How a Surprise Wedding in Korea Made Me Believe in Love Again

November 12, 2013


foreign-correspondent badge final My name is Kylie Genter, and I am single. There are several reasons for this, the main reasons being my repulsive personality coupled with my general disinterest in men who are not celebrities or fictional characters from TV shows and movies.

Some people are worried about me but I quite like my selfish existence. I let my small apartment become a hovel of filth. I watch TV shows for hours on end while eating ice cream straight from the carton. I can devote as much time to my hobbies as I want–those hobbies being taekwondo, eating, and flirting with as many cute Korean guys as possible.

After years cocooned in solitude, it’s difficult for me to imagine spending my life with another person. At this point in my life, I usually view romantic relationships like extra baggage. It’s expensive and it’s slowing me down.  Plus, I’d rather use that extra bag space for shoes.

I’m not some jaded twenty-something who hates the idea of settling down; it’s just not on my horizon at the moment. That being said, I love meeting couples who do make it work, traveling the world and experiencing new cultures together.

I have a few friends who are married here in Korea who’ve spent a good part of their lives together bumping around the globe. These people fascinate me for several reasons. 1: How did you find someone who wants to go to all these places with you? 2: How do you get all of your friends from different countries to go to your wedding? 3: How have you not killed each other yet? I haven’t asked these questions aloud, but I think about them from time to time.

There are also those couples who head out on a journey alone, only to find a lasting travel buddy along the way. Travelers have undoubtedly heard plenty of stories of romances kindled on vacations; long-distance loves aided by the Internet; Peace Corps volunteers falling in love while they help a community somewhere, etc. etc. I’d like to tell you a new story: The Story of Mandi and Sean.

Mandi and Sean are both teachers who live in my hometown in Korea. These two crazy kids met in Jinju, fell in love here, and on Halloween, they got married here. They were officially married Halloween Day at the Jinju City hall, but they had been planning a huge Halloween party/surprise wedding reception for months.

Masked only as a huge Halloween part for foreigner and Korean friends alike, I arrived at the party, which was on November 1st, dressed as a zombie Ariel from the Little Mermaid, completely unaware that two of my good friends would have a wedding reception there in a few hours time.

After two hours and several glasses of champagne, I walked over to my friend Peter (who was supplying said champagne) and asked him to open another bottle for us to enjoy.

“No,” he answered, “we have to save it for the wedding.”

“What wedding???” Shock and alcohol at this point surely made my facial expression at this point laughable.

“That guy over there,” Peter said, pointing to the dance floor. “The Canadian guy in the blue shirt. They just told me he’s marrying his girlfriend tonight.”

My eyes racked the dance floor until I noticed Sean, who is indeed Canadian and was wearing a blue shirt. He and his girlfriend were dressed as characters from the TV show Adventure Time.

“Oh my god!” I screamed, and turned to tell the news to the three people closest to me.

My other friend Sam ran over and whispered/screamed, “Kylie! What are you doing? It’s supposed to be a secret!”

“Oh… uh, guys forget I told you. But, oh my god, guys, I’m freaking out,” was the best I could do as far as a response.

At midnight the music stopped and our friend Glen, dressed as a zombie priest, started the ceremony reassuring everyone, “And yes, this is for real.” Mandi and Sean read their vows, which were quirky and perfect just like them. I jumped around with Sam, too happy to stay still. I don’t know if it’s because I was drunk, happy, mildly sick, or a combination, but I couldn’t produce tears so I ended up just making crying noises instead.

They had their first dance, my friend Jackie caught the bouquet, and I ran over to the couple.

“You just got married!”

“I know!” Mandi answered.

“You’re married!”

“I’m married!” And then we hugged and spun around the dance floor like maniacs.

Now, Sean and Mandi are back from their honeymoon to Osaka, Japan.

Congrats you two–and thanks for making this cold, harpy heart believe in love again.


About Kylie Genter

Kylie Genter is an English teacher in South Korea.

2 thoughts on “How a Surprise Wedding in Korea Made Me Believe in Love Again

  1. Carolyn
    November 12, 2013

    Thanks for writing about the surprise wedding, I almost felt like I was there in Jinju with all you quirky guys and girls! I love the humor you infuse in your writing, you kept me chuckling while touching on some deeper topics. Keep it up, I will continue to read your blog and live vicariously through you;)

  2. Pearly
    November 12, 2013

    Omg, girl you’re the twin I never had… the first four paragraphs could’ve been written about me; it all described me down to a T! Good writing – keep it up!

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