Heather is proud of her Korean heritage, so when it came to planning her May wedding with fiancé James there was no question that there would be a good bit of East introduced to the West. "I was born in Korea and came to the States when I was young," she says. "It is a foreign culture to most of Jim's side of the family and friends. It was important for them to see the rich Korean culture that influenced who I am."
Heather and James strolled down an aisle covered with red rose petals to take their vows on the lush lawns of Blithewold Mansion in Bristol, Rhode Island, with its panoramic views of Narragansett Bay. Then the 170 guests and 10 attendants went inside for the traditional Korean pyebaek ceremony, where the bride was formally introduced to the groom's family. For this, Heather had slipped out of her white, custom-designed strapless gown and cathedral-length veil and donned the colorful hanbok, as well as an elaborate "flower robe," embroidered with all manner of botanicals. There were also Asian influences when it came to the menu. Korean rice cakes and other ceremonial treats were served during the cocktail hour, and Heather's mom took on the task of preparing kimchi (a spicy pickled cabbage) for the reception, presented family-style. "My husband may have been a fish out of water," laughs Heather, "but I really loved seeing him enjoy himself."
Our Favorite Things
Winging It: Male and female duck figurines were beside the bride and groom at the ceremony. The fowl is a symbol of fidelity because it takes only one partner in its lifetime.
Light Fantastic: The reception tent was decorated with giant paper spheres that hung from the ceiling, creating the illusion of floating full moons.
Bilingual "I dos": Heather's family minister performed the Protestant ceremony in both English and Korean. Traditional Christian hymns were sung in both languages.
Ceremony and Reception Site
Blithewold Mansion, 401-253-2702, blithewold.org
Sayles Livingston Flowers, 401-635-9500, sayleslivingstonflowers.com
Blue Rock Catering, 401-846-9902, newportcaterer.com
Devonshire Photography, 413-596-2267, devonshirephotography.com