An Intimate Summer Wedding in a Friendâ€™s Backyard in Yorba Linda, California
Fresh out of college in 2014, Jessica Kim and Isaac Park met serendipitously at an arcade bar in the Arts District in Downtown LA. Jessica bumped into an old friend Erica, who introduced her to her UCLA friends. Jessica says, â€śTo be honest, I only really remember meeting Isaac that night. He had kind eyes that twinkled and a warm smile that immediately caught my attention.'' Call it love at first sight, but six years later, they could call each other husband and wife.
In July 2020, Isaac popped the question against the scenic backdrop of Malibu beach on the edge of a small cliff. â€śIâ€™ve always dreamed of proposing to Jessie by the beach as it has always been a special place in our relationship,â€ť Isaac explains. â€śWe often went on night drives by the coast, stepped out onto the sand, and picnicked under the stars.â€ť
The couple started searching for venues for their special day during the height of the pandemic. So, finding the perfect spot was especially difficult, given that social distancing rules were in flux. After a few weeks of unsuccessful and stressful searches, things finally started to look up. Jessie says, â€śLuckily, an angel must have heard our prayers as Isaacâ€™s close family friend generously offered their gorgeous backyard for our wedding. At first, we werenâ€™t sure how to feel about this, but all our nerves settled as soon as we visited their beautiful home. Their backyard was spacious, lush, and had a beautiful golden hour view of the valley.â€ť
In the presence of family and friends, the Californian couple got married on June 26, 2021. They took advantage of the stateâ€™s relaxing Covid restrictions and bumped the guest list to 70 people. Jessie says, â€śI envisioned an intimate summer garden party with lots of beautiful flowers, delicious food, and yummy cocktails."
Providence and Planning sent out the simple yet elegant invitations. Being true coffee aficionados, the couple worked with Senay Ceramics to get custom-labeled espresso cups which they used as name tags.
Jessie received royal treatment at Mon Amie Bridal Salon when designer Erin Cole attended her fitting and personally worked on the dress. Beautifully decked out in beaded lace, the A-line gown had a corset bodice and slip-on arm cuffs. Because she loves to dance, she ensured that the dress was easy to move in. "It felt classic but still a little sexy," shares Jessie. "I felt like a princess in it." The brideâ€™s attire was topped off with a Cathedral veil with matching lace and beading detail.
For her beauty look, Jessie wanted to go for a "naturally flawless" style, which she jokes was an "oxymoron." "Theresa from Kohnur did an amazing job at it," notes the bride. "That airbrush was life-saving as I only got a few hours of sleep the night before and definitely needed that extra coverage under my eyes!"
As for her wedding hairstyle? "For the ceremony, I had my hair up with side braids and soft twists. It looked so elegant," she says. "For the reception, I literally 'let my hair down' for a more casual half-up, half-down look. I was ready to party!"
Milieu Florals provided the flowers, topless arch, and toss petals for the day. They designed the bouquet with a palette of soft pinks, whites, and green hues.
Isaac and his groomsmen were dressed in classic and timeless black suits. When speaking of the significance of his outfit, Isaac said, â€śâ€‹â€‹â€‹â€‹The only accessory that held a special significance was my watch. I wore a silver watch that was gifted to me by Jessieâ€™s parents. It is a Korean tradition for the brideâ€™s parents to give the groom a watch to cherish. Every time I look at it, it serves as a strong reminder of the trust and love I have for not only Jessie, but her entire family.â€ť He also wore Y Eau de Toilette by Saint Laurent, a gift from his mother.
The groom details his favorite moment from the event. "There was a special moment during the ceremony when Jessieâ€™s veil was flying away, and so both our moms held down the veil together throughout the ceremony," he says. "It felt like a symbolic gesture, the coming together of our families.â€ť
The bridesmaids each brought their unique flair to the dresses. â€śI knew I wanted all the bridesmaids to wear different shades of mauve,â€ť the bride says, â€śBut, they got to choose their own styles. I wanted them to be comfortable and relaxed!â€ť Jessie gifted them each Mejuri sapphire earrings as a token of her appreciation, which they all wore on the wedding day.
The floral arrangements, including this stunning topless arch, were consistent with the color scheme of peach, coral, mauve, and blush. The bride shares, "Hannah from Milieu Florals left me speechless!"
Both mothers of the bride and groom wore traditional Korean dresses, called Hanbok, by Chosun Myungju. Up until a century ago, Hanboks were worn daily. Today, Koreans reserve wearing them for special occasions and holidays.
The father of the bride walked his daughter down the aisle to â€śMoon Riverâ€ť by JJ Heller.
I love that we got to share our love stories and promises to each other in front of our friends and family. It felt powerful, reassuring, and intimate.
The brideâ€™s favorite part of the day was the exchange of vows, especially listening to Isaac's. She says, â€śI love that we got to share our love stories and promises to each other in front of our friends and family. It felt powerful, reassuring, and intimate.â€ť Pastor Isaac from Ekko Church officiated the ceremony.
The coupleâ€™s first plant child, â€śLittle Buddy,â€ť served as a unity plant during the wedding. Over the years, the couple propagated and nurtured the plant with tender love and care as a symbol of their growing love. On the wedding day, Little Buddy was defeated by the SoCal heat, and its leaves withered away, leaving only one surviving leaf. However, Jessie and Isaac resurrected it back to life, and the plant now has three new leaves, symbolizing their new chapter.
The couple stayed close to their ancestral roots and participated in the paebaek ceremony, an intimate Korean unification tradition that symbolizes the brideâ€™s entrance into the groomâ€™s family. One part of the ceremony involves the couple catching dates and chestnuts in a sheet of fabric. The dates and chestnuts caught represent the number of children the couple will haveâ€”the dates representing sons and the chestnuts, daughters.
A local vendor, Hunger Bear Catering, provided the Japanese fusion dinner menu. The couple especially loved the blue crab roll, Hokkaido scallops, and miso black cod. They share, â€śWe thoroughly enjoyed our tasting with Hunger Bear Catering. In fact, can we have another post-wedding tasting?â€ť
As their signature drink, the couple had bartenders serve champagne and Beach Town Pops popsicles immediately after the ceremony to help cool guests down from the blazing summer heat. One story from the bar the couple wanted to share: "Most of our guests are avid tequila lovers and the bartender told us that she had to make a second run to the market because we ran out of tequilaâ€¦ twice! Whoops!"
The newly announced Mrs. and Mr. Park had their first dance to â€śSomewhere Only We Knowâ€ť by The Macarons Project. VOX DJs played all the coupleâ€™s favorite songs to help their guests dance the night away.
The couple decided to do the father-daughter and mother-son dances simultaneously to the song â€śLove is a Beautiful Thingâ€ť by Theo Katzman. "I could see how proud my father was and Iâ€™ve never seen Isaacâ€™s mom smile that big," shares Jessie. "It was a wonderful time."
Donâ€™t sweat the small stuff and have so much fun on your wedding day!
Looking back on their wedding planning leading up to the big day, they offer a wise piece of advice: â€śSupport each other through this time period. All that really matters, in the end, is being able to celebrate with your loved ones and being healthy. Donâ€™t sweat the small stuff and have so much fun on your wedding day!"
Later in the night, the bride changed into a stunning two-piece beaded lace corset top and skirt by V Chapman Studio.
The newlyweds plan to take their honeymoon trip to Europe before the end of the year. But they made sure to get in plenty of celebrating in on their wedding day. "Our last dance of the night to 'Donâ€™t Stop Believing' by Journey was so epic and fun," the couple share. "There were sparklers and we all danced and sang like there was no tomorrow."