Wedding stuff part 3: the day.

It’s all kind of blur so I don’t know how detailed this can be. And it won’t be interesting either.

One thing sad about the week before the wedding was that Jieun and I hardly saw each other. I mean, we did a little, but we didn’t get to spend quality time. She had her mom and others there, I had people around, and we both had all this stuff to do – it just sucked. We never really spent time alone, and by the time the rehearsal and wedding came around, I was really missing her.

Anyway, we got up early. Not bridesmaid early, but pretty early. I think the bridesmaids schedule started at 4:30 AM. We I think got up at 7? Not sure. But relatively late. It’s good to be a guy. I was really worried that Dave and John would be tired, since they stayed up late to watch the Korea soccer game. As it turns out, all of our relatives and many friends did. Jieun couldn’t get to sleep because the upstairs neighbors in our new place (where she was staying) are apparently Korean and they were yelling all night.

So we got to the church early and took pictures. Jieun’s family was late. Is it OK to say this? Jieun was kind of mad at her family a few times during the weekend. Once on Friday, because her dad took the 101 all the way up from LA. Dunno if you’ve ever done that, but it takes forever, so they were almost or slightly late for the rehearsal. And they were late to the church on Saturday also so she was kind of angry.

Again, it was cool seeing all my family there. There were some cousins I hadn’t seen in like 20 years. Like I’ve said, the whole relative thing was one of my favorite parts of the wedding.

Right before the ceremony I thought I was going to throw up. Just, I wanted to gag, my throat was dry… it was really weird. I didn’t want to drink too much water so I wouldn’t have to pee during the ceremony. So I just took small sips. But I didn’t feel very good at all. Random director’s commentary note.

I was really happy to hear Charles’ voice again as he lead the praise time. First of all, because he has a great voice. But also, I dunno, I respect Charles a lot. I was talking with someone about him once and we were saying how basically his style of leading is to be above reproach. You might disagree with certain things he did, but you could never say he did something for the wrong reason. Ever. He was never late, never unprepared, never focused on the wrong things, never less than humble, quick to serve, last to leave, all that stuff. I dunno, there are few humans about whom you can say all of that. I think the only wrong thing he ever did was sing Did You Feel The Mountains Tremble in C.

So yeah, it was good to hear Charles voice and kinda be reminded of that. I dunno, respecting a worship leader is a big deal. I dunno how people in FiCS were ever able to worship while I was there. How can you read this webpage and then go on Friday and be able to worship? Power of the Holy Spirit, I guess.

So, we (groomsmen) were singing along in the back. The whole time I was wondering if he was going to do a Charles trademark in There Is Joy In The Lord, where he goes from G to A. He didn’t, but I was still happy.

SN. Charles used to be very specific in his prayers before praise time. Kris used to make fun of him for this, “Lord, we just want to praise you this morning. We’re going to start off with There Is Joy In The Lord. We’re gonna start with drums and bass and then all the instruments. We’ll sing chorus, verse, chorus, verse, then God we’re gonna kick it up to A with electric only.” Etc.

So more director’s commentary – Jieun was overwhelmed when she came into the sanctuary and the organ started playing with all the people gathered there. She almost cried.

Let me explain this. As you all know, I bawled like a baby during the ceremony whereas Jieun didn’t almost at all. And, people thought that was funny. But the true reason she didn’t cry is that she didn’t want to mess up her makeup for the photos. I kid you not. You know, we spent a lot on her makeup, and pictures mean a lot to girls, so, I guess I understand. But yeah, that’s the reason she didn’t cry and I did. It’s by no means indicative of who wears the pants in this relationship. Well maybe a little.

Anyway, she was on the verge of tears when she got to the front, so, dunno if you know this, but she didn’t really hold eye contact with me. It would have been too intense and she would have lost it. And, to get her settled, we were saying absurd things to each other. Just to take the intensity off. I dunno if the wedding party heard, but yeah, it was kind of funny.

Let me explain the hymn thing. Dave asks, who really cares about the hymn, who would notice? Two things about that. First, you have to hear the way the Korean hymnal has The Love Of God. It’s not a subtle difference – it’s a totally different feel. It would be like the Specials doing it ska style – it’s that different. I found this out one winter break I was home and we had a family worship. And I suggested we sing my favorite hymn – The Love Of God. So we did. And my parents sang it Korean style. It was so bad I just stopped mid way through the first verse – I couldn’t bear it. I tried to get my dad to sing it straight, but he just couldn’t, so I couldn’t go on. The way we sing it is stately and moving, the Korean hymnal way makes me want to shoot myself in the kidneys.

So yeah, a little history for you. I promise you, if my dad had led the way we sang it at home, it would have alienated half the people there. And the thing about the song is that it’s our song, you know? It’s meaningful to us, which is why we chose it. So it was important to me that it not be mangled. I dunno, maybe we disagree, but since it’s our wedding, I think it’s totally reasonable that I would want a song we chose for it’s meaning to us to be sung in a way we would appreciate. But I guess you have to hear the Korean way to understand.

The ceremony, yeah, everything went as good as I could have hoped. Really. Like he said, I wanted my dad to preach. For my sister’s wedding, he gave more a word of advice. Which was nice and personal and all, but I dunno, I wanted something more Scriptural. It was good, no? And John, I don’t think he was saying what you think he was saying. I know what you think he was saying. He wasn’t saying that.

It was also good that he messed up in the ring exchange, calling me a wife or something. Because seriously, had he not, I wouldn’t have made it through – I could barely talk. But you know, everyone started laughing when he said that, me included, and it took enough off that I was able to finish. But yeah, dunno why I was crying. I guess it was just the intensity of the moment.

Seriously though, I don’t think the ceremony could have gone any better. I was pretty happy about everything.

After it was over, it was an incredible feeling of relief. Just, at that point, I dunno, nothing mattered anymore; I was happy. The reception could have been a complete disaster, and I would have been perfectly content. That’s how I felt after the ceremony. Just complete relief.

Like I said, Henry was pretty much the point person that day. He drove us to the reception. Jieun had mentioned it would be nice if the car were decorated and whatever, and based on that, he did it. You see, that’s the difference between my friends and, oh, I dunno, all females. Like, Jieun mentioned offhand it would be nice if there were toasts at the engagement dinner. Based on that, John gives a great toast. SN. I got toasted by all my groomsmen at one time or another.

But yeah, offhand comment, my friends take care of it perfectly. Whereas with other people… hmm, I won’t finish it but yeah, I have great friends, that’s all I’ll say. None of my friends let me down.

Here’s another side note. Another thing I thought ideal was the weather. I was really worried that the weather was going to be unbearable. I’ve been to a lot of summer weddings in California and pretty much all of them were mad hot. But it was pretty nice that day. Nice and cloudy in the morning, but not wet, and it stayed relatively cool the whole day. It’s a little thing, but it makes a big difference.

The bride and groom are supposed to make a grand entrance into the reception, so we kind of have to hide before. That was weird. We first staked out a place away from everyone but it was on the way to the bathroom so we kept seeing people. Which was kind of awkward. We ended up retreating to the mezzanine where we practiced our dance.

Jieun’s vision for the dance was this big complicated choreographed dance. So we actually had Andy Huang and Janice come over once and figure out a routine for us to do. It was a nice little foxtrot / swing thing. But we didn’t get to practice it until the week before, and I was getting all huffy because we didn’t have space and we weren’t getting it. Then we tried to do it with her dress – disaster. It was long, so I kept stepping on it. She tried getting me to kick before stepping – no dice. Then she tried pinning up the bottom to the inside to give her more room. Didn’t work also – her dress ended up looking like an enormous white garbage bag. So yeah, didn’t know what to do.

In the end we figured out a way she could kind of hold her dress up a bit with one hand so we could do a passable foxtrot, and we’d just skip the swing part where she needed both hands. So yeah, that’s why we had the wedding party come out in the middle, and why we didn’t do your whole routine, in case you’re wondering, Janice and Andy, if you read this page. Doubtful. The foxtrot still wasn’t going too well, but somehow, when we actually had to do it, it went pretty well. I’m a decent dancer. I don’t look good, but I have really good rhythm in a way that looks natural, I think. I’ve seen at least 3 wedding dances where the groom was visibly mouthing numbers to keep time. That’s another thing I don’t understand, by the way, why all women are naturally good dancers and very few men are naturally good.

Eventually Henry came and got us and we made our grand entrance. To the Dragon: The Bruce Lee soundtrack. Then the toasts. I’ll be honest – I didn’t understand Dave’s Korean at all. But yeah, people laughed so I guess it was funny. I was actually watching Marshall part of the time for cues, and if, based on his reaction, it looked like Dave said something important, I asked Jieun what just happened. But the English I understood. Anyway, like I said, all my groomsmen toasted me at some point and they were all meaningful. I dunno, I keep saying this, but yeah, I don’t deserve the friends I have.

How’d you like the food? I dunno, I thought it was pretty good. The menu tasting was a lot of fun. We decided to go with those long croutons just for the heck of it, something different. Hope you got the steak. It was pretty good as far as reception food goes. And yeah, we were big fans of the roasted garlic mashed potatoes also. I was actually pretty excited about the food. Oh and the cake. We actually didn’t even get a taste of the cake so no idea how good it was. But yeah, I liked the cake at the cake testing also. Was it good?

What sucks about a wedding is that you don’t get to talk to anyone. I don’t think we thought the whole greeting table thing through enough. But give a meager 2 minutes to a table. With 30 tables, that’s a full hour of greeting. And just 2 minutes a table. It’s sad. And, you have to pay more respect to the old Korean people even though you know them less. But whatever. What I was most sad about is that I barely got to talk to people at the wedding. But yeah, I guess that’s just how it is. I dunno, it would be cool to have a Biblical type wedding where it lasts a week, so you can spend 10 minutes at every table.

I dunno what else happened. I think I talked about the slide show already. One thing though – the slide show was totally not representative of me or Jieun’s lives. I only realized it after having put it together. Another reason why you should choose the pictures before scanning. But yeah, I put it together and it was like, what is this? Hardly any pictures of people I feel closest to and tons of random pictures. But yeah, again, my fault – I’d never put pictures for a slide show together so I didn’t know what I was doing. But yeah, not representative of my life at all.

Then bouquet, dance, blah blah blah. The way we were supposed to leave was with everyone lining the doors and throwing confetti but that didn’t happen so we left super awkwardly. The whole end was pretty rushed because we had to be out of there by 4. That was another thing I was worried about for a while – that we would be super rushed. And we kinda were, but we did everything we had to. Jieun was hilarious. You know, she did all the planning and she knew how everyone had to be gone by 4 so as we were leaving the reception hall she was yelling behind her – tell everyone to leave by 4! Leave by 4!

We actually ended up coming back after a while so we could talk to some people more. And that was good – got some good conversations in. Henry (point person) got our room key and we changed then Henry took us to our apartment. Then we went to this dinner that a family friend was putting on for my extended family.

But when I walked in there were all these random people there. Old San Jose people, relatives, Houston people?? Dave Hong?? I dunno, it was good not bad that they were there, just kind of surprising. The house we were at by the way is the place I stayed my senior year of high school after my family moved to Houston. I cannot say enough how much that family has done for me my whole life. That whole year I was there, yeah, they were ridiculously good to me, and they’ve continued to be incredibly good to me and my family. My family always stays there when they come to the Bay Area. But yeah, this party thing was just another way they’ve been way too kind to my family.

So I talked there with a while with my cousins on my dad’s side. Marshall et al were there also, but it was different with these cousins because I hadn’t seen them in 20 years. That was weird. Just, I had heard a lot about them, but I didn’t know them, and the only common experience we had was this one summer me and my sister spent with them in Ohio. Just a couple weeks or so. It was really interesting to see how they turned out. Because, you know, in your memory they’re just these little kids. And when you see them you find out they have personality! And rich interesting lives! I dunno, it was just weird to me.

I actually had the same experience with Marshall. I only saw him I think 2 or 3 times growing up, the first time when he first came to America, so he was fixed in my mind for a long time as this guy who couldn’t speak English. Side note. Marshall’s full name is Marshall John Cho. Yeah, John Marshall, like the chief justice of the Supreme Court. I’m fairly certain the great aunt whom I love and Dave hates gave him his English name.

But yeah, to me for a long time he was this little kid who only spoke Korean. I think I heard once that we was considering being a journalism major and I remember thinking, how can he write English if he can’t speak it? And then when he started invading my life and stealing all my acquaintances I was still shocked to hear how he spoke English so fluently. To be perfectly honest, I’m still surprised by it. He says that we saw each other once after that time he first came to the U.S., or, we have pictures of it somewhere but yeah, for some reason I don’t remember it. SN. You know the first person I had a conversation about Marshall with was? Heidi Kim, Urban Immersion ’96. They knew each other from Oregon. Random.

Anyway, yeah, it was the same experience with the other cousins. When all you have is one memory, it’s weird seeing how they’re changed. I actually had this experience somewhere else once. I went to elementary school with this one girl who’s good friends with another girl I’m friends with now. Anyway, we saw each other at this girl’s birthday, first time in years, and we both had the exact same reaction when seeing each other: “You’re so tall!” I dunno, it was funny.

But yeah, even though we had more time there, we still didn’t have enough time to talk to everyone. I think I barely talked to Janice, Marshall’s woman. But we had to go – we were just way too tired.

That’s it. We spent the night at the Westin, a dope suite. I dunno, was this interesting at all? Doubtful. I think my thoughts on the honeymoon might be slightly more interesting but don’t count on it.

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