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From a sweet proposal in Central Park, to an intimate wedding ceremony at Brentwood Presbyterian Church and a “Super Moon”-lit courtyard reception by the Pacific Ocean, Hanna and George were able to celebrate their nuptial affair in just the personal, laid-back atmosphere they had hoped for.
The couple’s festive-themed reception at the Annenberg Beach House perfectly reflected the date of their special event, and thanks to a wonderful team, Hanna was able to turn the all-white flower wedding that she had always envisioned into a charming reality.
Ethan Yang Photography was there to capture Hanna and George’s ideal, low-key wedding.
How and when did you meet? First Impressions?
We like to compare our relationship to “When Harry Met Sally” – we were friends for a long time…and then we weren’t. We first met when I moved to LA from NY in 2005 and were introduced by my cousins. We really were friends for several years, though it’s become a bit of a joke among our friends as to when we actually started dating. As we spent more time together, I guess you could say the attraction was difficult to mask. We like to think when we finally did move forward, it was the right time and for the right reasons.
What was the proposal like?
The proposal really was a surprise. We had planned a trip to NY to celebrate our one year anniversary and my birthday. Two weeks prior to NY, I had been in Japan for work and during that week, unbeknownst to me, George had traveled to see and ask my parents for their blessing. After a busy week of meeting up with friends and visiting old haunts, we headed for a walk in Central Park. It was a beautiful fall day, and all of Manhattan seemed to be at the park. Little did I know George was fervently scoping out quiet places. Finally, we found a small shaded bench tucked away from the crowds…where he got on one knee. It was simple and sweet.(And knowing George, it had a few comical moments.) A proposal in my favorite city. With my favorite guy. Perfection.
George & I were on the same page when it came to planning our wedding – we wanted a simple and intimate affair that reflected both George’s laid-back nature and my affinity for modern aesthetics. We chose May 5th to provide an early summer setting for our nuptials. It was a bonus that it coincided with Children’s Day (어린이날 – which our parents loved) and the festive vibe of Cinco de Mayo. A church ceremony was an absolute must, and Brentwood Presbyterian Church provided just the right feeling of solemnity and intimacy. Once we pictured our guests enjoying beachside cocktails at sunset, an oceanfront reception at the Annenberg Beach House with the Pacific Ocean and palm trees as a backdrop was too much to pass up.
We were very hands-on with all aspects of our wedding, though not being naturally “crafty,” taking on many of the DIY details was definitely challenging. Luckily, we had some very creative friends who helped with ideas and projects along the way. We had ordered a custom stamp of our initials “H&G” and used the monogram as the basis for many of our wedding details including the invitations, programs, place settings, cake, decorations, and thank you cards. I had always envisioned an all-white flower wedding, and some amazing friends helped put together my vision including the bouquets, pew decorations, and the varying layers of flower-filled vases for the reception. The surroundings and date helped inspire various other details. Having the ocean just steps away inspired the incorporation of blues and grays as accent colors. As well, pinwheels were used as place cards to signify fresh summer breezes. Our Spanish-themed menu and all-Mexican beer and sangria bar were obviously influenced by our Cinco de Mayo date.
I never thought I’d be the bride who ends up with a dress completely opposite of what she intended, but that indeed turned out to be the case. I went looking for a sheath (given our beachside soiree), and ended up with a ball gown. I figured it was simple yet elegant, and the silhouette was timeless. Plus the dress had pockets! Other than my sparkly shoes, accessories were at a minimum – vintage pearls, and as a remembrance, my maternal grandmother’s favorite brooch on my bouquet. George kept it simple with a sharp new suit, skinny tie and spiffy oxfords. To keep things low-key I asked my bridesmaids to wear any black dress of their choice. Each of theirbouquets was customized for their favorite white flowers. The groomsmen wore black suits and we provided them with the neckties and socks to tie the looks together.
The wedding day revealed one blessing after another. Literally the clouds parted and it was a perfectly warm and sunny day. As an added delight, we had the “Super Moon” shining down on our courtyard reception in the evening. Our wonderful bridal party and team of friends and vendors helped bring everything together to ensure George and I could freely enjoy our day. And most of all, we said our “I do’s” and then celebrated amidst the people we love the most (including friends and family who traveled across the country).
Any advice for newly-engaged couples?
Really decide what works for you – for your budget and as a couple. Don’t worry so much about details that no one will know is missing but you. I felt the pressure of make my wedding “the most unique and special event ever”…but realistically I just had to focus on making it our own. Your family and friends will be there to celebrate you as a couple – not their parting favors or how their napkins are folded. What everyone will remember are all the tears, laughs and hugs shared. Oh. And maybe the cake.
Hanna and George, and thanks for sharing your wedding with us!
Photography: Ethan Yang Photography / Venue: Brentwood Presbyterian Church, Annenberg Beach House (Marion Davies Guest House) / Catering: GOE Catering / Wedding Cake: Susiecakes / Day of Coordinator: Jennifer Shin, SAVVY / DJ: Derrick Cho / Dress: Priscilla of Boston / Suit: Ermenegildo Zegna / Hair, Makeup: Sung Park & Team