Sometimes love happens without you even realizing it. Just ask Jean and Bryan. Their relationship went through many phases over the years before ‘romance’ even entered the picture. But isn’t it the love stories like Jean and Bryan’s, the ones full of twists, turns, and a bump or two that make the rest of us believe that “true love” is even possible?
Jean and Bryan said “I do” on a lovely spring day in a breathtaking ceremony and reception at the Bronx Post Office. Here’s the first chapter in their modern day fairytale.
Part 1: Proposal & Planning
Jean and Bryan’s courtship wasn’t linear by any means. They met during freshman year at Amherst College. Running in the same social circle, they eventually became close friends. Shortly after graduating, Bryan moved to Seoul, South Korea for work and stayed for two years. In 2010, he returned to work at his family’s real estate firm in New York City. By this time, Jean was also in NYC working as a marketing analyst.
Bryan called Jean and the two made plans to meet and catch up over dinner. Their friendship picked up right where it had left off – just really good friends. Things may have stayed that way if it wasn’t for Bryan’s best friend pointing out what was so glaringly clear to everyone else – Bryan and Jean were actually in love. Taking cue, he asked her out on a date and the couple made it official soon after.
While most wouldn’t describe Bryan as the romantic type, Jean brought out his softer side. And when it came time to propose, Bryan pulled out all the stops. He took her to his parents’ country house in Garrison, NY for a winter weekend getaway. Bryan led Jean down a pathway illuminated by tiki torches and holiday lights, which led to an outdoor table arrangement. The twinkly snow covered scene couldn’t have been more perfect. When Jean discovered on the table a small box with a ring, Bryan got down on one knee and asked her to marry him.
Jean looks back, “The secret proposal was followed by a private dinner and another surprise – an engagement party at the Roundhouse in Beacon, one of the first places we had dinner when we started dating. Our closest friends and family were there waiting. We stayed at the Roundhouse all weekend and Bryan surprised me again with dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Blue Hill at Stone Barns.”
As they looked for a wedding venue, the couple agreed that the location should be unique and meaningful. They chose an unlikely place for saying “I do,” the Bronx Post Office. “There’s an interesting back story,” Jean explains. “Bryan is a real estate developer. The building is one of the properties he’s currently developing. We wanted to do something that was different from the typical wedding venue. Based on the construction timeline, we found this short window of time when the building would just be an empty, raw space before it would eventually become a commercial space. It was meaningful to us that Bryan’s parents met in the Bronx many years before, and we loved the idea that we would be the only ones ever to be married there!”
With only four months to plan, the couple faced many challenges in transforming a bare, hollowed out space into their wedding vision. “Bryan had a lot on his plate just getting the space even legally event-ready. The venue is massive and we had to move around wherever construction was at that time. There was a lot of going back to the drawing board,” Jean recalls. Event planner Medium Rare and production team Oxygen Eventworks helped the couple map out and light the space.
“And then we needed the design element of the aesthetics and that’s where Bride & Blossom came in. We were in a time crunch when we met with Rachel. We knew that we wanted the floral décor to be elegant and timeless, but with a twist. My dress was blush, which helped inform the color palette.” Drawn to shades of blush and ivory, the couple decided to add pops of burgundy for romantic flair.
Stay tuned for next week when Jean talks about her showstopping Monique Lhuillier dress and how the couple incorporated details honoring their Korean heritage in the special day.
Couple’s Vendor List
Venue: The Bronx Post Office
Photographer: Karen Wise Photography
Videographer: NST Pictures
Bride’s Dress & Veil: Monique Lhuillier
Bride’s Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo
Groom’s Tux: Ermenegildo Zegna
Groom’s Shoes: Paul Smith
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: The Hanbock
Caterer: Chef Aless Mac Carthy
Cake: Gino’s Pastry Shop
Hair & Makeup: Vicky C5 New York
Planner: Medium Rare
Music: JD Gluckstern
Invitations: Shine Wedding
Lighting: Oxygen Eventworks
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