The night before the wedding I traveled to Iksan to meet up with the visitors that had traveled all the way from Australia and have dinner with them at Jihyeon's parents home. My afternoon classes had been cancelled so the school let me leave early to give me time to relax and prepare for the wedding.
When I arrived at Iksan station, I looked around for Jihyeon's father. I didn't see him anywhere. I started to walk towards the car park when I heard a familiar "pilip" and turned to see him standing there. I didn't recognize him. He had died his hair jet black and looked a decade younger.
We then drove to pick up Jihyeon's brother from the bus station before dropping him off at home so we could pick up the Aussie guests from their hotel.
Once everyone arrived, we sat down and began the feast. Starting from the left and working around the table is my uncle John and aunty Val, family friends Kris and Doug, my wife Jihyeon^^, one of Jihyeon's aunts, Jihyeon's mother, Jihyeon's brother, ME, another one of Jihyeon's aunts and an uncle, Jihyeon's father, my father and mother, and lastly Kayleen and Paul (owners of Pakton Technologies) who I worked for in Australia for about 10 years.
2, 4, 6, 8 bog in don't wait.
After dinner we opened gifts and wedding cards from friends and family in Australia.
I didn't know about this custom until my mum told me about it a couple of weeks ago. Apparently in Australia (I am unsure if this extends to other western countries too) it is a good luck tradition for the bride to wear a decorated horse shoe on her arm when she gets married. This was news to me, but then I've always been interested in electronics and the outdoors, not in the finer details of getting married. Anyway, this was a gift from my grandmother for Jihyeon to wear on the wedding day. Unfortunately (and Oma if you are reading this, Jihyeon is terribly sorry) in the chaos of the wedding day Jihyeon forgot to wear it. Good thing we will have a second ceremony in Australia.
Earlier in the week my parents went on a tour to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea to see where the North Koreans tried to tunnel into the south and the heavily fortified border between the two countries. While there, they bought some wine that is actually made in North Korea as a gift for Jihyeon's father.
Some more gifts from Australia. This time for Jihyeon's mother. My Oma (German for grandmother) gave Jihyeon's mum a decorative plate painted with an iconic native Australian bird, the Kookaburra.
This is a tea towel with the recipe for damper (a traditional bread in Australia) printed on it from a friend of my mother back in Australia.
Next up, a gift from my mother. It is a empty Australian themed photo album that my mum made for Jihyeon's parents to fill when they visit Australia.
There were more gifts, but the last photo I have is of the gift from my aunty Val and uncle John. They gave Jihyeon's parents some mugs decorated with Australian birds.
Then it was time for the Aussie visitors to receive some gifts from us. I forgot to take any photos, but I pulled these two pictures from store's website. We wanted to give something useful that was made in Korea, not just some gimmicky tourist gift. We picked out some made in Korea bone china tea sets.
After the gift giving, it was time for mum to try on the Hanbok she was measured up for when visiting during summer a few months ago <click here to read about it>.
Dad also tried on his suit which was tailored a few months ago too.
Once the Aussies had returned to their hotel, we quickly practiced what we had to do tomorrow before going to bed.
Walking down the aisle.
Wait... Jihyeon's father should have been standing on the other side.
and hug before taking Jihyeon by the hand up to the alter to be sacrificed... errr I mean married.
Then, bed time. I needed my beauty sleep for the big day tomorrow.