While visiting Walt Disney World with Erica’s family, Jonathan took the opportunity to propose to his longtime love in front of Cinderella’s Castle. After taking a few group photos in front of the famous site, the couple decided to take a few photos just the two of them. “For the last photo, he bent down on one knee and gave me the surprise of my life!” shares Erica. “I actually thought he was kidding at first… It was the perfect moment and the perfect place to propose.”
With a vision for the big day in mind and a desire to focus their attention and spending limit on having gorgeous florals for both the ceremony and reception, the betrothed relied on the mother of the bride and their wedding planner, Christine Ong, to give them advice and help make final decisions while planning. They selected a site in La Jolla – nearby where the couple and their friends and family live in Carlsbad and San Diego, and also convenient for the groom’s family who reside in the Bay Area – to exchange their vows in front of 250 loved ones and celebrate into the early-morning hours.
Guests were introduced to the theme of the celebration by way of a save the date, including photos from their engagement shoot, and a delightful invitation that showcased their color palette and a floral-lined envelope. “This was the first unveil of our color theme. We did plan the look of our wedding around the specific theme of an enchanted garden,” notes Erica. “I always had a vision of my dream wedding to be filled with flowers everywhere… As soon as our guests walked into the ceremony and reception spaces, they were just in awe.”
“I always had a vision of my dream wedding to be filled with flowers everywhere… As soon as our guests walked into the ceremony and reception spaces, they were just in awe.”
On the day of the ceremony, friends and family walked through the floral-embellished entrance gate to find their seats on either side of the aisle, which was covered with pink rose petals and lined with boxes of flowers in pink, white, and purple accented with greenery. The bride made her way down the aisle to “Tale As Old As Time” from Beauty and the Beast to meet her groom – who processed to a Game of Thrones song – beneath a lush floral arch. “It was truly an enchanted garden!” muses the bride. The couple was married by their pastor – something that was very important to them. “We wouldn’t get married any other way because of our strong faith in the Lord,” shares Erica.
It was also important to the couple that their grandmothers wear their traditional Korean and Filipino dresses down the aisle. During the ceremony, they also took part in the Catholic Filipino ceremony of the veils, cord, and coins. “Veil represents unity; cord represents the unbreakable bond of marriage; and the coins represent wealth for the husband to provide for the family,” explains Erica of the customs. Once they were pronounced husband and wife, a cannon of rose petals erupted in celebration.
The “enchanted garden” theme continued into the reception ballroom, which was transformed with white carpeting throughout and romantic drapery along the perimeter. The couple’s immediate family members were seated at large 20-person round tables decorated with white cherry blossom trees featuring suspended candles in globes. The wedding party found their seats at a long mirrored table showcasing a lush floral runner that fell gracefully to the floor. Additional attendees sat at tables strewn with white sequined linens and tall centerpieces, while the bride and groom enjoyed the celebration from a sweetheart table covered with flowers and candles in front of a hedge wall.
Friends and family enjoyed slices of a custom four-tiered wedding cake featuring four different flavors and decorated with, of course, more florals. To fuel guests’ energy on the dance floor, McDonald’s was passed around as a late-night snack. “What made this significant is that my mother has worked for the corporation for the past 45 years. She began as a young high-school girl and recently retired as a Vice President in 2021,” explains Erica of the sentimental addition. “My mom and dad met while both working at McDonald’s and married over 37 years ago, so this was a tribute to them.”
The day was all the couple dreamed of, which is a testament to their bond, their families, the personal details they included, and their wedding team. “It was the wedding of our dreams and our guests had the time of their lives dancing all night!” adds the bride. “We just wanted our loved ones to have an amazing time celebrating our marriage, and they did! To this day, they cannot stop raving about our wedding.”