Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Seoul's Got Soul Part 3 - The Wedding

This was a great and interesting experience for me. I hadn't been to a Wedding since my brother's and before that I went to a few as a kid. I didn't really have a clue about the formalities and stuff, especially for Koreans. However, the bride and the groom are "western" Asians, so this wasn't going to be as traditional as a typical Korean wedding would be. Fortunately I was with a friend who knows all that stuff so all I had to do was just follow his lead!

Another "interesting" experience for me is actually dressing up all formal. Like in a suit and all that. Its pretty fun to dress up for an occasion every now and then!

I met up with my friend and we quickly made our way to the wedding. We were running a bit late so we made our way towards the building and asked the security guard for the wedding. "22nd Floor" he said (in Korean) and we made our way up there. In the elevator we met another guest for the wedding. Always a good sign that your going in the right direction!

Wrong! The doors opened and quite impressively my friend knew we were at the wrong wedding! I had a quick look at the bride and groom and sure enough they were not my friends lol. How did we manage to find another wedding going on?

We quickly got back down and asked the guard again, and found out that we were in the wrong building! Wow, it must be like the Wedding Street! The correct location was the building next door!

Now I've been told that this was going to be a secular wedding. Many Koreans are Christians but apparently require some kind of religious "exam" to qualify for a traditional wedding. So what I was told was that secular weddings are very practical and very fast!

We arrived a mere 10 minutes late and the bride and groom were already at the front exchanging their vows! We sat down, and witnessed the vows, a song, speeches from the fathers and bowing to the families... and it was over! Quick as a flash, but no quality lost in tradition or class. It was great to see my friend be so happy!

Wedding Location!

The Wedding is Done!

After the wedding ceremony, there were photos with family and friends. I ended up being pushed unexpectedly right to the middle, behind the bride and groom and made my best attempt at not looking too awkward haha. My friend hadn't even met up the newlyweds before and this was their first time meeting... at the photoshoot! 

Once the photos were done, we made our way to the reception in the other room, where there was a full buffet of food waiting for us. The bride and groom also did another formal ceremony in another room, where they dressed in old traditional formal wear and did more bowing to the families and a tea ceremony. Then after that, they went round the reception to thank all the guests for coming.


After the buffet we headed over to the after party location. For me this was pretty convenient as it was actually close to where I was staying in Sinsa, which is South-Central Seoul, South of the river. This meant me and my friend could chill there a little bit before we left. We got a little lost (getting a reputation), but it was ok as I knew that the bride and groom were going to be understandably late, as they were having the busiest day of their lives, not only doing all the ceremonial stuff, but also looking after both sets of parents and families.

They had rented out the upstairs of a Korean bar, and there were a lot of drinks!

The After Party Location! With MTV Projected on the Screen too! (??) lol


Afterwards we headed to one of the biggest clubs in Seoul called "Octagon". I guess its shaped like that or something? At this point I'm pretty wasted lol so I don't really remember too much... but I guess that's the point? Anyways, it was a fantastic day and I'm really glad I was able to make it. A few of our friends were unable to attend which was a real shame as it was a lot of fun. Congratulations to the NewlyWeds!


On my last day in Seoul I ended up chilling out and meeting one of the friends I made at the after party. He had an interesting situation with this trip, a great story for the future! It seemed that we were pretty much the only internationals that were still around, as people had to get back to work. So we ended up finding this specialty Bibimbap place, where you can choose your rice, type of ingredient and sauce. Kind of like a Korean version of Subway for Bibimbap!

Bibimbap is basically rice, meat, some veggies, and some spicy bbq kinda type sauce in a [still hot, sizzling] stone pot. You mix up the ingredients thoroughly and eat!

It was really good reminiscing over the night before. I'm really thankful actually that I didn't have to rush off like everyone else and got a chance to relax a little. My next stop was going to be Hong Kong, and my friend here was going to be there next week too, so we made arrangements to meet up there too.

One of the things that I've noticed about Seoul this time was how much more the plastic surgery adverts have come up. It could just be the location I was currently in, but it kinda shocked me how openly aggressive they advertised it. Even in the west, I don't think this would be as aggressively advertised. 

All of these adverts for plastic surgery at Sinsa Station... all on the same E

I took the very convenient shuttle coach back to the airport. I kinda found it hard to find at first, but asked a hotel and they directed me to the right stop. Its always a great idea to ask hotels for help in other countries, they are almost guaranteed to speak English and should have the information your looking for. The trip is like 45 minutes, and has some pretty amazing views of the city and some interesting red sand dunes. Don't really know why its red lol

I had a great time in Seoul, this was my 3rd time and hopefully not the last! Of course going places its always gonna be better when you know people living there. Next stop Hong Kong! My motherland...

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