A Courthouse Wedding with a Red-and-Gray Restaurant Reception
Eva and Tommy
Eva Situ-Kim, a researcher in pharmaceuticals, and Tommy Kim, a craft beer brewer, first met in college during freshman orientation, where they became friends through Tommy's roommate, who was in Eva's orientation group. Over time, Eva realized she wanted something more and started coming up with ways to get closer to Tommy, like bringing him breakfast to wake him up so he wouldn't be late for their morning class. The tactic worked, and they soon started dating.
Years later, after over a decade of dating, Tommy popped the question on a normal Sunday night while relaxing in their pajamas. The San Francisco-based pair wed on January 15, 2017, but their journey to "I do" came with a major setback. The couple originally scheduled a wedding in the City by the Bay with 140 people. When Tommy's father's cancer came back during the middle of planning, they instead decided to cancel the larger affair and have a smaller one with 35 guests in Santa Barbara, closer to where the groom's parents live. The nuptials occurred at the Santa Barbara Courthouse, followed by dinner in a private room at The Lark restaurant.
The couple's big day was incredibly meaningful: They chose the month based off the title of their favorite song, "January Wedding" by The Avett Brothers. After that was set, Eva's mother looked through the Chinese Lunar calendar for dates considered lucky for marriage. And when choosing a color palette, they decided on shades of red, which symbolizes love and prosperity in their culture, to weave into their industrial-yet-rustic celebration, which was planned with help from Michel B. Events.
Eva accessorized her white J.Crew dress with a gold lace veil by Marisol Aparicio, an heirloom jade necklace from her grandmother, and red suede Sam Edelman pumps. Tommy gussied up his J.Crew suit and shirt with a red tie and pocket square from the same brand. He also donned a silver tie clip from The Tie Bar and brown leather Allen Edmonds wingtips.
The couple got ready together until it was time for Eva to put on her gown. Tommy stepped out of the hotel room until she was ready for their first look on the balcony.
A Bold Bouquet
Eva's vibrant bouquet, arranged by Lavenders Flowers, featured a mix of red peonies, quicksand roses, red garden roses, privet berries, dark plum ranunculus, chocolate cosmos, and eucalyptus, all wrapped with a hand-dyed silk ribbon by tono & co. Following the big day, Eva dried her bouquet in the sun as a special memento.
To coordinate with Eva's bouquet and the wedding's rustic color scheme, a boutonniere of privet berries and a hellebore was pinned onto Tommy's lapel.
Party of One
One Little Lady
"She's a little shy so I didn't ask her to be the flower girl," the bride says of her cousin's daughter, who decided to join the wedding party for a photo-op.
A Dashing Dad
The groom gave his father a hearty hug during family photos, which were taken before the ceremony in the sunken gardens at the Santa Barbara Courthouse.
The bride and groom wed at The Mural Room in the Santa Barbara Courthouse, which features architectural elements with artistic flair, like hand-stenciled high ceilings and elaborate murals gracing the walls. The bride and the wedding party processed to Vivaldi's "Winter," and the newlyweds recessed to a string arrangement of the Avett Brother's "January Wedding" played by the Santa Barbara String Quartet.
Sophia Loves Letters transcribed the bride's pre-written personal vows, which were then placed in an Italian flocked velvet book from Wedding Story Writer, which Eva read from at the ceremony. Eva's vows mixed the more traditional with some more offbeat—promising to always listen and to never take Tommy or his love for granted while also promising to eat chili dogs, cheeseburgers, and steaks with him whenever.
When it was his turn, the groom decided to speak from the heart.
The couple held their reception in the Pullman Room at The Lark restaurant, where they feasted on dishes like orecchiette pasta, toasted farro risotto, and 72-hour marinated wagyu flat iron steak. After, the party traveled to McConnell's Fine Ice Creams for a sweet treat and then hit Santa Barbara's Funk Zone for a celebratory bar crawl.
Following their industrial-meets-rustic theme, The Lark's existing wood tables and black Chiavari chairs were arranged in a U-shape to create an intimate feel under the restaurant's Edison bulb chandeliers.
Eva asked her wedding planner for lots of flowers at their reception, so Michel B. Events and Lavenders Flowers created an indoor canopy for guests to dine under. To achieve the look, they used a base of willow eucalyptus and pepper foliage with snapdragons, amaryllis, roses, tulips, and carnations. "I remember when we asked our guests to move into the private dining area, everyone was in awe and stopped at the door," the bride says. "We had a bit of a traffic jam going into the room."
Lighting Up the Night
The family style-dinner was set up in the middle of the room. To utilize the rest of the space, mauve silk runners by tono & co. were laid out on side tables and topped with varying heights of taper and pillar candles in clear glass vases, giving off a nice, soft glow. Loose flowers, including garden peonies, tied the look together.
Put in Your Place
An illustrated poster by Clare Vacha served as the couple's guestbook. It was inspired by Eva and Tommy's engagement photos taken in China, and now hangs in the dining area of their home.
Eva and Tommy's semi-naked cutting cake by Lelé Pâtisserie featured layers of almond and citrus cake and buttercream, and was topped with dark berries and flowers by Lavenders Flowers. The couple took a tier home for a late-night snack, and saved a piece to eat on their first anniversary.
Guests dined on vanilla bean cheesecake and peanut butter chocolate ganache from The Lark.
As it was winter, the bride brought a faux-fur bomber to keep cozy—and kept her husband close by to keep warm.
Photography, Lavender & Twine
Event Planning and Design, Michel B. Events
Catering, The Lark Restaurant, Santa Barbara
Flowers, Lavenders Flowers
Officiant, Nanette McIntyre
Cake, Lelé Pâtisserie
Music, Santa Barbara String Quartet
Rentals, La Tavola Fine Linen
Bride's gown, J.Crew
Hair and Makeup, Sheila Raye Stone
Groom's suit, J.Crew