Monday, August 13, 2012

Tina and Marias Wedding

On July 13th, two of my very good friends, Tina Clark and Maria Voutos were married, and I had the pleasure of meeting their families and friends. I met both Tina (from North Carolina) and Maria (from Montreal) during my two years living in Seoul, Korea.

Most of the teachers lived in a building in the centre of Seoul, called the Co-op or as we liked to call it, the Coop. Because it really was that small! Married couples managed to escape the small bedroom with one stove and a bathroom/shower combo in favor of more luxurious apartments. Not us. Tina lived next door and Maria on the floor above us. Gay couples are rarely open about their relationships in Korea, for fear of losing their jobs. Because of this, it took months before we realised they were together. We suspected, of course: they always did each other's laundry; Tina's room was suspiciously simply a smoking room; and of course, they were always together.

Within this small environment, somewhat dorm like, a group of us became inseparable. Tina, Maria, John and Leanne were the famous foursome, always getting into trouble and always with soju in hand. One of the things that brought us all together was our mutual frustration with the schools where we taught, the system, the co-teachers and even some of the students. Living far away from home, it was incredible to be able to find such a great group of friends, and despite the complaining—Oh, the fun we had! Like Leanne falling asleep at a baseball game from drinking too much! From the ice cream birthday cakes to the alleyways of Itaewon; the $3 Turkish kebabs and the sand-covered beach bar; the "bonding trips" compliments of Mr. Kang; Maria's famous food-poisoning incident after dinner at Everest; cooking Thanksgiving dinner in five different rooms—remember, one stovetop per room... thank you guys for an unforgettable year!

After Korea, Tina and Maria left to teach in Changchun, China, with John and Leanne (I told you, inseparable). I have no idea what they were thinking really, I mean it was Northern China, but I loved hearing the horrid stories from Leanne during the bachelorette night. After China, they moved to Bangkok where they settled into a better place than any other to date. For the first time in Asia, they were welcomed as a couple and allowed to live together in a beautiful apartment. They met more fantastic people—Natalie, Richie, Judith, Gordan, Dawn—or a bunch of crazies as they call them. Judith and Gordon traveled all the way from New Zealand to be part of the wedding. Others came from Switerland, Bangkok, England and California. And John and Leanne came from Singapore. (They will now move to Oman, good luck with that guys, and Leanne, please buy that camel!)

It is safe to say that no matter where these two settle, they will find good people, people that will be friends forever. Tina and Maria will now live in Atlanta, much closer to both of their fantastic families. I wish them all the best and I'm hoping they will allow me to photo the little babies once they arrive in (oh I dunno, a few years)? Ladies, it was a pleasure, as always.

Their beautiful flowergirl, Rhiley.

Judith and Gordan share a kiss.

Maria's mom helps tie up her dress.

Photos from Oldport.

Tina and Maria meet in Oldport before the ceremony for photos.

Best Man: Jason Potvin and Maid of Honor: Dannelle Guitson Jenkins.

Gordon awaits the brides at the church.

The lovely ladies walk down the aisle after the ceremony.

Tina and Maria share a kiss in the car after the ceremony.

John and Leanne entertain us all.

The Best man gives a toast.

You know you've been drinking when?

Sweets Table.

Jason, always a ladies man.

The Photo booth opens.

©Alison Slattery. All Rights Reserved.