A wedding day is a collision of two worlds coming together in a beautiful, loving juxtaposition. It’s especially sweet when those families coming together honor their history and special wedding traditions, which is just what happened with Carmen & Steve’s wedding day as they honored special Korean wedding traditions with their parents and grandparents.
from the photographer, Angel Cheng: “Carmen and Steve wasted no time and began wedding planning soon after their engagement. When I first met them and talked about their wedding day, you can tell how excited they are to be starting a new life chapter as husband and wife! Carmen is one of the most organized brides I’ve ever met – from bridal details to timeline management – she had a vision for their wedding day and
she nailed it!
Their wedding began with getting ready at the bridal suite of the venue. As soon as we stepped inside, you can hear music and laughter, and I knew immediately that it would be a fun-filled wedding party and joyous wedding! Carmen’s bridal details incorporated the wedding color – dusty blues and greenery – along with classic pearls and dangling earrings. Her dress from Love Couture Bridal was a dream to say the least! The train falls beautifully with lace trims pairing with a laced veil and a pair of Badgley Mischka heels – they are fitting for a classic and elegant bride like Carmen! Meanwhile, Steve got ready with his groomsmen in the lounge area of the property within 15 minutes, while spending the rest blasting music, playing arcades, and celebrating some drinks!
Carmen had two first-look: one with her dad and the other with Steve. Though both Carmen and her dad claimed to be not particularly emotionally for their first-look, both couldn’t hold their tears when they saw each other. On the other hand, her first-look with Steve was filled with excitement and laughter. We took some time to take some wedding party pictures afterward. And boy, were they a fun wedding party!
The ceremony was held in front of the famous big tree, decorated with an arch handmade by Carmen’s dad himself. As the bridal was walking down the aisle, the anticipation got the best of Steve’s brother. The reality of his brother is getting married finally set in, and he was tearing up as Carmen finally walked down the aisle. True to their personalities, the first kiss ended up being Steve dipped by Carmen, and everyone clapped and laughed!
We took advantage of the beautiful sunset against rolling hills and treeline, and had them practice their first dance at the open field. The backdrop was stunning to say the least, but the loving gazes they have for each other definitely was what I loved the most from the short sunset portraits session.
The reception was held under the white tent decorated with tealights. The head table was lined with white tablecloth, greenery, lanterns, and Mr & Mrs balloons on their chair! Between the bridal party entrance, the first dance, parents dances, and the toasts, the parents dances always have my heart because you can see the relationships between the parents and the bride/groom. Being rooted in their culture, Carmen and Steve had a Korean ceremony (Pyebaek) to honor their parents and grandparents. They changed into the traditional Korean outfit for the bride and groom. Adorned with heavy headdress and intricate layers of fabric, Carmen was led by Steve to bow to their elders and parents, and they in turn gave them marital advice and blessings. They even got to catch chestnuts with the shawl, which symbolizes having *many* children in the future!
The night ended with more celebration with delicious cake and desserts, bouquet toss, more dancing, and sparklers exit. Though it was a packed night, the laughter and embrace didn’t ceased until it was time to go home.”
from the bride & groom:
How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another?
The first time we met was at a mutual friend’s house where he was hosting a Memorial Day cookout/barbecue. Unbeknownst to us, other mutual friends (a couple) who also attended the barbecue thought it would be great to play “matchmaker”, and invited Carmen to the barbecue, as she was visiting from college in New York city. As Steve was running last minute errands for the barbecue, he receives a call from the mutual friend asking “where are you?” with a hint of concern (thinking I was not going to make it), and urgency (wanted to ensure there was ample time for us to meet). When Steve arrived to the cookout, he noticed Carmen at the barbecue, simply because it was a new face, but with both of being shy, and not knowing that our friends were attempting to “hook us up”, we acknowledged each other, played volleyball, and had a great time. As the barbecue came to an end, our mutual friends and Carmen (as they all rode together) simply got in their car and drove off in a hurry, while Steve and others were busy cleaning and taking things back to the house. Although Steve did find it a bit awkward that the mutual friends did not introduce us, Steve viewed Carmen as down to earth, smiley, and obviously very pretty. While Carmen didn’t get a chance to talk to Steve at the barbecue, she was curious about the guy who arrived late, and seemed too cool to talk to her. Fast forward a couple weeks later, we finally got the chance to formally meet when Carmen again visited with the mutual friends during July 4th, where we enjoyed each others’ companies and hit it off.
Any special ways you incorporated your family or family history into your wedding day?
With both of us being of Korean descent, and being very thankful to have being raised in both Korean and English worlds, we wanted to thank our families, by incorporating the Korean tea ceremony into our wedding. The Korean tea ceremony lasted 20 minutes, where we changed into traditional ceremonial outfits, and bow to our parents and grandparents to show them respect, while sharing cups of tea in-hand. In turn, they would provide us with marriage advice and well wishes.
What part of your wedding day was/is most important to you?
The most important part of the wedding day for us was having all of our family and friends together on our special day to celebrate with us. This is very important to us, as our family and friends are dispersed worldwide and will most likely be very difficult to have everyone at the same place again.
If you had one piece of advice for other couples, what would it be?
When you go through the process of arranging all things wedding, ensure you both are involved in the process, so one does not take the brunt of it, causing significant amount of stress on one partner. What we also found was important was that when both parties are involved, it makes the wedding day more enjoyable and amazing because you actually see everything that you two work on together then come together, which gave us a sense of pride and joy. Additionally, even if you do have a “wedding coordinator” to help you with the planning process and day of events, being actively involved and organized from the beginning helped us tremendously, and we were very pleased with how the day went. We wanted everyone, including ourselves, to enjoy and have fun on our big day, and it happened.