The Korea Herald/Asia News Network
Song Joong Ki (left) and Song Hye Kyo (right) at the press conference in Hong Kong for the new K-drama 'Descendants of the Sun.' (The Straits Times/Viu)
Life imitated art as actors Song Joong-ki and Song Hye-kyo, who starred as the romantic leads in hit drama series “Descendants of the Sun,” married in a private ceremony in Seoul on Tuesday.
The ceremony took place with some 300 invited guests, consisting of family and friends, with strict security.
The area around Song’s wedding venue, The Shilla Seoul’s Yeong Bin Gwan, a Korean-style banquet annex, was swarming with press and fans Tuesday afternoon.
However, no press conference or photo op for the media took place.
Security personnel guarded entrances to the annex from early Tuesday morning, while preparations were in full swing inside the annex courtyard for the outdoor ceremony.
Actor Hwang jung-min, who arrived at 3:25 p.m., was among the first of the celebrity guests to arrive.
International fans from Asian countries holding signs bearing the Song couple’s names and other travelers had begun to gather at the parking lot outside the annex as early as noon. Some were here coincidentally, while others had arranged to visit Korea specifically for the wedding.
“We’re traveling and happen to be staying at The Shilla,” said Liu Xiaoxia, 24, a travel agent from China. “But I’m a fan of Song Joong-ki and Song Hye-kyo. ‘Descendants of the Sun’ was very popular in China,” she said.
A bank employee from the Philippines said she had decided to drop by while on a visit to Seoul.
Atsuko Koizumi, 51, and her daughter Ari, 19, from Japan, said they had arranged their trip to coincide with the Songs’ wedding.
Reservations at The Shilla spiked with the event, according to the hotel‘s public relations officer. “Overall, there has been an increase in occupancies since yesterday.”
The couple will not be leaving right away for their honeymoon in Europe, according to Song Joong-ki’s agency Blossom Entertainment.
The couple will likely settle down at a 602-square-meter home in Itaewon, Seoul, which Song Joong-ki bought for 10 billion won ($8.9 million) in January, according to reports.
The Songs shot their wedding photos in San Francisco, California, last month. Prior to the big day, the couple met with friends to personally deliver invitations that read, “We have finally met the person we have been waiting for a long time,” according to reports. “It is a long way but please come to share your life’s wisdom and courage with us.”
Reports had said earlier that the ceremony would not have a wedding officiant, but be hosted by a friend from Song Joong-ki’s school days.
Singer-turned-musical actress Ock Joo-hyun, Song Hye-kyo’s close friend, was invited to sing for the couple, reports added.
Park Bo-gum was invited to give a piano performance, while close friends Lee Kwang-soo and Yoo Ah-in were invited to read letters to the couple.
Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi, who starred alongside Song Hye-kyo in Wong Kar-wai’s “The Grandmaster” ( 2013 ) and John Woo’s “The Crossing” ( 2014 ), was to attend as a guest.
The actors’ management agencies released official wedding photos after the ceremony.
The two actors announced their engagement in July, having met while shooting the hit series “Descendants of the Sun,” which ran from February to April 2016.
Song Hye-kyo, 35, gained popularity through lead roles in TV dramas “Autumn in My Heart” ( 2000 ) and “Full House” ( 2014 ). Song Joong-ki, 32, starred in TV series such as “Sungkyunkwan Scandal” ( 2010 ) and films such as “A Werewolf Boy” ( 2012 ) and “The Battleship Island” ( 2017 ).