Philadelphia Wedding with Multi-Cultural Style
March 10, 2010
Mid Atlantic

There is just something about this wedding. It's love, true love. And the fact that it was all done by the beautiful bride and her friends & family...well, swoon central. Click here to see more.

philadelphia wedding


Philadelphia Wedding






{click here to see full wedding} / photography by Peter Van Beever

I loved how my wedding turned out-- we diy-ed a gazillion details, incorporated both a traditional Western AND Korean ceremony, and incorporated some funky details (10 bridesmaids in all different dresses) while keeping to a sweet garden theme. Our photographer, Peter Van Beever, was AMAZING and he was much more affordable for his quality of pictures than most of the photogs I inquired with.

We planned the wedding with a lot of specific details and a general theme of "garden romantic" in mind. My friends and family have a ton of awesome talents and we DIYed so much of the wedding. My sister created all the invitations using paper from old sketchbooks and we had several "button parties" to cover plastic button hearts with yellow tissue paper. We got them printed at Kinkos and hand cut them, and they turned out beautiful and unique. I had 10 bridesmaids, and almost all of them each contributed a special DIY something-- one hand-sewed signs for the ceremony, one decorated our getaway car, one handpainted wood signs, one made me 3 cake platters using vintage cups and plates, one played a violin solo during the ceremony, and we all worked the day before to handmake our programs and favors (individual succulents and cacti). There was so much that everyone contributed that it's hard to describe it all here!

My colors were yellow and green, and it was really important to me that everyone look like themselves and could BE themselves. I had each of my 10 bridesmaids (I know that's huge, but I had 5 family members and 5 best friends from college) choose their own dress, in either green or yellow. We pulled it together by all wearing a white rose in our hair. We weren't sure how it would turn out but everyone looked beautiful! The groomsmen all wore grey suits (we bought them as the groomsmens' gifts) with yellow or green ties and my husband stood out by wearing a plaid tie (he is Scottish, so the plaid was his family tartan). My own dress was a Vera Wang Atelier -- retailing for $5000 and I got it for $800 at a sample sale!

For the ceremony, my favorite elements were my readings-- we did one scripture reading and one reading from The Little Prince (my favorite passage with the fox who tells the little prince that he must forever be responsible for what he has tamed). We had them printed in our programs in both English and Korean for everyone to follow along. We did the same with our hymns and it was wonderful to hear the guests celebrating with us in both languages. My mother-in-law also wore a traditional Korean dress, which Korean mothers wear to weddings, and it meant so much to me to have my new family embrace my own, and my culture.

Right after our wedding ceremony, during cocktail hour, we had another traditional Korean ceremony to welcome the family. This was awesome-- it is a bowing ceremony, where my husband and I bowed to our parents, grandparents, and families and they gave us advice, wisdom, and blessings. We also did some games like feeding each other dates and chestnuts and he gave me a piggy back ride to demonstrate his strength and commitment! :)

For the reception, we set up each table with a collection of jars filled with flowers, yellow and green glass votive jam jars, large metal table numbers, and a special reading. We are both great readers, so we had a different reading printed in a white frame for each table. So much of our own sweat and tears went into all of these details!! I collected old jam jars and pasta sauce jars for 9 months (along with all my bridesmaids), and my sister printed all the readings on the same sketchbook paper (and we found the frames at flea markets in Brooklyn).

I was also pretty proud of our floral arrangements-- we kept to a $1000 budget on flowers which included arrangements for 16 dinner tables, 4 cocktail tables, 10 bridesmaids bouquets, a bridal bouquet, boutenierres, corsages, AND our succulent favors for 150 guests! We were able to stay on budget by using more affordable flowers like babys breath, mini roses, and wildflowers but it all coordinated perfectly with our theme. We also had our florist arrange the big bouquets, but we also just bought a ton of loose flowers and my bridesmaids arranged the ceremony flowers, cocktail tables, and more, to help keep costs down. We also did all of our music using a laptop!! My brother acted as a DJ and everything went off without a hitch. I felt like we were able to do a good job in splurging in a few areas (venue/catering) and diy-ing in others (stationery, flowers, decor, music, and extras like the photobooth and cocktail food).

The best part of the wedding, however, was that we were able to enjoy it along with our guests! We had a photobooth set up for guests to take pictures with fun props like balloons and moustaches, and we had a great mix of music for young and old... it all just felt really fun and the entire day flew by. It was also particularly meaningful for me as my husband and I are both from different cultural backgrounds, and the event just felt like both of us, and not one or the other. To me, I never viewed it as being "my" wedding but it was always a family wedding that I was trying to plan... and I felt like we were able to accomplish it!

Dress: Vera Wang Atelier / Groom's Suit: Jones NY (Men's Wearhouse) / Caterer: Jeffrey Miller Catering / Flowers: Nature's Gallery Florists, Philadelphia / Photographer: Peter Van Beever (DE) / Stationery/Invites: Annie Yi (sister) / Venue: Historic Waynesborough in Paoli, PA