Kyungwon had spent the last few months leading up to this day calming Minkyung down every time she started to get a little too agitated at the florist or the caterer. Their personalities worked well in that sense, with Kyungwon’s laidback demeanour balancing against her girlfriend’s tendency to overthink and fluster herself.
She catches herself. Minkyung isn’t only her girlfriend now, she’s her fiancé. The woman she’ll marry today.
Thinking back to May isn’t hard, the moment etched itself, indents deep on her mind. The speech she prepared still fresh in her memory thanks to the amount of times she had practiced it.
They had woken up early on their day off, a rarity for Minkyung who would have preferred to sleep the day away, but that didn’t fall into Kyungwon’s plan, a plan that was laid out with exact time frames and locations to make this moment the most memorable in her life. A park about 5 minutes’ walk from their flat was the location, 6:30am when the spring sun was just peaking over the horizon, casting a golden glow that painted everything in its path and stretched the shadows long and thin was the time. Kyungwon had stopped walking beneath a large kousa dogwood tree in full bloom, the same location she had first asked Minkyung to be her girlfriend some 6 years prior.
“You know I love you so much, so much it scares me sometimes. I had never thought I could feel this strongly about anyone, ever, and there’s no one else in this world who I would rather feel this way about cause, to me, you’re perfect. Even though sometimes you wear your socks to bed, and you have no shame about picking your nose in front of me, and you get cranky when you’re hungry. I love all those things about you, they add to your charm.”
Minkyung had caught on to what was happening at this point, her eyes started to fill with hot tears, overwhelmed with emotion.
“I had a revelation recently. A epiphany even. About how I would like to spend the rest of my life, and that’s with you. Just you, by my side. Whether we’re living comfortably in a cute cabin in the mountains, or huddling for warmth in a box on the street, either way I want to be with you. You make me see the best in any situation, you make me believe I can get through anything. Just as long as I have you. I know you feel the same about me, you tell me often enough” A choked bark of laughter had burst from the object of her affection at that statement; it was no secret that Minkyung said ‘I love you’ at least 12 times a day.
“And not only that but I don’t think you would have put up with me for so long if you didn’t. So, I’m asking you, Minkyung. My love. My one and only. My beautiful star.” This was it. “Will do me the honour of becoming my wife, and putting up with me for the rest of our lives?”
Minkyung had been stuck between crying, hugging Kyungwon’s neck and letting her knees buckle to the floor but she had managed to squeak out “yes” over and over again, like a mantra. Yes, I’ll marry you. Yes, I’ll spend my life with you. Yes, I’ll put up with you.
Truly her most precious memory to date.
Kyungwon was pulled out of the memory by her friend Eunwoo, a stylist, who had offered to design her hair for the day. She had finished the style that seemed simple and complicated at the same time. Maybe Kyungwon’s inability to even plait her hair neatly is what made it look complicated but she still praised Eunwoo’s skills profusely.
Her hair was in loose curls across her shoulders and the right side of her head had two separate plaits that had been pulled around to the back and pinned into place with a gold flower decoration.
Once she got the ok to move she stood and stepped over to an ornate full length mirror to admire her dress. Many people had been surprised that she chose to wear a dress and not a suit, but Kyungwon felt a day like this warranted a bit of femininity. It still held an air of simplicity, all the detail in the long-sleeved torso that featured intricate cable lace designs and a bateau neckline, the floor length skirt was layered with lace and fell straight to the floor, foregoing puffy-ness or a long train. Beneath her dress she wore low-heeled white shoes with no extra detail but a strap that wrapped around her thin ankles.
Trickling into her mind were thoughts of what Minkyung could be wearing. She had refused to let Kyungwon see her in her dress before they walked down the aisle as she believed in all the superstitions surrounding weddings. The thought of her soon-to-be-wife made the swarm of butterflies that had been sat in her stomach since this morning, hit against her insides trying to get out and fly free.
Taking a deep breath she picked up her little cue card off the table and began to read the vows she had prepared. They were emotional, full of a warm, tingly feeling reminiscent of the feeling she has when she looks at her other half.
As the clock ticked towards 12 o’clock everyone had started to move into position and bristle with excitement so electric you can feel it in the air. Kyungwon’s hands shook as she twitched the canvas of her gazebo to look outside at the crowd.
Both Minkyung and herself had agreed on an outdoor wedding in winter, snow had a very romantic atmosphere, and the thick layer that coated the ground and surrounding trees was undoubtedly gorgeous to look at, the perfect backdrop to their special day. The layout was circular, with two aisles extending from a small raised platform with a canopy where their clergyman already stood, carefully placing her book on a stand ready to read the edited script the brides had approved. Surrounding the centre were two clusters of plastic chairs arranged in a semi-circle form either side of the aisles.
Spotting her family on the front row of the right semi-circle eased her mind slightly, they had been a great source of comfort over the past few months when things got too stressful with the planning. She also caught sight of Eunwoo sliding into her seat on the left side, next to Minkyung’s parents, she must have just finished styling her fiancé’s hair. That word, fiancé, reminded her of why she was here, and any calm she may have mustered melted away as she began to feel the nervous excitement creep up her spine once again.
A hand grabbed her shoulder to catch her attention; it was Nayoung, their Maid of Honour. Silently she handed over her bouquet of cream coloured roses and peonies, and smiled softly as if she knew exactly what was running through Kyungwon’s mind. They had chosen Nayoung to be the Maid of Honour of both brides for her natural leadership skills and calm demeanour; she had really helped them during the preparation, especially in the sense of calming down all the bridesmaids. Speaking of which, she turned to her three friends; Yebin, Sungyeon and Kyla. The girls were practically vibrating with excitement as they fidgeted with their pink-peach colour dresses that came to just below their knee. They approached Kyungwon with huge face-splitting smiles on their face, asking if she’s ready, if she’s nervous, if she remembers her vows. Yes to all.
The time had arrived, she could feel the shift in energy as everyone got serious and prepared to walk. Nayoung went first, and by the time she made it half way down the aisle her bridesmaids stepped out also, one after the other in age order.
Across the way she could see Jieqiong, Yewon and Siyeon exiting Minkyung’s gazebo and walking down the aisle, each with a smile that spanned from ear to ear on their face.
At that moment the music changed, signalling that it was time for the brides to enter. Kyungwon took a deep breath and stepped out in the cold air, keeping her head down, looking at the soft pink carpet aisle, as they had agreed. She could hear the small gasps and various “aww” and “wow’s” from the crowd. Once she reached the edge of the raised platform in the middle Nayoung started to countdown, starting from 3. At 1 both she and Minkyung raised their heads to take in the other.
Kyungwon’s breath caught in her throat, struggling to pass by her heart that had grew a hundred times in size.
Her fiancé was beautiful. Magnificent, dazzling, stunning. No single word in the dictionary was powerful enough to describe her. The train of her dress extended a short way out behind her, ordained with lace patterns of flowers trailing all the way up to her waist, moving upwards into a sweetheart neckline, the lace continuing past to make a bateau neckline similar to Kyungwon’s own. She had opted for three-quarter length sleeves that were entirely lace and held more flowery patterning around the elbows. Her bouquet also held cream coloured peonies but her roses were a soft, light pink colour. Kyungwon’s eyes travelled upwards, taking in the beautiful hairstyle Eunwoo had designed. Her chocolate brown hair was softly curled and gently lay across her shoulders, a section of her hair from either side was pulled back and pinned behind her head, all decorated with a constellation of little pins and clips encrusted with gems.
Minkyung’s chest was rising and falling heavily as she gazed intensely into Kyungwon’s eyes. They took steps forward until they could reach out and hold each other’s hands after passing their bouquets to Nayoung.
“Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today” the clergyman began her speech and everyone settled down into their seats, eyes trained on the couple centre stage.
The service was long, so long that Kyungwon’s heels started to hurt her feet, despite how low they were. That however was her only indication of how long they had been stood there, staring into her lovers eyes, watching them sparkle with the excitement of something knew and unprecedented made time fly. She could have been there for 5 minutes, 5 hours or 5 years and she still wouldn’t realise. The first time she pays attention to anything other than the beautiful woman in front of her is when it’s signalled that they will say their vows.
Kyungwon goes first, detailing how she feels and how she promises to love and protect Minkyung forevermore. Its short and sweet, but really she wanted to keep most of it in private, away from the ears of their friends and family.
Minkyung’s however was a little longer.
“Kyungwon. I want you to know that you are the light of my life. The soft morning light that wakes me in the morning, the bright midday light that keeps me going, and the calm moonlight that grounds me. I believe I was born a half, a dim half, and when you entered my life I was made whole, and bright and everything was sunny all because you were around.
When you asked me to marry you back in May I was the happiest girl in the world, still am, actually. And today, when we say those two small words, I want that to be a promise. My promise to you that I will spend every day of my life in an effort to make you as happy as you make me, I promise to love you whole-heartedly until the day we pass over into another life, and I promise to love you in that next life too. You’re everything I want, need and desire. Without you my life would be dark and incomplete and I never want to feel that.”
Sniffing, Kyungwon wiped under her eyes trying to hide the tears spilling down her face, unsuccessfully.
“And so, moment of truth” Both brides softly giggle, still staring into each other’s eyes. “Do you, Kang Kyungwon, take Kim Minkyung to be you lawfully wedded wife?”
“Yes! Yes, yes, yes!” The crowd erupts into laughter at her outburst of emotion.
“Do you, Kim Minkyung, take Kang Kyungwon to be your lawfully wedded wife?”
Minkyung answers softly, so softly that Kyungwon is the only one who can hear her say ‘yes’.
Their faces spread into bright, wide smiles, anticipating the next words in the service.
“I pronounce you wife and wife. You may now kiss the bride.”
She was acutely aware of the eyes of everyone on her and her wife so their first kiss was made quickly and gingerly, but upon feeling her wife’s soft lips against her own, all apprehension went out of the window. They kissed again, and again, and again until Kyungwon’s arms slipped around her wife’s waist, picking her up and spinning her around. Their friends whooped and hollered at the display, their parents openly cried, even Nayoung had tears welling up in her eyes.
Both wives turned back towards each other and pressed their foreheads together, their faces aching from smiling so hard for so long.
Kyungwon felt she needed to revise her earlier statement.
THIS was the most memorable moment in her life, and probably will be forever.