Wonder Girls’ Leader on Her Way to Adulthood
Being an idol and the dedication it is associated with has always been regarded as a lifelong job, whether one goes into military service or a break from the outside world, they will always be regarded as idols. With groups like G.O.D, Shinhwa, and more, it is not hard to see why the Korean public regards them that way, as most choose to age at a slower pace, taking the usual adult milestones 5 to 10 years behind the typical adult. This was not the case when it comes it former Wonder Girls leader, Sunye. The 2nd generation idol, who was on top of the game and scoring no.1 hits time and time again, took the bold choice of going on hiatus from the group and the company to go and get married, something unheard of for a girl-group member to do.
The decision for her to do so even caused a conflict between Sunye and JYP Entertainment producer, JYP. He recalled, “There was a time Sunye and I didn’t talk for two days because of an argument. However, there hasn’t been a time more precious to me than when we were working together at that time.” Sunye confessed, “Back then he wasn’t our company producer but acted instead like our manager and took care of everything. So I couldn’t help but be affected emotionally at times.” So what, exactly, prompted her to leave the group completely in order to focus on family? How is she doing now that she is married? Let’s take a look at Sunye’s family and her latest news!
Sunye’s Little Family
Sunye has been far from the spotlight since 2012, having chosen to marry her husband, James Park, whom she had met during a missionary trip to Haiti. Talking about their marriage and relationship, James Park said, “We’re a couple that are like friends. We have faith in each other’s love and even when we were dating, we weren’t afraid to pass gas in front of each other. We have fun together. This is how we express our love.”
In one interview she did after the two has settled down for quite some years with their daughters, Sunye revealed a little a bit about the relationship between her and her husband, how it had all started. She stated, “People around me say that I’ve gotten brighter after meeting James. When I was younger, I would hold down my playful side, but after I met my husband, my natural brighter side came through a lot.” The couple first met when Sunye went to Haiti to do volunteer work after the natural disaster that hit the island. Sunye said, “At a time when I was wondering what my life’s goal was, I met an older friend who had done volunteer work in Haiti for a long time. When I heard her stories, I knew I wanted to go. I think that Haiti really gave my life direction and it gave me a lot of precious memories. I met my husband there as well.”
James Park, coincidentally, was also there as a missionary/ He said, “There are a lot of celebrities who come to Haiti and take photos with the children and just leave. I thought that Sunye was here just to create an image as well. But as soon as we met, she told me to treat her like everyone else.” He shared a story about how she helped wash patients with cholera herself, despite shedding tears. He said, “Even as a missionary, that’s difficult for me to do. But she helped all of them.” He added, “It was only the third day since I met her but I knew then that this was the person I wanted to marry. Later, Sunye said she was sure, as well.”
They revealed that Sunye was the one to make the first move and she said, “I’m always that way. If I like someone, I tell them.” James Park added, “Her leadership is strong. She proposed first, too. I told her that I didn’t have the money to buy her a ring and she said, ‘A ring isn’t eternal. Our hearts are the important thing, so we don’t need a ring.” After meeting through voluntary work in Haiti, the couple kept in touch with each other through email and text messages. Although Sunye went back to Haiti a few times, it was only for voluntary work.
The couple only managed to have their very first date when they headed to Canada together. On their trip to Canada, Sunye first met James Park’s parents and the couple went on their first official date. Regarding the trip, she told her husband to be, “They are really good people and they are the reason why you have such a free-spirited and upright personality. Your parents had a huge role in it. They became my parents at the same time, which really felt like a gift. It was how I felt when I received this ring, too.” Their trip ultimately led them to discuss their wedding and they both agreed to hold a simple wedding, something very different from what is expected from a celebrity of Sunye’s scale. There was no intention of incurring any excessive expenses, so all they needed was a simple wedding band. However, she was shocked when James proposed to her with this ring.
James explained that his father had given his mother two rings while proposing to her 30 years ago. One ring was meant for her, while the other was meant for their child. James’s father told his mother, “If we ever have a son in the future, this ring will be used for his marriage proposal.” Upon knowing that, James took the ring, went to Korea, and proposed to Sunye. The wedding ring that was kept for over 30 years was exceptionally meaningful for Sunye.
On January 26, Sunye and James Park tied the knot at the Lotte Hotel in Sogong-dong with around 600 guests, including many celebrity friends such as Park Jin Young, 2AM, Wonder Girls, JJ Project, 15&, Baek Ah-yeon, Younha, Girls’ Generation, Bada, Tim, Kara, Park Kyung Lim and others. The first part of the wedding was held in a church where the bride and groom gave their vows. The wedding song was performed by the church choir. The second part of the wedding was emceed by 2AM’s Jo Kwon, who is also Sunye’s best friend. Park Jin Young along with other JYP artists, who sang the wedding song.
Sunye and James Pak left for the Maldives for their honeymoon and spent their newlywed years in Canada. Sunye, once the leader of Wonder Girls, has lived in Toronto with her husband James Park and three daughters, Eun-yoo, Ha-jin and Yoo-jin, for the past 6 years.