Tammy Chang and Alan Kang never imagined they would meet their soulmates in a non-descript Irish pub in Chicago – but there they were, on a chilly winter evening. “Have you ever had a pickleback before?” asked Alan. She hadn’t. That question sparked a lifelong journey in opening each other’s eyes to new and exciting adventures, although the two wouldn’t connect again until months later.
“From the beginning, Paulo Coelho might have explained it as the universe conspiring to bring Tammy and me together,” Alan describes. “There were too many fortuitous coincidences than could logistically be explained as luck.” Both, for example, ended up visiting their respective friends at the same Chicago law program on the same weekend; Tammy’s brother and Alan’s sister worked together at the same law firm; Tammy performed at a wedding Alan attended; and pair was able to reconnect back in Los Angeles, even while Tammy was a self-imposed exile studying for the Bar exam.
“Two years into our budding relationship, I knew she was the one,” says Alan. “We set off for a spring vacation to Tokyo. We made our way, on an unseasonably warm day, to the Meiji Shrine in the middle of Tokyo. Wearing a thick jacket to hide the bump of the engagement ring box, she was puzzled that I would endure such heat while visibly perspiring. Not knowing exactly where I would pop the question, we found ourselves in the middle of the park by a beautiful lake and temple. Inspired by the moment, I got down on one knee and asked her to be my wife. The jacket could thankfully come off.”
The vision for the wedding was created by Tammy and Alan’s wedding planner, Grace Song at Charis Events. Taking bits and pieces of their personalities, Grace came up with a “regal Florentine” theme for the wedding. Inspired by the concept, she took care of the floral arrangements and décor, table settings, and lighting. “She took an historic venue like the Jonathan Club – a beautifully preserved members-only social club from the 1880s – and injected even more character,” Alan explains. This included throne sweetheart chairs, gold accented flatware and linens, columned centerpieces, abundant flowers, and an archway. “Best of all, Grace did not use a cookie cutter approach for designing the venue,” he adds. “She took our ideas, the venue’s natural charm, a foundational theme for the wedding, and built the end-to-end design around that regal theme. It truly matched our personalities and brought our vision to life in a way neither of us could have planned.”
When the wedding day arrived, guests were treated to an opulent setting, rooftop cocktails and hors d’oeuvres during sunset, a decadent four-course dinner with carefully selected summer wines, and a thoughtfully coordinated wedding program. “Memorable moments include a fainting bridesmaid, an overly competitive scavenger hunt reception game, and the rigorously rehearsed first dance,” Alan says. “In our eyes, the big day was a huge success, and just one more exciting adventure on our lifelong journey together.”
Photo Courtesy of John Park Photography