Monday, February 1, 2010

Korean Engagement Pictures

For Christmas my friend sent me a wedding dress. She and her sister work at a bridal shop. They discontinued a dress and were supposed to donate it to a theater company... instead they mailed it to me! They wanted me to feel like a bride while in Korea... if I fell in love with the dress, great... if not then it would be okay! 

I opened it at work while Andrew was teaching... all of the Korean girls were flipping out because they thought it was so beautiful. I rushed home and sent Andrew to the bathroom. (We don't have a second room in the apartment, so when one of us needs alone time - like gift wrapping time - we send the other to the bathroom.)

The back of the dress was a lace-up. I loosened it and tried getting in. I got stuck. Severely stuck. I couldn't get in and I couldn't get out. My eyes were barely peeping over the top of the dress. I started calling for help. Andrew was reluctant to come out of the bathroom because he didn't want to see a potential wedding dress on me. 

I told him I didn't care because there was no way I was getting out of the dress with out help. When he came out of the bathroom he just laughed and grabbed the camera to take pictures of me trapped. Yes, it was kind of funny, but I wanted out!

I was on the phone that night with my friend and I told her that I didn't fit in the dress. 

"Well did you take the lacing all the way out before you got in?"

"Uh... no."

"Well that is what you are supposed to do."


Apparently that is not common sense. I took all the lacing out and got in. This time it fit perfectly! Andrew had already seen the dress so I knew I couldn't wear it for our wedding. We decided to get Korean Engagement pictures. 

Cultural Difference #1:
In traditional Korean weddings, the bride and groom wear traditional Hanbok. They take engagement pictures in Western-style white wedding dresses and tuxes. The wedding attire is rentable from the photo companies. I already had my dress so Andrew rented a tux. They did our hair and makeup. 

Cultural difference  #2:
Americans love looking darker and tanner than we actually are. Koreans love looking whiter than they actually are. So most of the makeup she put on me was extremely pale... some of the top coats of powder were actually white. 

Cultural difference #3:
I have beauty marks on my cheek. I love these... they are a part of me that have always been there. Koreans HATE freckles and beauty marks. When our students see our freckles they say, "eww dirty!" The lady started trying to cover up my beauty marks. 

"NO! I like."

"You like?" she looked at Andrew for an honest opinion.

"I think they are beautiful," Andrew responded.

"You like?!"

"Yes! I like!"

"Oh. Korea cover. cover. cover. Koreans always cover!"

She slowly put down the coverup and tried to regather her thoughts.

Cultural Difference #4:
My hair is brown. Koreans have black hair. She clipped in extensions to my updo to make it look fuller... they only had black extensions. Apparently this didn't stop her. (I photoshopped most of the photos so you can't see the black)

Cultural Difference #5:
Koreans love stuffy "formal" photos. We didn't know we were getting these. Oh well.

Cultural Difference #6:
We are tall. Koreans are short. We actually are taller than some of the backgrounds. This didn't stop him from taking the pictures, however. (I didn't post any of these) Also... Andrew was too tall for the tux! They let out the seams in the pants (satin pants, mind you)... but the vest was still way too small. 

Cultural Difference #7:
We speak different languages... so a LOT got lost in translation!

Here are the pictures. I tried to post one from each pose. We really don't like the early stuffy formal photos. Anyway, it was a fun Saturday!

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