Swon's gifts. 1

Swon's gifts. 1, originally uploaded by ekissam.

here's the set of bowls i bought in upstate ny for swon's wedding gift- i probably should mention the artist's name- but i've already forgotten it. mostly, i took the picture to get used to my new camera's settings before i tried to take pictures at the wedding.

Swon's gifts. 2

Swon's gifts. 2, originally uploaded by ekissam.

i had to take a picture of sarah's runner before i packed it up. it was exceptionally beautiful and so well thought out.

Swon's gifts. 3

Swon's gifts. 3, originally uploaded by ekissam.

i got swon's gifts all repackaged and wrapped. i made it more difficult than it needed to be- i wanted the boxes to look pretty and be easy to open- so i wrapped the flaps of the boxes and added the bows the keep them closed. finally i had to lug them onto the train and the bus. two very large shopping bags. luckily they weren't heavy. so friday night i went into seoul after work to catch swon for a little while so she could open her gifts.

Swon's gifts. 4

Swon's gifts. 4, originally uploaded by ekissam.

i had swon open my gifts- the big box first. honestly, i thought they were the least impressive, but swon reminded me that they were actually a pretty beautiful gift.

Swon's gifts. 6

Swon's gifts. 6, originally uploaded by ekissam.

sarah's gift came out of the box with a lot of ooohs and ahhhs. everyone was impressed with the craftsmanship, but when i asked if they recognized the fabrics they started to play a new game. soon they remembered that swon gave sarah a box of fabric pieces ten years ago. swon, her mom, and sister started to remember the blankets and clothes that each of the pieces were remnants from.

Swon's gifts. 7

Swon's gifts. 7, originally uploaded by ekissam.

soochong flipped it over to reveal the little messages sarah hand wrote on the back, which i didn't even notice till then.

Swon's gifts. 8

Swon's gifts. 8, originally uploaded by ekissam.

swon's mom started to walk around and plan out where sarah's table runner should hang. she held it against a couple of walls before realizing she didn't have the right hooks at the time. so it sat on the tv for a while.

Swon's gifts. 10

Swon's gifts. 10, originally uploaded by ekissam.
the last box swon opened contained the letters that i collected from some of our kent friends.  swon wanted to know how her friends found out that her wedding was soon and i admitted to letting the cat out of the bag in order to surprise her. we talked a little about how we sent messages back and forth over facebook. then, in the little korean i can understand, i heard her explain to her mom while sifting through the envelopes, 'this is from my japanese friend, and these are from my american friends.'  it was a really touching moment that i wish i could properly share with everyone who sent letters.

Swon's gifts. 11

Swon's gifts. 11, originally uploaded by ekissam.

she had said something about thinking that she wasn't going to cry at her wedding till the moment she opened the box containing the letters from her friends, and she started to cry a little. but then her brother-in-law cracked a joke about a picture one of her friends sent. it was a shot from 10 years ago and he remarked that swon looked so young- and 'what happened?!'

Swon's gifts. 14

Swon's gifts. 14, originally uploaded by ekissam.

i didn't even notice that sarah had added all these handwritten notes to the backing of the table runner- looking forward to the 26th.

Swon's wedding.1

Swon's wedding.1, originally uploaded by ekissam.

swon's wedding was at 5pm- man i love a late day wedding. i was told i should arrive at 4 to reserve a seat and watch a little of the rehearsal. and well, getting there a little early gave me a chance to catch swon in a candid moment.

Swon's wedding.2

Swon's wedding.2, originally uploaded by ekissam.

joowhon in the center of the room, shortly before and onslaught of guests arrive.

Swon's wedding.3

Swon's wedding.3, originally uploaded by ekissam.

swon's family greets and bow to guests at the door.

Swon's wedding.4

Swon's wedding.4, originally uploaded by ekissam.

swon tried to relax and hide in the side room. still pretty much in view of all the arriving guests.

Swon's wedding.7

Swon's wedding.7, originally uploaded by ekissam.

the super cute table announcement.

Swon's wedding.8

Swon's wedding.8, originally uploaded by ekissam.

the menu- it was all pretty delicious.

Swon's wedding.9

Swon's wedding.9, originally uploaded by ekissam.

before the ceremony started i wasn't sure were i should sit down. i was given a seat in the side room where the singers were seated and where swon and joowhon kept their jackets. i felt a little under foot- but no one told me any differently. here, swon waits for all the guests to settle so the ceremony can begin.

Swon's wedding.11

Swon's wedding.11, originally uploaded by ekissam.

in the modern korean weddings, the bride usually sits in a viewing area for an hour before the wedding. while there, guests can come and greet and pose with her for pictures. swon didn't want that, but while trying to catch a moment of peace before the ceremony she was bombarded with guests seeking her out for a quick chat and a picture.

Swon's wedding.12

Swon's wedding.12, originally uploaded by ekissam.

forever working- swon is giving further instructions to one of her friends.

Swon's wedding.13

Swon's wedding.13, originally uploaded by ekissam.

the video montage- a standard fair at the korean weddings i've seen.

Swon's wedding.14

Swon's wedding.14, originally uploaded by ekissam.

swon and her uncle watched the video montage before entering.

Swon's wedding.15

Swon's wedding.15, originally uploaded by ekissam.

swon's entrance was backed by a male operatic chorus. possibly you notice that there are a lot of standing guests. the restaurant only seats about 200, but over 400 asked to come to the wedding.

Swon's wedding.17

Swon's wedding.17, originally uploaded by ekissam.

i couldn't understand much of the ceremony, but i understand it was at least partially buddhist, and i saw joowhon and swon sign something before they performed their traditional bows to the guests.

Swon's wedding.19

Swon's wedding.19, originally uploaded by ekissam.

as part of the ceremony joowhon and swon took the center of the floor and shared a lovely and touching waltz.

Swon's wedding.21

Swon's wedding.21, originally uploaded by ekissam.

the dance got some 'whoos' from the crowd and after asking around i heard that some people didn't favor it, since it was a non traditional move. overall, it was dubbed a very 'swon' wedding. for me, the smile says it all.

Swon's wedding.22

Swon's wedding.22, originally uploaded by ekissam.

swon's mom greeting guests and family members.

Swon's wedding.23

Swon's wedding.23, originally uploaded by ekissam.

soochong (swon's sister from oregon) and john (her husband) graciously checked up on me and made sure i had a seat at their table during the dinner.

Swon's wedding.24

Swon's wedding.24, originally uploaded by ekissam.

music continued through part of the dinner. as you may notice, there aren't standing guests along the wall. a restaurant nearby was rented out for the overflow from this restaurant.

Swon's wedding.27

Swon's wedding.27, originally uploaded by ekissam.

swon changed out of her wedding dress into this lovely number part way through the dinner.

Swon's wedding.29

Swon's wedding.29, originally uploaded by ekissam.

swon's mom sharing a laugh with one of swon's cousins. i got to meet several cousins and lucky for me, many of them studied abroad and spoke english well.

Swon's wedding.34

Swon's wedding.34, originally uploaded by ekissam.

swon and joowhon as the restaurant was clearing out.

Swon's wedding.35

Swon's wedding.35, originally uploaded by ekissam.

not easy getting a shot with the bride as they were trying to clear out the building.

Swon's wedding.36

Swon's wedding.36, originally uploaded by ekissam.

swon and her sisters. i had tried to get a shot of sooyoung the entire night and each time i got her into focus she slipped away. glad i got the three of them together.