we kept getting compliments on our food and atmosphere and how we made a Disney fairy tale come to life!
My favorite Disney princess since I was a child has always been Belle from Beauty and the Beast, so that was our theme. I love Belle because she is smart, caring, passionate, ambitious, and loves to read books, just like me. I used to watch the scene where Beast gives her the library in awe, hoping one day I’d find someone who understood my love of reading. When I moved to Korea to be with Junkyu, the first thing he did was make sure we had bookshelves!
I chose my dress two years ago when I was back in my hometown before moving to Korea. I went shopping with my mom and my maid-of-honor, Jessica, who has been one of my closest friends since high school. She also attended our Korean wedding last year, since she lived in Seoul then and was close by.
It rained about half an hour before we did rehearsal, so we were all feeling nervous that the day would be rained on. While we did have the barn in case it rained, we were really hoping the ceremony and dancing could all be outdoors. Thankfully, after a short shower, the rain stayed away and we had cloudy but nice weather.
To go along with our Beauty and the Beast theme, we had roses, ivy, tea cups, books, clocks, etc. on a guest table and we had a book backdrop for our ceremony. Each dinner table had a character from the movie on it on little cards I made myself. We also folded red napkins to look like roses.
One of Junkyu’s older sisters came, along with her daughter and his other sister’s daughter. His sister acted as his groomsman and our nieces were our flower girl and ring bearer.
I had my hair done like Belle, with a twisted bun that looked like a rose, and I wore a jeweled hairpiece. My veil matched my dress, which was a sweetheart pink and ivory Allure ball gown with embroidered flowers and plenty of bling.
We had two live musicians for the ceremony music: a keyboard and a violin. The violinist actually works as a music teacher at the school I attended for middle and high school. What a coincidence!
My high school history teacher, Mr. Duncan, was our officiant. He is such a sweet, funny, and intelligent person, and he really made our ceremony special. For our ceremony, we exchanged vows and rings and had a unity candle ceremony. We both wrote our own vows (I said mine in Korean and English and Junkyu said his in English) and both of us got choked up when we were reading them. The unity candle wouldn’t stay lit because it was windy, but we had fun trying anyway, and everyone said it made for a lighthearted and cute moment.
Then we went out into a field and took pictures as a couple and with my mom’s horse, Annie. Horses have been a part of my life since I could walk – I took lessons in kindergarten and throughout my school years. I even competed in Western riding in college. Annie has been in our family since I was in elementary school, so it was fun getting her to pose.
I had four bridesmaids: Jessica, Tara, Loren, and Carol. Carol also went to high school with Jessica and I and we did theatre and later taekwondo together. Loren has been my friend since I was three years old, and although we are usually far apart, when we get back together, we always pick up right where we left off, as though no time had passed. Tara and I met in second grade and have shared a love of Pokémon, reading, going to concerts, and watching Harry Potter. Basically we are all a bunch of nerds!
I was so excited to see my friends and family again, and it was really special being able to share so many wonderful moments with all of them. We really had a great time at our wedding and we laughed the whole day through.
For our first dance, we danced to none other than Beauty and the Beast. Thankfully, I married a certified dance instructor, so we pulled it off even through our mistakes.
During dinner, we played slideshows and videos of us: growing up, dating, getting married in Korea, and going on our honeymoon in Bali. Then we cut the cake, played the “shoe game” and danced the night away.
Our wedding in America will be a cherished memory of our forever. We are so grateful so many people traveled to see us to share our special day! We hope you enjoyed our night as much as we did. We will have video footage of the whole day coming soon, so look out for that!