Fair warning, if romance makes you sick you may want to stop reading. Also, for those who saw the pictures on Facebook, you might get sick from having to look at them again.
Heidi and I have established a tradition for our wedding anniversary. Each year Heidi puts on her wedding dress, I put on a put on a suit, and we out head out to a fun spot to celebrate and take pictures. It’s a great way to celebrate our anniversary, relive the excitement of the wedding, and get the most out of Heidi’s favorite dress.
The wedding dress is what makes the experience fun. Nobody thinks twice about a guy in a suit, but put him next to a girl in a wedding dress and things are bit more interesting. With the addition of this year’s chapter, the dress has been worn in four locations:
- Wedding Day (and opening gifts the next morning [thanks again everyone!]): Duluth, MN.
- 1st year anniversary (horse and carriage ride around the fountain where I proposed): Kansas City, KS.
- 2nd year anniversary (bright lights of Times Square): NYC, NY.
- 3rd year anniversary (changing of the guards – Gwanghwamun Square): Seoul, South Korea.
For this year’s anniversary, we decided to head to the main gate of Korea’s most prominent palace. We had a room at a nice hotel in downtown Seoul (right next to the palace) and we checked in early so that we could head out for early-afternoon pictures. One of Heidi’s coworkers agreed to take some photos of us, but ran a bit late, which gave us an opportunity to take some model shots while we waited. Corny? Yes.
Once her coworker arrived we didn’t waste any time before heading out. There were some nerves in the elevator, but excitement and a pep talk kept the ball rolling. “We did this in Times Square, this should be a cake walk!” Not to mention, we’ve grown accustomed to being stared at for looking out of place.
Gwanghwamun Square was packed due to the holiday weekend (no, they don’t celebrate our anniversary as a holiday, it was Buddha’s birthday), but we were able snap a few shots with limited people in the background. We planned a few poses we wanted to strike, and the picture taking really only lasted a 30 or so minutes including the time it took to walk around the massive square.
From the time that we left the hotel room, all the way through us taking our pictures, people seemed both surprised and intrigued by Heidi and her wedding dress. Many of the crowds we passed, and the crowds that passed us, didn’t hesitate to stare, pull out their phones/cameras, and take pictures; some kids needing a closer look, and a group of girls in traditional hanboks requested a picture with us. It was just after we had our picture taken with the group of girls that Heidi’s coworker said, “I think you may be youtube soon,” which she just might have been right about…
On our way back to the hotel we passed a large crowd of people in a half circle surrounding a giant carton of milk (about the size of a typical vending machine). They were all oooing, ahhhing, clapping and cheering. Before we knew it, a woman was talking to us at a mile per minute in Korean and trying to usher us towards the crowd. Heidi’s coworker translated for us, and we learned that people perform a mystery task, and then a hand comes out of the giant carton and gives away a prize. Hey, sounds like fun.
We were quickly ushered to the front of the crowd, past all the families and children waiting patiently and excitedly for their opportunity to earn their prize. Na na! Just kidding, we actually felt kind of bad about that. Once center stage, the nerves set in. It was show time, and the carton of milk started talking to us. I gave an apprehensive glance at Heidi’s coworker, who told us we needed to kiss. Taking full advantage of the spotlight, and ecstatic I wouldn’t have to dance, I dipped Heidi as low as I could and planted one on her. And the crowd goes wild! So wild that I thought it would be fun to do it a second time. And the crowd goes even wilder! While kissing Heidi, an arm came out of the milk carton and took a picture of us. It was now holding our hard-earned prize: two flavored milks and a FujiFilm instant camera. Score! I held the prizes high above my head and shot as cheesy of a smile as I could.
It was just a short stroll back to the hotel to change into normal clothes and the yearly tradition was over. Year number three is in the books, and we’re now happy to start working on number four!
The Changing of the Guards. Every hour there’s a ceremony at the palace as the entrance guards change. We happened to snap a couple photos as they paraded by.
We did an extra video for a commercial they were shooting. I was helping Heidi learn the Korean phrase, “사랑해요 우유속에!”