At first glance this wedding is a bundle of peaches and sunshine; a prime summer combo. But when you start pealing back those summertime layers, you’ll see a Hampton’s classic captured by Judy Pak. It has all the details we adore – the gorgeous white dress, the effortless elegance, reception tables that dreams are made of floraled by The Green Vase and Julie Song Ink’s beautiful watercolor stationery. All in all, it’s a dream and you can get cozy with even more of the day right here.
From The Bride… My husband & I hail from two distinctly different parts of America. Though we live together in New York City, I grew up in New England, just outside of Boston. I also spend a formidable amount of my life as a teenager in Seoul, Korea where I lived with my parents who had moved there for work. Eric is from Tennessee and wears his southern genteel with pride. We both moved to New York the better part of a decade ago, but our roots and upbringing are important parts of our lives. For me, it’s a coastal vibe, sharp wit, and a glass of chilled rosé. For Eric, it’s crisp white button down shirts, nature, and properly cooked meat. As a nod to both our styles, I wanted to bring our sensibilities and personalities to life in every touch point of our celebration.
To start, guests were treated with a cooling Arnold Palmer upon arrival. They were ushered through an ivy-covered arbor into a small fountain garden where they could meander and roam around perusing the “advice” my students (I’m a first grade teacher) had written for us. A favorite: “Never fight, never get too busy. Always play with your kids or they’ll get cranky. For your wedding flowers pick roses. Make Mr. Yang pick off the thorns!” Astute.
We could not have asked for a more stunning evening —- after a blisteringly hot week with torrential downpours, we were blessed with the most perfect weather. It was like God knew we had forgone the rain tent against the best advice of our caterer and venue coordinator. With sun gleaming through the trees, a mesmerizing sunset over the vineyards, and a twilight lit with candles and swaths of bistro lighting, the evening was picture perfect.
Beneath Bedell’s iconic mark —- a monumentally beautiful old oak tree with branches that spread its shade over the entire gathering –Eric & I were married. Our wonderful florist, The Green Vase, created a gorgeous garland that draped around the tree’s trunk. Eric’s childhood friend, as Pastor married us with an uplifting and whimsical passage that also included a moment to break as Eric played a song he had written for us on a beautiful oaky grand piano. Guests, who had been provided a hand-made program with a paper bag full of confetti instantly turned our walk down the aisle as husband and wife into a marriage jubilee. Our amazing photographer, Judy Pak, captured the it all perfectly. Every once in a while, I look back at the photos and beam.
Immediately following our nuptials, we followed with a cocktail hour in the adjacent garden with endless hors d’oeuvres & cocktails. We filled a vintage pick up truck with tubs full of ice and beer.
Originally intended as a small side gathering, but what grew into a second heartwarming & jocular ceremony, we celebrated our families’ heritage with a traditional Korean “paebaek” ceremony. During the tea ceremony the bride & groom pay respects to elder family members and
parents toss dates & chestnuts into the bride’s skirt to predict the number of children the couple will bear (we caught 11!). At the end, and perhaps to everyone’s Instagram delight, the groom carries the bride on his back and skips around the observers to signify he will support her in their future life together. Everyone’s cameras were snapping in full regale.
For the victuals we reached deep. Food was always going to be a top priority — meals shared are so important to both of us — and for this we couldn’t have asked for a better partner. Catering by a A
Small Affair, a truly charming husband & wife operation, helped us deliver our vision of the perfect meal. Bountiful, scrumptious, and accompanied with enticing spirits. Along the edges of the intimately lit pavilion, we served food in various stations — all in festival sized portions. No formal seating arrangement kept the festivities up & moving, with guests from all sides getting to know one another and quickly encouraging fellowship. The first stop harkened my New England
heritage with lobster rolls, sweet corn chowder, seared scallops, and fried clam strips in mini fry baskets; further “South,” buttermilk fried chicken with cackalacky hot sauce, sweet potato spoon bread, and collard greens were served alongside shrimp & grits. A take-home treat, guests picked up whoopee pies & mini lobster lollipops. Beyond the dancing (and dancing and dancing) we had a unique take on the typical photo booth: our booth recorded several seconds of tomfoolery and printed a mini flipbook for guests. Certainly a hit.
To be surrounded by so many friends and family celebrating a marriage is cause for an overabundance of emotion in and of itself. But, what might have been a difficult moment, brought our guests, friends, and family even closer. During dinner at the reception, my grandfather suffered a heart attack, eventually passing peacefully the next morning. It was a shock when it happened, but thinking back, I feel so blessed that my harabuji (“grandfather” in Korean) was even able to be with us that day. He chose the best time to go, in the company of all his family and loved ones. Walking back into the reception after it happened, witnessing all our friends joining hands, surrounding our pastor in a moment of prayer, is a moment I will never forget.
If you knew my grandfather then you know he would have wanted the celebration to continue with even more vigor. Honoring his life and what we are certain he would have wanted, we asked our spirited 9-piece band to strike up the music even louder, the spirits to flow faster, and the dancing just one step quicker.
As I write this and think back on that evening —- a collection of stirring, joyous, and loving moments — a single word comes to mind: magical. Magical in the way the clouds decided to stop their week long showers and give us a stunning day of mystic sun. Magical in the way every person that day on those grounds arrived ready to gift us with their support & love. Magical in the way all the details came together. Mostly though, magical in the way we were able to celebrate not only a life ready to be lived together as husband & wife, but a life that had been well lived. It was truly an evening gilded in love.
During our paebaek ceremony, my grandfather gave us sage advice and one last wish: get on the making of babies! Well, if you say so, harabuji.
Photography: Judy Pak Photography | Floral Design: The Green Vase | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids Dresses: Amsale | Catering: Catering By A Small Affair | Makeup And Hair: VickyC5 | Band: The Iconix | Groom's Suit: J.Crew | Venue: Bedell Cellars Winery | Paper Goods: Julie Song Ink