Cultural Weddings/Real Weddings

A Modern Chicago Wedding Featuring Jewish & Korean Traditions

Modern Multicultural Korean Jewish Brooklyn New York Wedding – Eric Floberg – Jayne Weddings and Events 3

A modern Chicago wedding venue filled with funky colorful flowers, Russian Jewish & Korean Christian traditions AND epic views of the city’s iconic skyline?! This Chicago wedding has so many amazing things going on we don’t even know where to start.

It’s hard to believe that Vica & Nathan planned their wedding while long-distance and in only nine months. With so many details & cultural considerations, the couple pulled off an incredible colorful feat. Dress changes, added traditions, a photo shoot along the water, it’s amazing how much you can fit into one little day.

Major applause goes to the couple’s determination to find the right venue – with family members pulling for a more traditional banquet hall or hotel venue, the couple did everything to find a more intimate and unique space that more represented their style. With the help of funky colorful florals and a talented coordinator making the industrial city space pop, the couple achieved a wedding-day look that was as unique as their blended traditions.

Modern Multicultural Korean Jewish Brooklyn New York Wedding – Eric Floberg – Jayne Weddings and Events 53
Modern Multicultural Korean Jewish Brooklyn New York Wedding – Eric Floberg – Jayne Weddings and Events 25

Our Love Story

The two of us met in Prague, Czech Republic during an epic trip across Eastern Europe. Vica’s group of medical school friends planned the trip as a last hurrah before graduation and going their separate ways. One of these friends is Nathan’s childhood friend and invited him along. This sparked off a cross country romance that culminated in our wedding five years later!

After a failed proposal due to one too many drinks on Nathan’s 30th birthday and then another failed proposal when Vica crashed Nathan’s proposal prep by coming home unannounced free a 36-hour shift, things finally worked out during a trip to Israel.

Nathan chartered a private boat on the Mediterranean and invited Vica’s best friend. Under the pretext of taking a photo, Nathan got Vica to the bow of the boat where he dropped to one knee at the same time as Vica dropped to both knees because of choppy waters. Both parties and the ring nearly went overboard but we had a happy ending in the end!

Modern Multicultural Korean Jewish Brooklyn New York Wedding – Eric Floberg – Jayne Weddings and Events 23
Modern Multicultural Korean Jewish Brooklyn New York Wedding – Eric Floberg – Jayne Weddings and Events 18
Modern Multicultural Korean Jewish Brooklyn New York Wedding – Eric Floberg – Jayne Weddings and Events 17

The Dress & Attire

Feeling comfortable throughout the long wedding day was most important to both of us. Due to time constraints, wedding dress shopping happened in one day. I went to two stores and had a favorite dress at each one. I ultimately chose the dress that my dad preferred and it worked out wonderfully – I loved the simple, modern silhouette from the front and the striking lace details in the back. And I could not have asked for a more comfortable dress that carried me through 90-degree weather, an outfit change and another change back, and a lot of dancing!

We bought Nathan’s suit at Suit Supply which was a breeze. We chose a semi-custom option so were able to choose the fabric and cut. Nathan knew he wanted a navy suit for the wedding and one that he would be able to wear again and again moving forward. The fabric that was recommended was light and breathable, great for a summer suit. As far as the tie, we bought three and Nathan made a game tie decision on the wedding day about which to wear.

For the traditional Korean outfits (hanbok), Nathan’s mother and father were kind enough to gift us absolutely stunning custom hanbok that Nathan’s mom brought back from a trip to Korea. The additional, wedding day specific outfit accouterments (top robes, headpieces) were rentals.

Modern Multicultural Korean Jewish Brooklyn New York Wedding – Eric Floberg – Jayne Weddings and Events 21
Modern Multicultural Korean Jewish Brooklyn New York Wedding – Eric Floberg – Jayne Weddings and Events 28
Modern Multicultural Korean Jewish Brooklyn New York Wedding – Eric Floberg – Jayne Weddings and Events 22

Blending Cultures

We wanted our wedding to have a generally relaxed feel that honored both of our respective cultures & religions without being overly traditional. For a little background, Nathan’s family is Korean Christian and Vica’s family is Russian Jewish. Creating a fusion that respected both backgrounds and sets of parents was incredibly important to us but not always straightforward.

As an example, In Jewish custom, the wedding ceremony ends with “the breaking of the glass”: a tradition in which the groom steps on a glass and everyone yells “l’Chaim!” This was at direct odds with Korean custom in which it is bad luck for anything to break on the wedding day. We ultimately decided to go with the Jewish tradition since it’s such a fun way for the wedding to culminate.

Modern Multicultural Korean Jewish Brooklyn New York Wedding – Eric Floberg – Jayne Weddings and Events 9
Modern Multicultural Korean Jewish Brooklyn New York Wedding – Eric Floberg – Jayne Weddings and Events 4

The Venue

We were so lucky to stumble upon The Dawson during a late night wedding venue search. Even though our moms were pushing for a banquet hall or hotel venue, we both wanted a spot that felt more intimate and had an intrinsic style since we knew that our wedding budget could not afford the kind of florals needed to personalize and banquet hall. After feeling underwhelmed by each place after place and feeling like we might end up at a hotel, finding The Dawson felt like a stroke of insanely good luck. We set up a meeting with Michele Kaminski, The Dawson’s Private Event Manager who was amazing start to finish, and the rest is history.

Modern Multicultural Korean Jewish Brooklyn New York Wedding – Eric Floberg – Jayne Weddings and Events 7

The Decor

As far as a wedding color, that was the question we were constantly asked but ultimately did not want to have a wedding color. Instead, we just went with a bright, cheerful, but still tasteful palette of colors that we hoped would match the overall mood of our wedding which we wanted to be modern, casual, and FUN.

Modern Multicultural Korean Jewish Brooklyn New York Wedding – Eric Floberg – Jayne Weddings and Events 42
Modern Multicultural Korean Jewish Brooklyn New York Wedding – Eric Floberg – Jayne Weddings and Events 45

Favorite Moments

The first half of the day was just a blur of activity with all of the preparations and many many photos! But things really fell into place during the ceremony when all of the emotions began to sink in. Neither of us expected to be quite as emotional as we were but, as we learned, that’s just not something you can predict or control. Nathan’s pastor and one of Vica’s closest friends co-officiated and created an incredibly meaningful ceremony that wove together our two cultures and religions beautifully.

The end of the evening celebrations and dancing were also a highlight of the day, though our memory becomes a bit fuzzier here. People were so wrapped up in the festivities that there was a three-way jacket swap at the end of the night that required some investigative work to figure out in the days to come.

Modern Multicultural Korean Jewish Brooklyn New York Wedding – Eric Floberg – Jayne Weddings and Events 46
Modern Multicultural Korean Jewish Brooklyn New York Wedding – Eric Floberg – Jayne Weddings and Events 10

The Flowers

The flowers were hands down one of my favorite parts of the wedding. Youth and Yarrow did a phenomenal job, were awesome to work with, and have a great business model (a proportion of the proceeds are donated to youth in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago). I mostly just asked for a color profile for the florals and let the girls at Youth and Yarrow design the rest and they totally blew me away. My bouquet was ten times more beautiful than I couldn’t have imagined and the floral headpiece was completely stunning (I got multiple comparisons to the Beyoncé Vogue shoot!) The centerpieces were equally beautiful – tastefully colorful, natural appearing, and simple.

Modern Multicultural Korean Jewish Brooklyn New York Wedding – Eric Floberg – Jayne Weddings and Events 48
Modern Multicultural Korean Jewish Brooklyn New York Wedding – Eric Floberg – Jayne Weddings and Events 49

The Traditions

We incorporated many traditional components of Korean and Jewish wedding customs to create our own mash up. Prior to the ceremony we held a Ketubah signing and after the ceremony we held a paebaek for close family, the traditional Korean wedding ceremony that includes bowing to elders and receiving words of wisdom, catching dates and chestnuts to symbolize future children, and culminating in a piggy back ride around the restaurant!

Modern Multicultural Korean Jewish Brooklyn New York Wedding – Eric Floberg – Jayne Weddings and Events 50
Modern Multicultural Korean Jewish Brooklyn New York Wedding – Eric Floberg – Jayne Weddings and Events 14
Modern Multicultural Korean Jewish Brooklyn New York Wedding – Eric Floberg – Jayne Weddings and Events 34
Modern Multicultural Korean Jewish Brooklyn New York Wedding – Eric Floberg – Jayne Weddings and Events 39

The Important Details

The most important facet of our wedding day was that all of our guests have a great time, dance until we’re kicked out, and are treated to some great food. Thanks in large part to The Dawson, we were able to pull it off

Modern Multicultural Korean Jewish Brooklyn New York Wedding – Eric Floberg – Jayne Weddings and Events 30
Modern Multicultural Korean Jewish Brooklyn New York Wedding – Eric Floberg – Jayne Weddings and Events 11

Advice to Other Couples

We planned our wedding while long distance and during a very busy year in each of our careers so the best advice that we can give is not to overthink and to stick to a decision once it’s made – no matter what, everything will turn out beautifully and the way it’s meant to be.

A couple of other thoughts: 1) Start early because things tend to take longer than you might expect – we planned our wedding in 9 months and it was a whirlwind. 2) Get a day-of or month-of-coordinator. It took us a while to wrap our minds around this idea but in the end, it was the best wedding investment we made, Jayne Weddings & Events was a complete lifesaver. If you can swing it, get a full wedding planner! 3) Don’t lose sight of the reason behind all your wedding preparations – it’s easy to get swept up in the details and this allows for many opportunities for tension, try not to let that happen!

Modern Multicultural Korean Jewish Brooklyn New York Wedding – Eric Floberg – Jayne Weddings and Events 55
Modern Multicultural Korean Jewish Brooklyn New York Wedding – Eric Floberg – Jayne Weddings and Events 52

The Cake & Favors

The pastry chef at The Dawson helped us create each aspect of our cake. We hadn’t a combination of chocolate and white cake with earl grey buttercream frosting and a hint of fruit. The design was overall simple but with a little pop – a rose gold “pour over” frosting appearance on the top tier and beautiful flower details added by our florist. We didn’t plan to have cake toppers but when we found a traditional Korean boy doll and Russian girl nesting doll at Nathan’s parents’ house, we couldn’t resist using them as a small ode to our respective heritages.

We gave out mini maracas which also served as our place card carriers. We initially hoped to personalize them with our names and wedding date but that ended up being a total DIY flop. In the end, our guests brought the maracas to the dance floor to help the party along.

Modern Multicultural Korean Jewish Brooklyn New York Wedding – Eric Floberg – Jayne Weddings and Events 58
Modern Multicultural Korean Jewish Brooklyn New York Wedding – Eric Floberg – Jayne Weddings and Events 57
Modern Multicultural Korean Jewish Brooklyn New York Wedding – Eric Floberg – Jayne Weddings and Events 60

The Honeymoon

We’re doing a year of honeymoons. The first honeymoon was to Italy a couple weeks after the wedding for a close friend’s wedding. Now we’re on the second honeymoon to Thailand and Singapore! Next up – Russia in a few months.

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