If it was not for my friend, Katie, I never would have made a trip to South Korea (at least not within the next couple of years). The moment she told me she was getting married, I decided that I was going to go to her wedding and of course be a part of the wedding as much as I could. And that meant making myself present at her wedding photo shoot too. Thank you Katie for letting me share your pictures, most of these pictures are taken by me but I have some of the official proofs to share as well.
Typically the wedding shoot is taken months before the wedding, giving everyone enough time to go pick out their pictures, photoshop them, and then get them printed out to be displayed at the wedding, printed on wedding invitations, etc. But this wedding is a little different. Though both the Katie and her groom Mateo are from South Korea, neither of them reside there. Therefore they didn’t have several months before the wedding to take their wedding pictures. Because Mateo only arrived in Korea a week before the wedding they had to schedule the photo shoot 2 days before the wedding.
There is no tradition where the groom should not see the bride in her wedding dress before the wedding. And personally this just seems so much more practical, I don’t think I really want to wait several months after my wedding to see my wedding pictures.
This wedding shoot seemed more important to Katie than the wedding day itself. Whenever we discussed her wedding, the topic of the wedding photo shoot always came first. We went from deciding on the style of pictures we preferred by going through a ton of websites recommended to us in Seoul and Daejeon, to the number of wedding dresses and other outfits she was going to wear etc.
After changing her mind several times, she finally decided on Urban Studio in Daejeon (their main studio is located in Seoul). The photo shoot went from 10:00am to 4:30pm (it was supposed to be ’til 2:00pm but got extended), 3 wedding dresses (not including the dress she wore on her wedding day), 2 other dresses, 3 traditional Korean Hanbok dresses, and 1 couple outfit. I think the day of the photo shoot was a longer day than her own wedding – no, I’m sure it was longer.
We took a bus from Ilsan, South Korea at 6:30am to arrive in Daejeon at about 9:30am, from there we took a taxi to the photo studio (and I bet her day started at about the same time to get her hair and make up done). I basically spent the whole day taking pictures of her taking pictures. That kept me entertained all day. It was also nice to be able to see some of the pictures immediately instead of having to wait for the proofs, though my pictures are nothing compared to the professional photos. She also had to hire someone to be her personal assistant (they called her an ‘imo’ 이모, which literally means aunt) for the day to help with the photo shoot, help her in and out of her dresses, touch up her make up and hair. Katie also invited a friend to take videos of the shoot. I didn’t get ALL of her dresses and shots, but below are just some of my favorites.
It is not traditional to have bridesmaids at a Korean wedding, and I was bummed. But at least we got to be included in the photo shoot! It was interesting because the photographer would tell us what to do in Korean and since we didn’t understand what he was saying, we had to wait for Katie or her sister to translate for us. Below are the official proofs that were taken during the photo shoot. From the numbers on the proofs, over 1000 pictures were taken, and I personally took just as many pictures that day. I guess you can compare the professional ones to my amateur photography.
I have seen quite a few people who fly to South Korea just to take their wedding pictures. At first I thought it was a little excessive, but now that I’ve seen it done in person I think I understand why. Would you fly out to South Korea for this?