Real wedding: Joanne + Ethan


Yesterday you all had a chance to check out the awesome engagement shoot of Joanne + Ethan…well today you get to see the wedding! So many beautiful moments captured by JL Photografia, it was hard to pick which pictures to show!  Joanne talks about the day below…

With an impending cross-country move, Ethan and I did not want to deal with the fuss and expense that comes with a big wedding. We considered eloping to an exotic locale, but over the course of our engagement we realized how important it was for us to share our wedding day with our friends and family.  Towards the end of June 2009, we started planning for an intimate and relaxed wedding in California to follow our move back to the San Francisco Bay Area. We chose Carmel-by-the-Sea primarily for the Basilica at the Carmel Mission, an active Roman Catholic parish church that also serves as a lovely and historic museum. Serendipitously, the next available date the Mission had available was October 31 – the day we had met six years ago, and our favorite holiday to boot! We booked the date immediately and started looking on the Internet for a reception venue.Wanting to keep the reception as uncomplicated as possible, we chose to hold a lunch reception at Katy’s Place, an adorable little restaurant that is widely hailed as Carmel’s best breakfast joint. The tiny restaurant only seats about 50, so we reserved the whole restaurant and let our guests choose from their extensive menu (which features sixteen kinds of Eggs Benedict! Eight kinds of waffles!) It was perfect, laid-back, and delicious.



Though we did away with anything we deemed unnecessary (décor for the Basilica was like bringing sand to the beach and driving our own cars was way simpler than booking limos) it was important for us to preserve our family and cultural traditions. In addition to the something old, something new, I walked down the aisle with a sixpence in my shoe as a nod to Ethan’s British heritage. Instead of changing into something short and flirty for the reception, Ethan and I both donned hanbok, traditional Korean attire that was a wedding gift from my parents. We worked in a little pyebaek ceremony on the deck of Katy’s Place. In the pyebaek, both sets of parents throw chestnuts and jujubes into the outstretched skirt of the hanbok to symbolize their wishes for grandchildren. We improvised with walnuts instead of jujubes, which our parents threw with an uncompromised gusto. As a finale to the reception, Ethan gave me a spirited piggyback ride through the restaurant. The piggyback ride is meant to symbolize the groom’s obligations to both his bride and the mothers, but both our moms declined the offer 😉



As Halloween is hands-down our favorite holiday, we couldn’t let the day pass without a costume party. We declared fancy dress mandatory and asked our guests to reconvene later that night at a local cantina for a costume party, complete with costume contest. Since our friends love dressing up as much as we do, we anticipated some cutthroat competition but the results were truly epic. One of favorite moments was seeing my aunt and uncle walk in as a giant wedding cake and bouquet. Priceless. The hardest of partiers joined us for a bar crawl through downtown Monterey that ended in the wee hours of the morning.












DIY Details: We didn’t deal with many vendors and opted to DIY as much as possible. In the tradition of the 1000 paper cranes, my husband Ethan patiently folded origami cranes, penguins, goldfish, and ships to use as décor at the reception. I had exactly one paper crane fail before I gave up and switched my attention to making our wedding programs and favors.Cake, Maid of Honor: Our sweet little white wedding cake was made with love by my big sis, Christine. Instead of supplementing it with a plain white sheet cake, we ordered a kid’s Indiana Jones cake from Safeway and added a Hello Kitty topper.

Photographer, JL Photografia: I honestly can’t say enough good things about Janet and Lisa, who I actually found through Brooklyn Bride! The pictures should speak for themselves, but besides being amazingly talented these two ladies are sweet, professional, and in general totally awesome.

Flowers, Swenson & Silacci: We met with Erik Croonquist less than a month before the wedding and were instantly smitten. We kept it pretty basic – bouquets and boutonnieres – and Erik delivered amazing bouquets that were exactly what I asked for and envisioned. He was also ridiculously sweet and fun.

Hair & Makeup: My favorite Aunt Jean is an incredible hairstylist and created two awesome styles for the ceremony and reception. The hair flowers are dendrobium orchids from Swenson & Silacci. I’m also seriously makeup challenged but thankfully my bridesmaids are not!

Bride: Duchesse silk gown with matching custom veil, Jim Hjelm from the Bridal Garden. Shoes, Elie Tahari.

Groom: Suit and shoes, Hugo Boss. Shirt and tie, Ermenegildo Zegna.

Rings: Tiffany

Hanbok: 3150 W. Olympic Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA.

Bridesmaids: Dresses from J. Crew, Madison Marcus, Banana Republic. Accessories, bridesmaids’ own.

Groomsmen: Suits, Target (under $100 a pop!). Ties, Shirt and shoes, groomsmen’s’ own.

Celebrant: Father Joseph Astarita from St. Aedan’s Parish in Jersey City, NJ, who helped prepare us for marriage. We couldn’t imagine anyone else marrying us!

Wine & Pink Prosecco: Bevmo (We stocked up at their Buy One, Get One event for about what we’d have spent on two-buck Chuck)

DJ: Ethan’s iPod, paired with some plug and play speakers from Target.

Wedding Favors: Ring rosaries from the Carmel Mission gift shop which I turned into handmade bookmarks.

[images from JL Photografia]