• Kelley Jorgensen

A Korean-American Engagement

Korean American Weddings can be difficult to plan. There's not much overlap in traditions so it can be challenging to successfully incorporate an equal amount of both cultures. On top of this pressure to combine, this couple must also plan a ceremony with only a tentative date. See how Matt and Erica are crushing the engagement game below!

Matthew Bell graduated from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, in May of 2014. During University, he was able to study, criminology, criminal justice and ROTC. Matthew is originally from Nebraska City, Nebraska. Matthew moved to Uijeongbu, South Korea in September of 2017, and has been stationed there since. His duties include working as a Mobility Officer. One month into his training, fellow lieutenant and friend, Kyle, introduced him to SoYoung Choi.

SoYoung, who goes by her American name, Erica, is originally from South Korea. She went to High School in Massey, New Zealand, and graduated from Massey University with her bachelors in Marketing. She moved to Uijeongbu after graduation where she met Matt.

The couple quickly became infatuated with one another. Often taking trips together, going snowboarding in the Jisan Forest Resort in Incheon, taking a yacht in Busan, and going to Pyeongchang for the winter Olympics. They were able to spend time with Matt's parents when they came for a visit as well! They always look dashing, but look at those stunning smiles at the Military ball in Daegu. They even went abroad to Tokyo and to Matt's home in Nebraska.

After dating for 11 months, in August of 2018, Matt surprised Erica with a proposal at the N Seoul Tower in Namsan, Seoul. He and their closest friends took Erica up to the Seoul tower where a heart of pink flowers was laid out on the ground, Matt pulled out a beautifully designed bouquet and a diamond ring, and got down on one knee.

Cultures Colliding or Combining?

Traditionally, getting down on one knee and exchanging rings is not customary in Korea. In fact, most of the older generation do not wear rings. But in the US, its an unavoidable custom! It's basically unheard of to not propose this way or to not exchange rings. Here is a great example of how two cultures can come together to create a charming love story.

Neither parties parents are involved with the planning of the wedding. Erica’s parents would prefer to have the wedding in Korea and are willing to pay for the celebration so the couple decided a beautiful spring wedding in Korea would be ideal! Matt’s parents and a few Nebraska friends will be flying in for the wedding. Hopefully having a piece of home will ease Matt's nerves on the day

The ceremony will be in Korean so Matt is not expected to understand much what is going on throughout the day. Having some English speakers will hopefully make the ceremony a bit easier for him.

Being a military family means not knowing when you're going to get time off. Even for your own wedding. Because of this, the ceremony is tentatively planned for April 15. Hopefully the couple can be together on this date. We are sure everything will workout for the best either way though.

In Korea, appearances are highly valued in general, every person strives to look perfect and there is a plastic surgery center on every corner in Seoul. Every man and woman in Korea wants to look like the cover of this magazine.

Though everyone in general values appearance and a thin waist, it is especially important to look your absolute best for your wedding day.

Erica is facing significant pressures from friends and family members to lose weight. She must look slender and feminine for the guests. Specifically, she has been asked to lose 20% of her overall body weight in time for the ceremony.

The wedding will be held on April 15, hopefully, in Uijeongbu Korea. Can't wait to see the wedding? Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social channels to get an update on their wedding day!

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