I stared at my dress in it’s makeshift dress bag (errr– a white garbage bag) hanging in front of me on the bus and kept making a mental note not to leave it. Picturing myself almost missing my stop and hurrying off the bus with my backpack and leaving the dress behind I panicked for half of the bus ride. How would I explain that to Lydia? Uhhhhh, I left my bridesmaid’s dress on the bus, is it okay if I walk down the aisle in this striped shirt and leggings?
It’s okay. I did not leave the bus on the dress. I mean the dress on the bus.
This past Saturday, on May 2, I had the honor of being a bridesmaid in Lydia’s wedding. We have been friends for years, but we really got close this past year when I wrote her story for re.write magazine, which you can find here.
The day was beautiful. Lydia was (is) gorgeous. The groom, DJ, kept surprising us every time he opened his mouth and spoke with an Australian accent. His groomsmen flew in all the way from the land down under and looked dashing in their custom made navy suits. Everyone kept calling the bridesmaids greek goddesses (I wasn’t complaining) thanks to our long, flowing, one-strap dresses and the flower crowns in our hair.
My favorite parts of days like these are usually the hiccups. I know, it sounds weird. But the things that go wrong are often what either no one remembers, or everyone remembers and makes fun of later. There are some hiccups I have already forgotten, but there are others that will be written down (like here for instance) and remembered forever. These memories that will be taken out and read, or pulled from a memory and laughed at for years to come.
After the ladies got ready, the bride and a few of her maids were whisked away in a fancy car and taken to Seoul Forest, a park known for having trees (rare to come by in a city such as Seoul). The rest of us went to pick up the groom and his men, a few wrong turns and small tight alleyways later, and we found them. Kakao chat rooms are going crazy, pins are being dropped to show locations as a van and two taxis try to find where the bride is parked. Technology saves the day and not only do we all find each other, we also find the perfect bridge in the park for the bride and groom to have their first look.
And what an experience the park was. You see, Koreans don’t have weddings the way most of you reading this post do. There are no groomsmen or bridesmaids, just the bride and groom. To see our whole bridal party taking over a section of the park and thwarting little kids riding their bikes along the path into a different direction so they weren’t in the shot (and once, even
kicking asking an old lady nicely to vacate a bench in a prime photo location), well… it was a fabulous spectacle. I had no problem posing for strangers who were crowding around and snapping away. I mean, I don’t look like a greek goddess every day (just every other day). It wasn’t until later that I thought, I wonder where those pictures will end up? Hmmm. Too late now. I also ran into two old coworkers. “I am in a wedding!” I say when they see me across the park and come over to say hi. “Yeah, we kind of figured.”
Walking back to the van to head over to the wedding ceremony I strike up a friendly conversation with Kevin, the groomsmen I am walking with during the ceremony. “Do you have any family here in Korea?” He asks. “No, they are all back in the States.” I laugh, picturing any of my family living in Korea with me. “Oh, so both of your parents are from the States?” Kevin continues… “And they are both of caucasian descent?” (Okay, maybe he doesn’t say that last part exactly, but I feel like he was about to) I laugh again, “Are you trying to ask me if I am half? No, I am fully white.” Another groomsmen laughs as Kevin tries to be politically correct. You would not believe how many people have asked me if I am half in this country. Also, Kevin was probably curious how a white girl ended up being a part of an otherwise all Asian bridal party. It’s cool. I just worry that people will forget I am white. That happens too.
It’s a hilarious van ride, full of jabs and chirping. The bridesmaids obviously nailed the photo shoot and the groomsmen were a bit jealous. And we were all hungry. Food for lunch got forgotten along the way and by four in the afternoon there are a few tears ready to spill. A hiccup. On the way to the wedding hall we were looking up places to find food so that no one fainted during the ceremony. “There is a Paris Baguette across the street from the wedding hall,” Eunice announced. “YESSSS, I LOVE Paris Baguette!” Albert cried from the back seat of the van where he sat between two other groomsmen sitting with their knees up to their chest, to say it was a tight fit would be an understatement, but hey—the ladies were wearing dresses. The entire wedding party (minus the groom, bride, and MOH- Diana, who is a BOSS- who were in the other car) turned to look at Albert. I couldn’t tell if he was being sarcastic or not. “Ummm.. no one loves Paris Baguette.” Oh, but Albert does, the rest of the groomsmen confirmed it. Our youngest bridesmaid, Kate, exclaimed that she too loved Paris Baguette and they went on and on talking about some cream cheese bread thing. I would like to clarify this as a rarity. You go to Paris Baguette because it is on almost every corner in this city, it’s convenient. It is okay. But no one loves it. Seeing a whole bridal party cross the street and walk into a PB and half of them finish their sandwiches before everyone has had a chance to pay was a site to see.
I count the ceremony a success because I didn’t fall. Gina tripped near the end but I was there to catch her from falling completely. She recovered so quickly no one noticed, accept for me of course. We both tried so hard not to laugh aloud. Gina turned her snort into a cough, or so she thinks.
The reception started as all receptions should, with a dance-off between 8 unsuspecting wedding guests. They were obviously strategically chosen because their dance moves were HA-mazing. After the dance-off several super talented friends performed songs for the bride and groom in between speeches by the groom’s father, the best man, the maid of honor, and the groom himself. Needless to say, there was a whole lot of laughter and clapping and feet tapping. I may have jumped out of my chair a feeeew times as I was ready to start the dance party part of the reception as soon as possible.
It was the kind of night you didn’t want to end, having put so much energy and love into the day up until this point, it was fun being able to dance. It ended all too soon.
Most of the bridal party, the evening’s emcees, and a few other guests made our way to the “after-party” which consisted of a drink at a nice hotel. It was during this time that Kevin and I had another “politically correct” conversation. Background info: all five of DJ’s groomsmen are 27 years old. Three of them are married, one is engaged, and one has a girlfriend. At this point the groomsmen have learned that four out of the five bridesmaids are single, and they are intrigued. “I mean… how do I ask this without asking it?” Kevin starts his roundabout questioning. “I got married when I was 24, and maybe it’s because you all travel and you live abroad. Like even Lydia, you know, is older.” I look at him, “Are you trying to ask me why I am 30 and not married yet? Just say it!” He smiles. HAHAHA. Australians and their questions.
(I took the above photo from Kayc’s fb page- thanks bro!)
This last one is a shot from the 41st floor of the Hotel we were at, Seoul at night ^^