Dave & Mijin’s Korean/British fusion wedding at Rushton Hall

September 13, 2013

Where to start? What a day!

Dave & Mijin combined their British and Korean heritages into their wedding at Rushton Hall with guests flying in from all over the world. They had the perfect English summer’s day for it and the perfect venue to enjoy such a day – Rushton Hall.

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About Dave & Mijin

Dave is British. Mijin is Korean. And they live in New York.

So this was a destination wedding for them and they totally lucked out with the hot summer we’ve been having. Guests travelled from all over the world to be with them and I’m sure they all thought we have weather like this every summer!

Mijin and I chatted lots over email in the lead up to their wedding and the three of us enjoyed a lovely afternoon at Rushton when they flew over to the UK for a wedding planning ‘break’.

I thought from our emails that they seemed super lovely so I was looking forward to working with them but I could barely sit still when we met and they told me all about their plans and ideas. It sounded like my idea of a sweet shop!

As a couple Dave & Mijin are all about having fun and not taking things too seriously. There were lots of giggles the whole time! It’s hard not to enjoy being a wedding photographer when you’re surrounded by such positive, fun loving clients.

Dave & Mijin were attracted to the clean, classic look of our wedding photography. They wanted a mix of styles – documentary photography as well as posed group photos and portraits. We think a mix of styles always works well; it’s just for you to decide the balance between the two.

Weddings are usually very fast moving for wedding photographers, but with two ceremonies and two outfit changes, today was particularly full-on for Abby and I. It was a photography whirlwind with no time to think but we loved. every. minute.

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Dave & Mijin’s wedding style

Dave is originally from the Rushton area so getting married at Rushton Hall was a no-brainer for them. It was the perfect venue for their quintessential English wedding.

They planned a timeless, elegant, pretty summer wedding; with a touch of flamboyance in their second, traditional Korean, ceremony.

There were lots of British nuances with a red postbox for wedding cards, Mijin’s gown by British designer Suzanne Neville, roses in the florals and an English country house venue.

They chose a soft palette of pale pinks and greens for the colour scheme which toned beautifully with the decor of Rushton Hall. The flowers were fabulous and smelt divine. Every now and then there would be a delicious scent of roses waft over me as I was photographing them.

The stationery was one of my favourite elements – gorgeous bespoke letterpress invitations, elegant calligraphy and a stylish monogram of their initials.

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Dave & Mijin’s wedding photography

My day started with taking photos as Mijin was getting ready. The room was incredibly calm and still when I arrived. So calm that it took me a bit by surprise! The first ceremony was at 3pm and everyone had started to prepare well ahead of schedule so it was really very chilled out.

It was a pleasure to see Severin and Mariam working their respective hair and make-up magic for the first time. I’d been following them on twitter for a while and had always admired their work. Top peeps.

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Dave and Mijin had their civil ceremony in the Drawing Room. This room has fantastic natural light which is great for wedding photography. The guests were obliging with their smiles so Abby and I got lots of natural shots as everyone was waiting for the ceremony to start.

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We planned photography timings for the drinks reception carefully to make sure Dave & Mijin’s time was used efficiently. They had a fairly long list of formal photos but also wanted to enjoy being with their guests for as long as possible.

It’s the natural reportage wedding photos that give you an impression of what it was like to be at a wedding, so we think it’s good to plan a solid amount of time to mingle with your guests while we get photos of everyone enjoying themselves.

We got through the group photos at double speed with help from Toastmaster Alan. I time the group photos when Alan and I work together. We’re on a mission to beat the previous wedding each time! I never thought I’d worry about KPIs again when I left the corporate world. Now I think they’re fun!

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After the drinks reception Dave & Mijin had a second wedding ceremony; a traditional Korean one. It was a riot of colour and the rituals were really fun. It was very special to witness and the expressions on the guests’ faces were pure intrigue and delight.

The ceremony was centred around a low table spread with significant objects and foods. Dave & Mijin sat on floor cushions and their parents took turns to join them. First Dave & Mijin bowed to their parents and then they served rice wine.

Then their parents took turns to throw dates which Dave & Mijin had to jointly catch in a cloth. The number they catch represents the number of children they’ll have. Mijin called time after having caught 5!

The end of the ceremony was marked by Dave carrying Mijin on his back which signifies his support for his wife. Traditional Korean sweet treats were then served to the guests. What utter fun!

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The Great Hall looked spectacular set for dinner.

I had 10 minutes to photograph the dinner decor (in the style section above) while Dave & Mijin changed back into their main wedding outfits.

I knew this would be the only point in the day to do this so I’d arranged with Alan the toastmaster (who in turn coordinated with the team at Rushton) to have this time with no-one else in the room.

It’s very difficult to get these shots when others are moving around the room and I knew it would need to be carefully planned as this was right at the time when the staff at Rushton would usually be making final preparations in the room before the meal.

Abby and I flopped on the sofas in the library once dinner started! It was now 7pm and we’d been non-stop since 11am so it was a welcome break!

We were then back on it for the (highly hilarious) speeches, cake cutting and first dance which happened in quick succession without a break before the evening entertainment. It puts extra pressure on us to work quickly and for extended periods without a break but it made the day flow really well; there was a high energy the whole time.

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Tips for couples planning a similar wedding

  1. Allow yourself plenty of time to get ready. This is time to enjoy and savour. It’s good to start the day feeling relaxed
  2. Give plenty of thought to what’s important to you, both from your wedding and your photographs, and share it with your photographer so that they’re in the best position to advise you on how to get the best from your photography
  3. If you want to keep your guests entertained and enthused the entire time consider a ceremony later in the day which keeps a continuous flow of events
  4. Be clear with your photographer about the ‘details’ (such as flowers and favours) that you’ve planned so that they can allocate enough time to photograph them thoroughly
  5. Pick a team of suppliers who work together regularly. It really helps them all to do their best as everyone understands how the other works and can support each other; especially so when under pressure and time constraints
  6. Book a toastmaster to keep things running smoothly and to time, and to help with rounding guests up for your photos. They’re priceless. Don’t think about it. Just do it.

Is Rushton Hall the wedding venue of your dreams?

It is for me too! If you’re getting married there, you might want to check out this page to read what I think makes Rushton Hall one of the best venues in the UK for wedding photography.

COMMENTS

10 Comments

  1. Helen on August 16, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Lovely to work with you Sarah, and gorgeous images from the day – such a beautiful bride!

    • Sarah Vivienne on August 16, 2013 at 5:27 pm

      You too Helen! And thank you for your lovely comment. I had such fun working with Dave & Mijin.

  2. Sian on August 17, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Beautiful pictures! Lovely to work with you on this stunner.

    • Sarah Vivienne on August 17, 2013 at 8:28 pm

      Thanks Sian! It was a fabulous day wasn’t it? Good working with you too.

  3. Roz on September 13, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Stunning pics…so lucky to have been part of this beautiful wedding. Roz & Sev

    • Sarah Vivienne on September 13, 2013 at 2:31 pm

      Thank you! It was very special to share Dave & Mijin’s day with them. And wonderful to finally meet Sev too!

  4. Mijin on September 14, 2013 at 2:00 am

    Thank you Sarah!! The pictures look every bit as amazing as we remember the day itself. It was very nice to work with you last six months and had lots of fun. Xox Mijin & Dave

    • Sarah Vivienne on September 14, 2013 at 2:29 pm

      It’s a total pleasure Mijin! Thank you so much for having us; Abby and I had the best time sharing your wedding with you x

  5. Barrie and Liz Brown on September 14, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Thanks for such wonderful photos of our son and his bride.
    Liz and Barrie Brown

    • Sarah Vivienne on September 14, 2013 at 2:28 pm

      oh it’s my pleasure Liz & Barrie! You’re most welcome. I’m pleased you’re happy. Thank you for leaving such a lovely comment.

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