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Real Wedding | Erica & Hoon

Bride: Erica Choi
Groom: Hoon Kim
Wedding gown style: Gemma
Wedding date: September 23, 2012
Boutique purchased: Vera Wang Madison Avenue, NY
Location: New York, NY and Seoul, Korea
Photographer: J.U Photography

First things first, where did you meet your husband and how did you know he was the one?

We met at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), sharing the same passion and interests for design. I was pursuing my undergraduate degree in Graphic Design and he was a grad student in the same major. We were aware of each other since we were in the same department, but did not get to know each other until we both moved to New York. There, we spent a lot of time together, and initially I thought we were just good friends (or a close “oppa” in Korean). I realized quickly that Hoon had other plans for us!

How did he propose? Tell us the story!

One wintery Saturday he asked me if I wanted to go take photos , and of course I said yes! We have always loved taking photos together in our free time. He also told me he was going to have his friend, who is a professional photographer, take photos of us together. I ended up having to work that day due to an urgent project.  So we rescheduled for sunday and headed to Central Park.  As we walked through the park taking photos his friend was simultaneously snapping pictures.  The whole time, I was thinking, “Wow, they are really into this!” I was about ready to call it a day when my husband suddenly turned to me with a very peculiar look on his face.  He started reciting a speech he had prepared and tears immediately began streaming down my face. Thank God I had my sunglasses on! When he finally asked me to marry him I just kept nodding yes…I was absolutely shocked. He reached into his coat pocket, trying to take out the ring box, but it was stuck. It was so funny watching him try to take it out. Everything felt so happy. I couldn’t believe his friend knew all along that he was going to propose!  I will never forget that day, it was so pure and sweet.

Once the wedding plans started, what made you decide on a Vera Wang gown?

I was always in love with Vera’s gowns. There is just something about them – a feeling, a sense, the attention to detail, that no other dresses possess. Trying on dresses at the Madison Ave boutique was an experience in itself. I have a very petite figure, so it was difficult to find a dress that was not overwhelming to my frame. But when I tried on the Gemma, the shape and the fabrics were so flattering and extraordinary. I knew it was the one. I felt incredibly beautiful in it.

We have an iPhone app, “Vera Wang on Weddings” – did you happen to use that in preparation for the big day? If so, how did it benefit you?

Yes! The photos were so helpful in referencing to my vendors. There were various styles featured in the app, but they were all in line with the mood I was trying to carry out for my wedding. The articles were really helpful as well, especially in the beginning when I had no idea where to start.

How did you accessorize to make your wedding day unique?

I wore a silk chiffon flower clip in my hair from Sibo Designs on Etsy, a designer based in the Netherlands. I also wore these beautiful Swarovski drop earrings which were borrowed from my
mother, and ivory Yves Saint Laurent heels to complement the overall look.

What was the inspiration or theme for your wedding?

I wanted a very New York chic wedding for the reception here in the city, but I also wanted to bring that to my ceremony in Seoul, Korea. Even in my everyday life, I go for a very clean, minimal look, but with an urban edge. I wanted to incorporate this feel, but also add a touch of elegance to it. I think also since my husband and I are graphic designers, it came a bit naturally as it is reflected in our work. Our color theme for the two events mainly used whites, ivorys, and grays, but involving different textures to elevate the color theme as well, such as in our florals, but also our stationary – letter pressing our invitations and menu’s and using an engraving stamp. The locations also epitomized our vision for the wedding – Jungsik, which is a New Korean fine-dining restaurant in Tribeca, NY was the perfect spot for our reception because it is one of my favorite restaurants in the city. It is an intimate space with the most delicious food and elegant modernity. It also held meaning because my husband did the branding for the restaurant when it opened. The ceremony space was La Cucina at Seoul National University, a modern Italian restaurant at the school my husband attended for college, but it is also the most iconic university in Korea, so it meant a lot for both of us, reflecting both our heritage.

Did you incorporate any other Vera Wang products into your wedding? (I.e. fragrance, fine papers etc.) If so how?

My veil was the Signature Vera fingertip veil, which I thought was very fitting for my height and frame, and was perfect for the Gemma gown.

What tips do you have for new brides picking out their wedding dress?

I say look for inspiration everywhere – especially online, using all kinds of references, both professional (brand websites, magazines), and personal (blogs, Pinterest, Tumblr). Also try on dresses at your favorite boutique to first see the style that fits your body type – you may be surprised by what styles actually look best on you!

What was your favorite part of the day? And, are there any other anecdotes you would like to share?

A few seconds just before walking down the aisle, my dad gave me a small squeeze while holding my hand. My parents have showed me so much unconditional love my entire life and at that moment I was overcome by a wave of emotion. Another favorite moment was the first time I saw Hoon at the altar and him looking back at me. It made me think, “Wow, it is finally happening!” Having everyone you care so much about, all in one place and at one time to celebrate with you is a rare thing that might be a once in a lifetime event. I was overjoyed to see everyone having a good time and laughing with one another. Being able to laugh and dine with people who are so special and dear to me, to celebrate my marriage with the love of my life, is something I will cherish forever.

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