Any wedding that’s full of color, fun, and ends the night with a trip to In-n-Out is going to grab my attention for sure. Hyeyoung and Gabriel’s wedding from Bonnie Tsang, GATHER Events, and Primary Petals was about as joyous as they come, which is totally evident in their wedding pictures — so we’ll let them speak for themselves!
From the bride, Hyeyoung: Our favorite memory was sitting down in the beautiful reception and looking out at everyone. We felt so blessed to have so many people from various moments of our life – and from across the world – present, celebrating us. We felt so much love in that moment. Their love for us individually and as a couple – and our love for everyone in that room – felt so palpable and we will never forget that feeling.
We wanted our ceremony to reflect love and family and we felt so happy to have it truly be a family affair. It felt so special to have Hyeyoung’s brother-in-law, Stephen Ahnert, officiate the ceremony. We loved the readings by Best Man, Michael Colon, Maid of Honor and Sister of the Bride, Soyoung Oh, and the groom’s parents, Carmen and Carl Nelson. We loved having Best Man and Brother of the Groom, Christopher Nelson, standing up there with us. And lastly, it was so special to have Hyeyoung’s parents, Ai Jung and Mootak Oh, and her 3 month old nephew, Owen Ahnert, all present and part of the ceremony. Along with this, having Hyeyoung’s aunt and cousins, traveling from Seoul, Korea and Hawaii, and Gabriel’s aunts, uncle, and cousins from Colorado and Illinois all present made the occasion even more joyful and special. Having Hyeyoung’s cousin’s husband, Jae Hwa Choi, DJ the event was the icing on the cake. Beyond this, having the majority of the guests fly in from across the United States to celebrate with us clearly demonstrated their love for us and we are immensely grateful.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? “Don’t sweat the small stuff” – this motto really sticks in our minds when thinking about wedding planning. Now the small stuff can, and will, differ from couple to couple. So I think the first thing to do is to sit down and decide what are the indispensable things and what are the “small” things. Once you have a clear idea of what you really want, it will make the planning process go much more smoothly and hopefully make the week-of leading to the big day much easier. Don’t let “small” things become large things during an undeniably emotional time. Also, during the special day, I think what truly becomes self evident is that even the seemingly “large” things are actually “small” things as it becomes crystal clear that only one thing really matters: being surrounded by family and friends – sharing in so much love, joy, laughter, and happy tears. Also, if available in the budget, hiring a planner is essential. We can unequivocally state that without Robin and GATHER Events, the day would not have been possible. Robin understood our aesthetic and what we wanted to focus on for the ceremony and reception, helping us bring to life our vision of the wedding. She also managed countless dilemmas and issues (ones that we probably are even unaware of) that emerged without involving us – which we are so grateful for. As such, we cannot emphasize enough the value of a planner. The thing is – amidst this joyful time, even with a planner, it will be stressful – so having a planner will truly save you quite a bit of stress and tears. Lastly, as noted, even with a full planning team and everything in place, the week leading up to the wedding will be stressful – especially as family and friends start to arrive to celebrate with you ahead of time. Make sure both the bride and groom/bride and bride/groom and groom make time for themselves – book your own hotel room away from everyone else, go to the spa, workout on your own, etc (whatever that truly allows you to decompress). The same way you schedule drinks, a meal, a coffee break, schedule time for yourself because it will be an intense time and taking opportunities to recharge alone will be essential.
From the event designers, GATHER Events: Hyeyoung and Gabriel envisioned a joyous and festive day with lots of vibrant, happy colors. Fresh pops of peach, fuschia, yellow and orange in the design details offset Lombardi House’s clean neutral color palette. Primary Petals created the most gorgeous bridal bouquet with lush, colorful, textured florals, including peonies, poppies, ranunculus, succulents and eucalyptus. Hyeyoung and Gabriel got married behind our hand-dyed fabric backdrop for an extra touch of romance. Lupa & Pepi livened up their crisp, clean paper goods with fun geometric shapes and vibrant swaths of paint. A column of glowing twinkle lights softened the long u-shaped communal dinner table inside the venue’s modern barn and long, lush runners of greenery and pops of florals dressed the exposed wooden dinner tables. Little Nelly’s dinner spread included flank steak, slow-roasted salmon, torchio pasta and market vegetables and the evening was topped by a decadent dessert table of red velvet cake and mini desserts including cheesecake, fruit crisp and sea salt caramel pudding. With a guest list that included a number of professional dancers, the couple anticipated the dance floor to be a focal point of the event. We created a light and fabric curtain surrounding the dance floor and creating a cozy space for people to dance the night away. And dance, they did! We were treated to the most amazing dance-offs between street and Latin ballroom dancers. Guests recharged with a late night treat of In N Out burgers before the event concluded with a sparkler sendoff. It was the perfect celebration for this vibrant couple!