When I'm not photographing or with my family, I get lost in pop- impressionism oil paintings. Check out some of my work here.
Would it be weird to say there are things about 2020 that I liked? One of those things is I get to work with my favorite couples not ONCE but TWICE! Yoojin and Chandler are no exception to this rule. When they decided to get married on their original date, I was of course, here for it! The weather was perfect for a Fall Mellon Park Elopement. This small but meaningful ceremony made me that much more excited for their reception this year!
Yoojin shares more of their experience and story below, be sure to read more!
What helped you make the decision to hold a small Fall Mellon Park Elopement on your original date and host a bigger party later?
Most simply, the safety of our family and friends. After so many hours of planning, the ultimate decision to postpone was certainly not an easy one. However, given the nature of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we couldn’t envision a way to safely pull off our original wedding vision. We felt it would be easiest for everyone if we delayed the bulk of our celebration by one year to prevent our distant guests from traveling and to avoid a large group gathering. Nevertheless, we had our hearts set on tying the knot and starting our married life together, so we began brainstorming ways to still make it happen. The thought of getting married in a small, intimate Fall Mellon Park elopement ceremony with just a handful of close, local friends seemed very attractive. Plus, we would get to have a stellar one year anniversary celebration at our originally planned venue. Once the stress of shifting dates with our vendors and notifying the guests was out of the way, the small ceremony actually starting sounding more and more fun. In the end, it came together even better than we had anticipated and will certainly make for a lifelong memory.
Advice to share with brides planning now?
Be flexible with your plan. I’m a type-A person, so my life is pretty much always based on organization, schedules, and planning. However, with our wedding, I decided to just go with the flow and accept anything that came at us. I’m sure we’ve all learned some resialience during the pandemic, and putting these skills to work with your wedding will make the day that much easier.
What was your favorite memory from your big day?
Because of the pandemic, I had not seen any of my friends in person in quite some time. It was incredible seeing all of our closest friends come out and support our marriage. Just seeing their smiling eyes above their mask-covered faces filled my heart with love and joy.
A particularly touching moment was during our first look photo session, just prior to our ceremony, when I could see a few of my friends running towards us with a fold-out table, tablecloth, and boxes of cookies in hand. I had no idea what they were doing, but quickly realized we were about to have a surprise Pittsburgh cookie table. It made me incredibly happy and made an already memorable day that much more special.
How did you and your spouse meet?
We met at Emory University in the spring of 2011 during physics class, specifically, Electrodynamics & Magnetism. I happened to sit next to Chandler on the first day of class. Little did I know that I was about to gain an eternal friend – someone to geek out with over thermodynamics and astrophysics, someone to connect with through their similar taste in music, and someone to bond with over our shared love of food. Chandler and I quickly became friends. Over the course of many a late night skype chat, during which the conversion would devolve from physics homework into what music we were currently listening to, we decided to co-host a radio show for WMRE, Emory’s radio station.
Not long after starting our radio show, Chandler invited me to see Wild Beasts at a venue in nearby Little Five Points, a neighborhood where we would later end up spending many a “date night” in. I had no idea who the band was, but figured I’d take a chance given our similar tastes in music. Back then, I honestly had no idea Chandler was asking me “out on a date,” rather, I thought he was simply being nice (which is easy to assume if you know Chandler at all).
Shortly after, as I was starting my undergraduate research career, fate would have it that I would join the biophysics research lab that Chandler was already working in. From there, we grew closer and closer as our days and nights were spent together in physics classes, studying around campus, and exploring Atlanta together.
Proposal Details! How did it happen? 🙂
During one of our monthly “date nights,” we shared a great meal at Butterjoint and went to Phipps Conservatory for their holiday lights show. We were enchanted by the beautiful lights and flowers all night long. Chandler was planning to propose that night and was patiently waiting to find the right moment where we were isolated, but was running out of time as the night wore on and he realized he had underestimated the astounding popularity of the Phipps’ holiday lights show. As the night was coming to an end, we were just starting to walk back towards the car when Chandler suggested we check out an isolated building a little off the main entrance of Phipps, for a “potential wedding venue.” I scoffed saying, “we aren’t even engaged yet.” As we were walking away from the lights, he decided to get down on one knee when we were isolated from the crowd. It was an incredibly surprising and touching moment, but I still joke about how I couldn’t see anything since we had walked away from all of the holiday lights. However, this ultimately made it all the more memorable.