Though she had not yet spoken to Matthew Koh, Yeju Hwang saw Matt playing soccer at a University of Chicago scrimmage and was an immediate fan – even telling her friend she was going to marry him someday. Fast forward four years and Matt was surprising Yeju with a proposal the day before he was “scheduled” to fly into Chicago. Of course, she said yes. 

Knowing they wanted to say “I do” in Los Angeles, the pair chose meaningful locations to them and their families for the nuptials. The church where Matt’s parents were married was selected for the ceremony and Jonathan Club was chosen for the reception since Matt’s grandfather is a member. “Things really panned out easily after that,” Yeju shares, noting that they selected their wedding planner from the venue’s recommendation. “Grace was at the top of their list… she was there every step of the way to help us with timelines, ideas, and inspiration!” 

The couple elected a traditional color palette of mostly white tones accented with greenery, as well as an undertone of maroon to honor their alma mater, where they met and fell in love. Bridesmaids were dressed in sleek wine-toned gowns of varying styles, and groomsmen donned ties in the same hue. The bride was stunning in a V-neck ball gown and wore her hair down in loose, elegant curls for the church ceremony, which highlighted large arrangements of white florals accented with greenery at the altar and smaller varieties affixed to pews along the aisle. 

“We are both Korean and Catholic, so we incorporated a Catholic ceremony and a Korean paebaek celebration during the reception.”

Throughout the planning process, Yeju and Matt focused on staying authentic to their culture, relationship, and personalities. “We are both Korean and Catholic, so we incorporated a Catholic ceremony and a Korean paebaek celebration during the reception,” describes Yeju. “It was important to put together a day that carried an important part of both our lives. Being able to find vendors and people that were able to appreciate the unique aspects of our traditions was really rewarding.” 

Since the pair loves to play board games together, life-sized Connect Four, Jenga, and cornhole was available for friends and family to play during cocktail hour. Once guests entered the ballroom wedding reception, they found their seats at tables strewn with ivory linens and topped with centerpieces comprised of vanilla-toned florals and fresh greenery, as well as gilt accents, including charger plates, napkin rings, and tassels adorning the dinner menus at each guest’s place setting. 

Aside from marrying one another, Yeju and Matt’s favorite part of the day was witnessing the speeches from their parents, best man, and maid of honor from their glamorous sweetheart table decorated with pillar candles in hurricane vases, billowing white blooms, and lush verdure. “It was so special to be fully present in a room with everyone that we care so much about and listen to advice and stories from people who have been with us the entire way,” smiles the bride.