As a self proclaimed “control freak” one of the main things our real bride Nicole learnt throughout her wedding planning process is that you just can’t control everything (especially when you are planning a massive, 450 people wedding!).
“The most important thing to remember is to enjoy yourself and remember that it's not about the event or that one day, it's about starting this new journey with the love of your life. Everything can go wrong or right, but with your love by your side, it will make it a perfect day”.
Nicole currently lives in New York City with her now husband Jon. She is an avid photographer, a passionate cook and a self labelled “nerd” who loves to play video games with her husband, attend Comic Con & watch every movie that comes out！
Continue reading to follow Nicole’s journey through her wedding dress shopping & wedding planning experience, details of her ultimate big day and her advice to brides!
HOW DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR WEDDING DRESS AND WHAT MADE IT “YOU”?
There is a lot of pressure that people put on "the dress." You make it a day to go to boutiques with all your close friends and they oogle at your as you try on dress after dress. It's a lot of pressure to try something on and imagine yourself getting married. I am a pretty organized and decisive person, but choosing a dress was one of the hardest things I had to do. I had a budget. I knew certain things about the dress that I was sure I wanted, but I could not find it anywhere of if I did it was WAY out of my budget. The only thing I had coming out of the whole boutique experience was a lace topper that I had loved from Jenny Yoo. But didn't know if I could find a dress to pair it with. Being disappointed and losing a little bit of hope I scoured the internet. I first started off with what seemed normal but then I searched bridal separates and fell upon Lace & Liberty. I first fell in love with the celebration skirt. It was INSTANT. I knew I wanted a Tulle skirt. And it had to have volume. So when I saw the layered Horsehair Tulle it was PERFECT. I had an at home try-on and Danielle really helped me decide on the top. It was simple and elegant.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOU AND JON & YOUR ENGAGEMENT
Jon and I met in school at SVA (School of Visual Arts). He was a Computer Art major and I was in Photography. We met through a Christian group at school and became friends and hung out with the same crowd. About a year and a half later, Jon asked me out on a date. I laughed at first, but he persisted and somehow got me to agree to a date.
After pulling an all-nighter with me, Jon asked me to be his girlfriend. He was helping me do a massive final project and he waited until 8:30AM that morning to ask me so that I would be stress-free. I also, know all the times and dates of every "first" we had. Jon and I are complete opposites, I'm the planner and detailed oriented and he's very chill and go with the flow.
7 years later he proposed at one of NYC's top 3 Michelin star restaurants, Eleven Madison Park. He knows the way to my heart is with good food and Eleven Madison was on my bucket list. 14 courses later we had a tour of the kitchen and he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. I was the most amazing, glorious, and delicious evenings of my life. He got me the sapphire ring that I wanted - it was my something Blue at the wedding.
Our wedding was in one word. Crazy. We invited about 500 people and about approximately 450 attended. It was in Germantown, Maryland, where I grew up at the church that I attended and my parents still attend now. Our pastor and friend married us and about 250 people came from New York to attend the wedding. The other were friends and family in Maryland and about 200 of my parents friends. It was a massive wedding and my mom who owns a restaurant catered the whole thing! It was a hectic but magical day. I had all of my closest friends helping along the way and despite it being such a large wedding it felt intimate because they were there.
There was a lot of compromise with the wedding. I wanted to get married in New York and invite about 100 people, but being from a Korean family and being the first child, we had to make it BIG. So it wasn't my initial vision of what my wedding would be, but I made it my own with the details. We had Sriracha to-go Favors, gold foil invites, illustrative programs, a Momofuku confetti cake, Lego boutonnieres and a whole lot of people who care for and love us.
The whole day was full of favorite moments, but the one that stood out the most to me was the moment right before my entrance. My dad and I were standing outside the sanctuary doors about to walk in and my dad grabbed my hand and said to me (in Korean): "live happily ever after." First Generation Korean men are notorious to be quite, stern, and seem emotionless. But at that moment I saw a softer side to my dad and him and I were able to share a nice calm moment together before going into the ceremony.
Our reception was at the Kentlands Mansion. It's a small historical mansion that we rented and decorated ourselves. It was a perfect setting to end the night dancing and having fun.
YOUR ONE PIECE OF ADVICE FOR FUTURE BRIDES
One thing I would recommend is to hire a day of coordinator. Not your friend, but someone who knows what they are doing. I had my friends be my co-ordinators (1 main coordinator & 2 assistants) and they were amazing, but I wished they were able to enjoy themselves, instead of worrying about where the cake topper was. Put it in your budget and get someone that you don't know to do that for you. At the end of the day you will be a guilt-free bride and make memories enjoying the day with them.