Jeanie Um may have an engagement story that other girls only dream about. Her boyfriend Josh knew she wanted a specific ring from Tiffany & Co., so when he took her to the famous retailer, she thought it was so they could choose a ring together. “I didn’t know he’d already spoken to salespeople at the store and arranged a private room where he could propose with my dream ring,” she recalls. A Tiffany’s representative ushered in Jeanie’s ring, and Josh followed with a bouquet of flowers to ask Jeanie to be his wife.
Deciding on the location of their wedding didn’t prove to be a problem: The New York couple had vacationed previously in California’s Orange County, and had enjoyed their stay at a luxurious oceanside hotel so much that they decided it was the perfect place to be wed. Additionally, California served as a halfway mark for the 100 loved ones that would be traveling from the east coast and Korea to attend the nuptials. Although the couple wanted to incorporate some cultural traditions into their big day (Josh is Jewish, Jeanie is Korean), they also felt strongly about keeping the focus of the celebration on their love. “We thought it was more important to reflect our style than strictly follow cultural traditions,” explains Jeanie. With this in mind, the couple chose to have a rabbi officiate the wedding, centering his sermon on the importance of marriage. In addition, both mothers wore a Korean hanbok during the ceremony as a nod to the bride’s ethnic heritage, then later changed into formal evening gowns for the reception.
Jeanie wanted the event to reflect a tasteful and chic ambience, so she chose a timeless color scheme of white, gold, and black. “These colors will never look outdated – even if I look at my wedding pictures in 30 years, I know the colors will still look classy,” she says. With the assistance of a wedding consultant, the bride was able to remain relaxed throughout the planning process and make decisions with ease. “I sometimes think brides get too involved, making it harder for everyone to coordinate the event,” the bride explains of her calm demeanor. It also helped that Jeanie fully trusted her planner and had chosen to hire vendors that her planner had worked with in the past. “The level of service was truly outstanding and they made the planning process so easy for me!” adds the bride.
The ceremony décor was kept simple and elegant with arrangements of hydrangea and orchid blossoms decorating the ends of aisle ways, and bright white seating topped with colorful Korean fans. Jeanie wore a gorgeous Ines Di Santo gown with a floral-detailed strap that paired beautifully with her full bouquet of creamy peonies. At the end of the grassy aisle sat a large chuppah decorated with billowing sheer fabric and lush mixtures of ivory hydrangeas, peonies, and orchids. The cliffside ceremony overlooking the Pacific Ocean was the wedding component the groom felt represented him most. “It was a very peaceful place to start your life together with someone,” says Josh.
Guests were seated for a four-course dinner where reception tables were artfully arranged with crystal glassware, silk ivory linens, and tall center arrangements of snowy orchids. The centerpieces were surrounded by candleholders in varying heights filled with black sand and white floating candles. Staying true to the black-and-white color design, the bride had chosen a tower of scrumptious ebony and ivory cupcakes for guests to enjoy as after-dinner treats. Following a full night of feasting, dancing, and sharing much laughter, Jeanie and Josh were certain they had made all the right selections in their planning process. “Every decision we made worked perfectly and truly reflected ‘us’,” confirms the groom. “I wouldn’t change one detail.”