Three years after Handy Sim asked Sun Joo Lee to be his girlfriend (and ten years after they first met as undergrads at the University of Houston), he brought Sun Joo to a local coffee shop for a caffeine fix, then they headed back to his house — where he had planned to propose! “It was the same place where we’d first talked about being more than just good friends,” Sun Joo remembers.
After all that time together, a long engagement just wasn’t in the cards, so they picked a wedding date a mere four months later. On July 8, 2016, the pair headed to a place they’d visited many times during their relationship: Vail, Colorado. With 70 guests coming from across the country and as far as Indonesia and Korea, this twosome wanted to give their guests a chance to see more of the U.S., as well as a place that the bride and groom love so much. Their venue, Piney River Ranch, is a remote mountain retreat with a gorgeous lake, mountain views, and quaint cabins – perfect for the couple’s elegant, laid-back vision.
They even headed out in one of the property’s canoes for portraits after the ceremony! The photos, by Emily Sacco, will have you dreaming of summer in the mountains.
Delicate florals and ferns decorated the pair’s invitations tying right in with the neutral and natural color scheme.
Sun Joo knew she wanted a flowing dress to catch the mountain breeze, and this BHLDN lace and tulle number was just the thing. “I’d been browsing websites and magazines, and kept coming back to this dress. It was the first one I ever tried on!” she remembers. Petal pink Salvatore Ferragamo pumps completed the feminine look.
The bride worked with Denver-based Siloh Floral Artistry, who created a soft and feminine bouquet of garden roses and lisianthus,
Handy’s boutonniere was a single white ranunculus with hellebore buds. He donned a navy blue suit with brown Cole Haan shoes and a pink bowtie.
The couple had their first look overlooking Piney Lake and the surrounding mountains. “We planned our wedding from Texas, and actually only met with our vendors once before our wedding day!” Sun Joo reveals. “The team was fantastic, and they made planning long-distance easy once we’d chosen them.”
The ceremony took place on a deck overlooking the lake, with two arrangements of roses, delphinium, and foliage on either side of the aisle, creating a natural altar.
“We shared personal vows as part of our ceremony, and many guests came up to us after to tell us they’d been moved to tears,” says Sun Joo of the emotional moment.
“It was so important to us to enjoy the day to the fullest as a couple, and to share it with the people we love,” says Sun Joo. “We were so blessed to have our family and friends travel all the way to Colorado to be with us!”
Inside Piney River Ranch’s main cabin, long wooden tables were set beneath the exposed log beams. Ivory runners were topped with arrangements of roses, dahlias, hellebores, and greenery in shades of blush and ivory, surrounded by votive candles and green plums.
At cocktail hour, bud vases of roses and greenery were set atop bourbon barrels. Sun Joo loves Disney, so favors were personalized with Mickey keys and bottle openers.
Guests snacked on chicken satay and ceviche in corn tortilla bowls, then dined on seared pecan-crusted local trout and Piney River Ranch favorites: barbecue and sriracha-glazed flank steak.
The couple’s flower-topped cake was filled with strawberries and cream. Even the littlest of guests had a blast on the dance floor, as a DJ played everything from ‘60s classics to modern hits.
“My brother sang Bryan Adams’ ‘Everything I Do, I Do It For You’ for our first dance,” says Sun Joo. “It was such a personal touch.”
The couple headed to the U.S. Virgin Islands for their honeymoon. Says the bride, “Savor and enjoy every moment. Your engagement and wedding day will go by so quickly!”
Venue & Catering: Piney River Ranch || Wedding Planner: Claire Williams of We Tie the Knots || Bride's Wedding Dress & Veil: BHLDN || Jewelry: Kate Spade || Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo || Hair: Hayley Styles || Makeup: Liana Kathryn Makeup || Engagement Ring: Rice Village Diamonds || Wedding Bands: Tiffany & Co.; Blue Nile || Flowers: Siloh Floral Artistry || Music: A Music Plus || Cake: Azucar Bakery || Photographer: Emily Sacco