Kelly and Thomas planned a romantic wedding in the industrial The Foundry at Puritan Mills, with a mix of American and Korean traditions, and lots of beautiful DIY details. From the hand-lettered aisle runner to the invitations (all created by the bride!), from the luscious bouquet to the darling cake topper, we know you’re going to love this Atlanta wedding!
Says the bride: “The best advice I received when I was getting married wasn’t just perfect for wedding planning, but for my life in general: ‘Only care about the things you want to care about.’ The day was a big blur, but I do remember the small things, as I knew I would. That’s just how I am – very detail oriented. But I also agree that the most important thing, once the actual day begins, let it all go and be what it will be. Enjoy every moment, enjoy the details, and of course, enjoy the celebration of marrying your best friend.”
“I bit off more than I would normally be able to handle, but I really loved all of the work I put into our wedding,” says Kelly. “Not only did I plan it all, I also made all of the paper components. I designed, printed, and hand cut all of the wedding invitations, stationery and signs, hand lettered the paper aisle runner, hand filled and tied the favors with the help of my bridesmaids. It truly was a labor of love and if I could go back and do it again, I would. I loved every moment of it.”
“Thomas and I initially thought of asking a friend to get certified and wed us, but our parents didn’t understand why we would want to do that. To them, the officiant was supposed to be older, wiser, and needed to speak Korean. I asked around and one of my friends recommended Pastor David Park to us, so we gave him a call and met with him. Thomas and I don’t go to church, so we felt a little awkward about asking a pastor to wed us, but when we met with him, he was gentle and kind and humble, and we fell in love with him right away. He didn’t judge us, he didn’t make us feel bad, and more importantly, he wanted to get to know us. He understood that I was an artist and that I was more spiritual than religious, and sincerely showed that he was there to listen and guide us to a happy marriage, teaching us how to go beyond the wedding.”
Your ceremony in three words. Whimsical, Romantic, Unique.
What was your ceremony music? I was against going down the aisle to the traditional wedding march – I always dreamt of walking down to a romantic song. I spent a week researching and listening to many songs before coming up with the perfect list for our ceremony. The wedding party walked to “Little House” by Amanda Seyfried, I walked down to “Turning Page – Instrumental” by Sleeping At Last, and for the recessional, we walked out to “Love Like You” by Eric Hutchinson. Thomas and I also love the song “Love Runs Out” by OneRepublic, and incorporated the song into the wedding. I hand lettered the lyrics out onto the paper aisle runner, and it was great to walk and see the words leading up to the altar. The song was also playing as we entered into the reception and our wedding party had fun dancing to it!
What were your ceremony readings? We kept most of our ceremony pretty simple. Pastor David provided the best sermon that was light, funny, and wise. Even though there was no Korean translation, everyone laughed and enjoyed the sermon.
What were your vows like? We chose to go with the traditional vows, only because Thomas and I both knew that once we were standing up there, we wouldn’t be able to read our own. I felt that exchanging personal words with one another was better done in private, and we’d already said them to each other in the days leading up to the wedding.
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? We included some Korean traditions. After we said “I do,” Pastor David announced us to our parents and we bowed in respect and to say thank you for raising us, and then to the audience. This meant a great deal to us because Thomas and I value respect in all of our relationships, and we wanted to express our gratitude to everyone who came. // We also wore the traditional Korean Hanboks for part of the wedding. We both loved this part of the wedding, as we got to dress in the custom fabrics of our parents’ country. Our moms went to Korea and picked out the Hanbok fabric themselves and had our Hanboks custom made. Not only did we get to wear them at our wedding to celebrate, we now have them to wear at future special occasions, such as our child’s first birthday.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? My absolute favorite thing about the wedding ceremony was the moment after we were announced as husband and wife. I took out my phone and we took a selfie right there on the spot! It was candid and pure awesome.
“I am obsessed with industrial spaces. Thomas and I both come from pretty traditional Korean families, so we really had to push for the venue we wanted. I saw the potential the space had for a romantic atmosphere, and though our parents didn’t see our vision, they knew I worked in the field, and told me they would trust and respect my decisions. The result was beautiful and our parents were over the moon with happiness at how everything turned out – I think they finally understood why we picked that venue.”
How would you describe your reception? Romantic evening party.
How did you go about planning your wedding? I planned the entire wedding myself. I will not make it out to be fun or easy since, really, it was neither. I just know myself and I knew no one could do the planning for me. Thomas was always right by my side to talk about priorities and fears. And even though there were some strong opinions from our parents, my mom supported me the whole way; we became such great friends in the process, which I am so grateful for. It was overwhelming sometimes, but when I look back on it all, I am happy and proud to say that I think we found a good balance of a Korean-American wedding.
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? My cousin’s husband works as a baker at a local Korean bakery, and wanted to make our cake for us as a wedding gift. It was a delicious white cake with layers of buttercream that faded from pink and coral to white. On top were the most beautiful and detailed wooden figurines, made by my friend Chloe at The Little Canopy.
What was your first dance song? Our first dance song was “Overjoyed” by Matchbox Twenty. I had listened to this song and watched the video over and over and instantly thought of Thomas and our adventure ahead. Our father/daughter dance song was “Daddy’s Girl” by Michael Buble, and the mother/son dance song was “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You” by Rod Stewart.
Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. I wanted to share the opening of the reception with my wedding party, so at the first dance, we had a signal where Thomas would turn me and the bridesmaids and groomsmen would pair off and join us on the dance floor for the rest of the dance. I thought it was warm and sentimental, and Thomas and I are really glad to have shared that moment with them.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? My favorite moment was when our friends decided to play traditional Korean game to collect some extra cash for the after party. They sat Thomas on a chair and put his feet up in another chair in front of him. I was handed a bucket and was told to go around and collect cash from guests who would pay for a chance to hit the groom’s feet. It was such a fun game that got everyone to come forward and get involved, even the older adults, which I thought was great. Poor Thomas couldn’t walk well for two days after!
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? Honestly, if I were to go back and do it all over again, I would have pushed more for the smaller wedding that I always knew I wanted. Also, I would have worked a little longer on the timeline for the day to make sure I was more efficient with when and how many times I would change clothes. Other than that, I loved the labor, I loved the day, and I don’t think there is much else I would change.
Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding? I am honored to be able to share our story. It was truly a wonderful and romantic experience and I know I am one of the lucky ones to be able to say that. We are so grateful to all those who came to share our special day, and I also want to give a special shout out to my dream team of vendors, for without them, it wouldn’t have been possible.