To Celebrate a Holy Matrimony

My sister is married! Now two of the three dohsters have found their other halves and have stepped into a holy covenant to love, nurture and grow together with our life partners til our last breaths. I will dedicate a lengthy post about her beautiful wedding soon, when I get the nice quality photos from the photographer. But for now, I wanted to write down some thoughts and reflections from this past weekend that I want to keep for myself. The above photo is me and Joyce, who was the Maid of Honor last June. She came to celebrate and congratulate my sister this year as well ūüôā Below are my two beautiful sisters and myself – Juna and I both ordered our bridesmaids dresses from Asos and we were both very satisfied with the flowy material!

This past weekend I attended two weddings, my sister’s and a friend’s, one¬†at a chapel and the other at a catholic church. They were both beautiful. Both places had this sense of serenity amidst all the guests, flowers, and commotion. The bright lighting, the calming music, and the radiant smiles¬†in¬†so many of the guests made the two locations more than just a building and place. The bride was glowing of course, in satin silk and beaded jeweled white dresses. They really were a jewel to behold. It made me think about how much planning must have gone through the past few months to prepare for this day. To come as their most beautiful and best versions to be blessed by those that they love and by God. I am reminded of the numerous verses in the bible that refer to the church as the Bride and as the groom being Christ who will return. Marriage in this light means so much more than just a legal document between two individuals… It is a wonder how beautiful and mysterious the meaning and depth of marriage was intended to be between two imperfect individuals loving each other and fearing and loving the Lord.

I was reminded of¬†my own vows at my wedding: “Do you Junhee take John¬†to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day¬†forward, for better for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to¬†cherish, till death do you part, according to God‚Äôs holy word, and your solemn oath? ” It’s been 11 months since I married John and I realize how incredibly blessed I am to have found someone so complementary, encouraging, kind and gentle. Of course, we have our differences and those in turn come to highlight the things we have carried on from our pasts that still need to be given true freedom. But it is amazing because in our little clashes and bumps, as iron sharpens iron, we help each other grow more whole.

My sister’s wedding was actually at the exact same chapel where I had my wedding last summer, but everything felt so different. From the blush toned bridesmaids to the groomsmen, to the different message… It was lovely, and my heart is so happy. I must admit I was crying my eyes out when my sister was bowing to my parents… but it was a reflection of the mixed emotions in my own heart as I saw her grow up in to this beautiful woman.¬†Praying that both of their marriages will be blessed and that they will be a blessing towards others! My first time as a bridesmaid went well – ūüôā

Gilbert’s Burger and Fries, Garosugil, Seoul

Thankfully, the burger scene has vastly improved since I came to Korea. During the past few years, many respectable burger places such as Brooklyn Burger, Gilbert’s, and others have popped up and have saved expats like me whenever I had a craving for that oozing melted cheese on a beef patty. These type of burger establishments are more in like with Umami than In n Out, but you will take whatever you can get out here.¬† Continue reading “Gilbert’s Burger and Fries, Garosugil, Seoul”

Bridal Shower, Vino Terrace, Seoul

My little sister is getting married!!! and two Saturdays ago a beautiful bridal shower was thrown for the bride-to-be with her closest friends from high school, college, and church. It was thankfully a gorgeous day with lots of sunshine, perfect for our outdoors rooftop location at Vino Terrace!

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We rented out Vino Terrace from 2-5pm and the bridesmaids got to work decorating the entire place with fresh flowers from the Flower Market at Express Bus Terminal, homemade Sangria with fruits, home-baked three layered cake made by the talented Esther, and horderves prepared all by yours truly, maid of honor Yumi and Esther.

Ricotta cheese with salmon, tomato, strawberries and all fresh ingredients. And of course some salami and cheese to go with the Champagne to celebrate the bride-to-be!

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The bridesmaids dressed in grey, while the bride shined in white. The flowers were arranged by my mom that morning Рfresh off the flower market the night before. The theme was blush and white, so the flowers ranged from Hanoi, baby pink roses, to peonies! The flowers smelled absolutely fresh and sweet. The Maid of Honor had prepared a flower crown for the bride, which made her look even more elegant. The photobooth wall was decorated by the bride herself, handmade using colored stock paper! She is artistic and creative, so she went all out. The bride-to-be banner was lent by my friend Heeseok unni. The black sexy Bride-to-be sash was gifted to me by my bridesmaid Minji for my bridal shower last year. Thankfully we could use it for my sister too! #recyclingisbeautiful

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It was smiles all around. I think the most wonderful thing about Bridal Showers is that you have a moment when all those that you love can come together to celebrate with you. And on this gorgeous April Saturday afternoon we were all there for my sister!

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Juna, my youngest sister, and I had been in charge of decorations and games, so we got white helium balloons, handmade photobooth props (calligraphy all done by Juna on card stock paper, while the sparkly props were borrowed from Barbara), flower wall (every single flower made by the bride by watching youtube), mason jars with ribbons (for guests to place colored notes filled with date night ideas, baby names, bible verses or words of encouragement, and reasons why we love the Bride), seating arrangment cards (written out in cursive on nice paper), chocolates on the tables (because we all need a little something sweet), and extra fresh flowers all set up. Each guest was  given an organic candle made by the bride as a surprise!

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The games started with ice breakers of “2 Truths and 1 Lie with the Bride” where we had to share 2 truths and 1 lie about our relationship with the bride. If you got it right you got a point, if you guessed wrong, you drank some bubbly champagne. The guest with the most points got a little gift from the gift basket filled with Eos lip balms and L’occitane hand creams. The ones that got answers¬†wrong got happy on all the champagne. win-win.

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This was followed by “Jeopardy with the Bride” with four categories (character, habits, aspirations, and people) about¬†the Bride and 3 questions in each category with points from 100 to 500 – some secret double pointers. This game helped with team bonding as many¬†guests met on that day for the first time! It was a¬†lot of fun, and we¬†all learned new and strange facts about the bride, which we will¬†keep confidential! We love you Junhye!

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Then, “Feel the Groom” game with a surprise visit was made by the Groom and his friends after Blindfolding the bride!** She was definitely caught¬†by surprise and ¬†had to feel body parts of all the men to find her Groom. It was hilarious, and she found him¬†in the end!

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Then we played the “Define Love” game where guests filled out pink heart post-its with their definition of Love in one word. The bride¬†picked her favorite definition, and the guest who wrote it¬†won a prize. Yoonji took home a hand-sanitizer as her gift!

This beautiful evening was concluded with a prayer time to bless her marriage. Tori, her close friend and sister from her discipleship training (DT) group facilitated the time. It was the best way to end the lovely afternoon. The bridal shower took hours of preparation, but it was all worth it in the end and I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I really wanted to throw the best bridal shower for her, and I felt like we really did it! Everything went well and all the guests left laughing and glowing, and the bride was beaming. I can’t believe my little sister is all grown up and getting married this month! Time really flies… I’m just grateful that I got¬†to celebrate this moment with her in person, before¬†God leads us to different places with our hubbies. Love you our Ž™ĽŽāúžĚī (ugly duckling)! You are so beautiful now – no¬†longer can we call you Ž™ĽŽāúžĚī! I pray that your marriage will be blessed by our heavenly Father and that it will be a blessing to others!

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The Jamism (Jamism and Griller), Seoul

This bright coral cafe named The Jamism (Jamism and Griller) opened up a while ago nearby Cafe Mamas in Gangnam. Coral is one of my favorite colors and I loved how the cafe stood out from the mundane colors of the other buildings. John and I decided to study here. The color scheme and decorations were bright, cozy and feminine. The natural lighting that came in through the big windows was also a big plus. But most of all, we were surprised to find an unexpected grilled cheese menu alongside their cafe drinks.

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Gontran Cherrier, Artisan Boulanger, Seoul

It’s been a cool drizzly day today and John and I decided to grab a quick brunch before getting on with the day. We decided to head over to Gontran Cherrier, a small bakery cafe right next to Illy Cafe in Gangnam 5 minutes walk out of exit 9. This place has the best croissants¬†(3,000won) in Seoul, in my humble opinion, and I also adore their pain au chocolat (3,200won). SO. GOOD. Below are the croissants, right out of the oven in the morning! I love their texture and it’s been hard to find one that rivals them in Seoul.

Continue reading “Gontran Cherrier, Artisan Boulanger, Seoul”