Mona Kim and Vincent Wong know firsthand the power of a Facebook friend request. They initially met as graduate students at Washington University, but didn’t begin to build a relationship until Mona “friended” Vincent on Facebook eight years later. An online friendship evolved into a long-distance romance (he was living in Missouri, while she resided in New Jersey), and within six months Vincent realized it was time to pop the question.
“I knew I wanted to propose when I began to care more about Mona’s happiness and well-being than my own,” he says. In fact, during her first trip to Los Angeles to meet Vincent’s family, the couple toured potential wedding sites. “It was a bit funny to be visiting venues when we weren’t officially engaged yet and I had only known his family for 48 hours,” she remembers.
Soon after that sojourn, Vincent made their engagement official with a carefully orchestrated proposal. A friend’s husband told Mona that he was hosting a surprise party for his wife in a New York City hotel. But when Mona arrived at the supposed celebration, she was amazed to find Vincent (who had said he would be in St. Louis that day) waiting for her surrounded by roses and flickering candles. A dazzling diamond ring completed the romantic scene. “It really was the best surprise ever,” she declares.
The couple easily settled on an elegant hotel in Pasadena as their ceremony and reception venue. Then they happily handed over the reins to their wedding planner, which Vincent maintains was a crucial decision that freed him and Mona to fully enjoy their big day. Mona credits their planner for magnificently condensing and processing her vague wishes for a beautiful, pastel-colored wedding into stunning reality.
To honor Mona’s Korean and Vincent’s Chinese heritage, the festivities began with a pre-wedding tea ceremony for immediate family members that combined elements from both of their cultures. Adding another Korean component to the day, Mona and her mother also posed for photos wearing traditional hanbok dresses.
Upon an expansive lawn, an aisleway created using lavender and blush rose petals led to an arch constructed of fresh roses in an ombré pattern. Bridesmaids clad in lilac frocks preceded the bride down the aisle, as did a flower girl who escorted the couple’s beloved pup. Even though Mona admits she was initially shy about revealing her deepest feelings in front of their guests, she and Vincent agree that it was the most memorable moment of the day. “I will never forget how I felt listening to my wife recite her vows. I had never heard anything so heartfelt and genuine,” says the groom. “Those words continue to inspire me to love her more each day.”
For the reception, a ballroom was radiantly decorated with flowers and linens in shades of lavender, bullion, blush, and mint green. The DJ kept guests entertained by encouraging crowd participation with jokes and games. Another sentimental touch: a same-day edit of the wedding video, which featured clips of “behind-the-scenes” moments and pre-ceremony preparations.
Vincent reveals that he was surprised by how relaxed he was throughout the celebration and how quickly it passed. Mona, too, deemed herself the “most stress-free bride ever.” Though the couple attributes their peaceful experience to their stellar wedding planner, their ability to remain focused on the true meaning of the festivities undoubtedly contributed as well. As Vincent sums up, “No part of the wedding planning process is more important than the relationship between you and your future spouse or the relationship between you and your family.”