Ever seen a wedding where Mexican, Korean, Jewish and Catholic traditions all came together in one celebration? Well, now you have! Lisa and Ron have quite the diverse background and celebrated each and every piece of their heritage, along with their deep love for music, in their Maryland wedding at the Congressional Country Club. They started the two day affair with a traditional Korean paebaek and the following day had a civil ceremony and a reception, complete with a Hora and a mariachi band! Behind all the cultural cues was a theme of sweet and feminine cherry blossoms, popping up throughout the entire day!
From Lisa: My father is originally from Mexico and Ron’s parents are originally from Korea. Our families also have Jewish and Catholic traditions, and share a deep appreciation for music. We started with a traditional Korean paebaek ceremony, in which we dressed in brightly colored silk garments, bowed to pay respects to our relatives, and received blessings and advice for marriage. In the background, we had a musician performing music on a gayageum, a traditional Korean 12-stringed instrument, accompanied by a drummer. After the ceremony, there was a Korean banquet dinner, followed by some karaoke, naturally. In Korean tradition, a newlywed couple is given a pair of wooden Mandarin ducks (one male and one female), symbolizing peace, many children and togetherness. Guests left with a pair of carved wooden ducks as favors, which had been sent over by Ron’s relatives in Korea.
Because the wedding was to be at Congressional Country Club, we wanted to maintain a classic, stately feel with some light modern touches. We scheduled our wedding to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the donation of the cherry blossoms to Washington, DC. Sadly, the peak bloom came weeks too early, but we still had a cherry blossom-themed wedding. Our color palette took its cue from the cherry blossoms with a soft petal pink accented by a faded gray-brown.
Ron wore his tuxedo from college, in which he escorted me to many formal dances. 14 years later, it still fit!
Instead of having traditional bridesmaids, I asked all of her close girlfriends to participate if they could. Those that could were asked to wear a long dress of a solid color of their choosing (no patterns, no black, no white). The bouquets were ordered in white with dusty miller accents to be neutral and compliment any color. The result was visually striking, and everyone was happy with what they wore. Our flower girl was Ron’s 3 1/2-year old niece, Leah, who stole the show with her carefully orchestrated dispersion of flower petals to the Flower Duet from Lakme, dressed in a petal pink silk chiffon dress hand made by Ron’s mother.
Ron’s cousin, who is a judge in Oregon, officiated the civil ceremony day after the Korean paebaek at Congressional Country Club, to which Lisa’s grandfather originally belonged. During the ceremony, Lisa’s father gave a reading from the Old Testament and Ron’s mother gave a reading from the New Testament.
Flowers featured at the ceremony and reception included tall sprays of cherry blossom branches, and the favors were commemorative 100th anniversary cherry blossom festival coffee table books.
The guests were inspired to start an impromptu hora, raising us overhead in chairs. Near the end of the night, a mariachi band arrived to play a few Mexican favorites.
Lisa’s advice to other DC-area couples:
We were very glad that we hosted a brunch the day after the wedding at the hotel. It was the best opportunity we had all weekend to actually get to talk to family and friends. By promising the restaurant that guests would not come all at the same time, we were able to negotiate with the restaurant to reserve several tables in a section of the restaurant (instead of a private room) and serve their standard full brunch menu a la carte (instead of a limited buffet). We then invited guests to come any time between 10 am and noon, and simply picked up the tab. The cost was far less than a private catered breakfast, and everyone could eat what they wanted to.
The following Washington, DC area wedding vendors contributed to Lisa and Ron’s wedding:
Venue: Congressional Country Club
Wedding Planner: Bash
Floral Designer: Philippa Tarrant
Photographer: Connor Studios
Invitations and Stationery: Simplesong Design
Calligraphy: Lisa Holtzman
Lighting: John Farr Lighting Design
DJ: DJ D-Mac
String Quartet: Crystal Strings
Mariachi Band: Mariachi Los Amigos
Rehearsal Dinner: Woo Lae Oak Korean Restaurant
Hair & Makeup: KPN Hair & Makeup
Dress: Nicole Miller
Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Veil: Tia Mazza
Don’t forget to visit our vendor guide for more fabulous Washington, DC area wedding professionals or our real wedding gallery for more beautiful Washington, DC area weddings!
Photo Credits: Connor Studios
Submitted via Two Bright Lights