MacARTHUR Place Hotel - Sonoma, CA

To celebrate our one year wedding anniversary this past July, we booked a 2 night stay at the newly renovated MacARTHUR Place in Sonoma, CA. After our honeymoon, we were skeptical that we could ever take a relaxing vacation again but boy, were we proven wrong. Not only were the rooms and grounds at the MacArthur Hotel serene and beautiful, but the town of Sonoma and the wineries in Sonoma Valley also blew us away.

We arrived in the early afternoon before our check in time. Thankfully, the hotel had ways to keep us busy. We grabbed a cup of coffee at The Porch, and rented the hotel’s Blix electric bikes* to head to the Sonoma town center for lunch. Biking takes on a whole new meaning when your gear is cute & there’s a motor doing all the work for you. I’m a convert!! We circled Sonoma Square a few times before deciding to eat at Basque Boulangerie Cafe.
*Bikes are available on a first come, first serve basis at no cost.

Within the hour, we were able to check into our room. The rooms are separated into little cottages, with each cottage housing a few residences. It felt like we had entered into a cute townhouse neighborhood with it’s own outdoor pool, spa, gym and outdoor lounging areas. We were smitten!

Our hotel room was bright and cozy - complete with a desk nook, an outdoor patio and fireplace. (Can’t wait to visit in the winter to use it.) Also, this bed… the king size bed was so comfy that I didn’t even hear Jon snoring!

The staff was also super attentive, helping us with our luggage, providing us extra blankets to sit outdoors and arranging our dinner reservation at the hotel restaurant Layla. If we weren’t committed to visiting wineries in Sonoma, we could have easily spent our whole trip just relaxing at the hotel.

It’s rare for us to plan vacations where we just relax & spend time enjoying each other’s company but our stay at the MacARTHUR Place Hotel changed our travel theory. We are such city people that we usually seek to visit cities that have a hustle & bustle, packing our itineraries by the hour. Now, we can’t wait to find the next place to go, curl up in bed & do nothing.

Hope this inspires you to travel differently than you’re used to. Let me know your favorite travel/hotel destinations in the comments below!

Love, MH

#HappilyHU year 1, done.

Photography: @meehattan

Getting Married at NYC City Hall

Jon & I had a dear friend officiate our wedding. This was something we always dreamed of because she had known us before and during our dating life. We truly felt that she would be able to offer a unique perspective on our relationship. Ideally, she would have been internet-ordained in order to sign and process our Marriage Certificate at the wedding. Unfortunately, Westchester County (where we got married) doesn’t recognize an online officiant as a valid officiant for Marriage Certificate processing purposes… hence, we went to NYC City Hall a week before our wedding to seal the deal!

The day of our City Hall Ceremony, Jon woke up early and handmade my bouquet from flowers we bought at Whole Foods. Our sisters came to be our witnesses and moral support. Our photographer friend joined to perfectly capture the day and help make the moment feel special.

REAL TALK: Although it was a bit of a hassle to make time to go to City Hall twice and wait for hours just to sign a piece of paper, it made for fun memories. It also took the pressure off our actual wedding day because no one had to be responsible for keeping track of the Marriage Certificate and mailing it back to the City Clerk… because we all know that could’ve ended poorly.

THE PROCESS:

Getting Married at City Hall takes 2 separate trips. First, you have to go to submit your Marriage License Application, and then you have to go back for the actual ceremony by a city clerk.

  1. Start by filling out your Marriage License Application online HERE. City Hall has computers so that you can fill out the forms when you arrive, but you will save loads of time by filling it out online & bringing a printed copy with you. **After you fill this out you have 21 days to visit City Hall to get the application processed.

  2. Go to City Hall with your printed Marriage License Application, your fiancé, a valid form of ID, and a form of payment ($35). You’ll get a number, like at the deli, and when your number is called, you’ll go up to the desk to submit the application and receive an official License. **Once you receive your Marriage License, it is valid for 60 days and can be used anywhere in the State of NY.

  3. Wait 24 hours to go back to City Hall for the Marriage Ceremony.

  4. WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

    • Your Marriage License

    • Your Fiancé

    • A Witness (18+ years old)

    • Valid form of ID for all 3 of you

    • Form of Payment ($25)

    • Rings - if you’re going to do a ring exchange

    • Decision made about your last names *Don’t worry, you can always change your names after too!

    • Patience

  5. WHAT HAPPENS: During your second trip, there are two waiting periods. First is waiting for you both and your witness to sign your Marriage License. The second waiting period is for the City Clerk to perform the ceremony. When you’re called, you go into a back room, say your “I do’s” in a 10 minute ceremony and receive an official Marriage Certificate.

IMPORTANT INFO:

  • Manhattan City Hall Address: 141 Worth Street - Officially called “City Clerks Office - Marriage Bureau”

  • Marriage Bureau Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30 am to 3:45 pm (Walk-in hours until 3:45pm)

  • Additional NYC Locations: Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island (full details)

  • Wait times range from 30 minutes to 3+ hours. Try to arrive right at 8:30am to be first in line and avoid long waits.

While we were prepping for the City Hall portion of our wedding, I had to ask my recently married friends lots of questions. It was so helpful but a bit overwhelming to research the seemingly small details. I thought it would be nice to gather our story in one spot for other prospective couples. Hope this helps give you insight into the process.

Congrats!! You’re getting married soon!!
Love, MH

MHCityHallWedding7.jpg

Skirt Set: Zara
Sandals: Valentino
Purse: JW Anderson

Suit: Indochino
Shirt: Tie Bar
Shoes: Cole Haan

Photography: Hyemi Shon // @heyms

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue.

The saying,“Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue,” comes from an old English rhyme and was a part of every wedding related rom-com movie I watched during my childhood. I still remember the Friends episode when Monica and Chandler decide to get married in Las Vegas and they doubled up a blue sweatshirt from the hotel gift shop as her “Something Borrowed” & “Something Blue.” #efficient

Growing up as a Korean American, this was one aspect of Western weddings that I found so sweet & personal for the bride. I always dreamed about the moment when I myself would be able to pick these four lucky items for my own wedding day. From popular culture influences to sentimental items from my friends, each charm holds a special place in my heart.

Something Old: Perfume

This Chanel Chance Eu Tendre is my signature adulthood scent. It was the first perfume I purchased when I moved to NYC, embarking on this new chapter of my life. It signifies a constant in my getting ready routine & reminds me of how grateful I am for the past 4 years. It was comforting to have this familiar scent with me as we opened another new chapter of our lives.

Something New: Wedding Shoes

You could argue that everything from my wedding dress to my wedding ring was “something new,” but the shoes were a different level of iconic. Cue Sex & the City music - I’m a sucker for all things Carrie Bradshaw and had always fantasized about wearing Manolos on my wedding day. Even before I was engaged, I started saving up for a pair of the blue Manolo Blahnik Hangisi pumps. When the day came to commit to the purchase, I had second thoughts. I’m a big dancer and had a multiple pieces of choreography during our wedding, so I opted for the much more comfortable open back/slip-on Lurum in silver. They were the quintessential pair to pay homage to Carrie while fitting in with our needs & aesthetic.

Something Borrowed: Jeweled Belt, Floral Hair Comb

Two of my amazing friends, who are already married, let me borrow their wedding belt & hair comb for my wedding ensemble. The beautiful pieces completely elevated my look and it felt doubly special that my friends were so intimately part of the process. Besides these items, we borrowed a lot of time & energy from our friends and family and it was a humbling reminder of the love & support surrounding us on the big day. Similar belt options from BHLDN & hair piece from Jennifer Behr. Thank you M & S! <3

Something Blue: Bridesmaids’ Bracelets

I considered everything from a garter, a ribbon on my bouquet, to even something as obscure as my pedicure color as my Something Blue. When I thought more about the significance of Something Blue - “love, purity and fidelity…to ward off wicked spirits” - I realized that my bridesmaids were my safe haven, my rocks, my loyal ride-or-dies and it would be perfect to make them my Something Blues. For their wedding gift, I got these Tiffany & Co. Elsa Peretti bracelets. We all wore them on the day of and I know that I can forever call them my Something Blue.

Did you have these four items on your wedding day or are you planning them now? Hope this gave you some ideas and inspiration!
Love, MH

Chanel perfume.JPG

Something old

Perfume

wedding shoes meehattan.JPG

SOmething NEW

Wedding Shoes

wedding belt meehattan.jpg

Something borrowed

Jeweled Belt

wedding hairpiece meehattan.jpg

Something borrowed

Floral Hair Comb

Wedding Bracelet Meehattan.jpg

Something Blue

Bridesmaids’ Bracelet

TIPS & TRICKS: Mismatched Bridesmaids Dresses

Congrats!! You’re engaged! If you’re just as excited about your bridesmaids’ dresses as you are with your own wedding dress, you’ve come to the right place. Time to get down to bridesmaids business. Because I’m a crazy person, I personally picked each dress for my 8 bridesmaids based on their own styles. However, it took me a good two months to decide which dresses would make the final cut. Here’s what I wish I knew before I went down the bridesmaids dress rabbit hole.

Don’t be overwhelmed. Keep it simple. There’s only three things to consider: Style, Color, & Fabric.

STYLE:
We’re going for mismatched dresses here but you do have options in hemline & necklines. You can also have half your bridesmaids in one style & half in another style, all girls in different styles, or even just dress your Maid of Honor to stand out.

Our wedding was a black tie event so all my girls wore long gowns, and I chose as many different necklines as possible, all silhouettes with no sleeves: strapless, sweetheart, tank, halter, v-neck, faux wrap, & a one shoulder.

COLOR:
Do you want your girls in the same color, a similar color story, or all different colors? Your color decision will impact the types of Fabrics you should look for in the dresses.

My vision was a blush color family with gold accents. I wanted my sister (Maid of Honor) to stand out in an all gold piece and also wanted Jon’s sister (future, now current, sister-in-law) to have a shimmer as well.

FABRIC:
Do you want bridesmaids dresses in the same, similar or all different materials? Remember, different fabrics take color differently.

If you’re looking for the same exact color on everyone, stick to one material. If you’re looking for color variation, it’s okay to diversify. Ideally, try to see all the dresses in person at the same time, so you can see how they will look together on the big day. Knowing I wanted different shades of blush, and given that our wedding was in the middle of the summer, I opted for light & airy fabrics. To add dimension, I was purposeful about choosing tonal prints, hints of shine and a lace dress.

5 SHOPPING TIPS:

  1. When shopping online, filter the dresses by multiple color options in one search to see what styles are out there (ex. Pinks, Nudes, & Metallics). Your initial vision might have been to stick to one color but you may find that there are nice variations & color combinations out there that you never considered.

  2. Create a visual collage of the dress contenders as you go. Make sure it looks cohesive on the screen before you order them. Also, make sure your girls can try on the dresses within the return policy window.

  3. Best time to shop is during new season launches or holidays - Black Friday, Memorial Day, Labor Day, etc. There are always coupon codes or crazy sales, need I say more?

  4. Traditional retailers are great but don’t hold back from a Google search if you can’t find the exact color/size you need. One of our dresses was sold out in the size we needed & I actually found it on Amazon!

  5. Research, Research, or Delegate Research. Keep your eye on a few favorite dresses. Take time to make showroom appointments with your friends, watch for sales or new styles. You might change your mind over time and you don’t want to be locked in too early.
    Recommended Retailers: BHLDN, Bloomingdale’s, David’s Bridal, Jenny Yoo, Lord & Taylor, Lulus, Nordstrom, Revolve, Shopbop, TJMaxx

Left to Right: Jenny Yoo, Adrianna Papell, Monique Lhuillier, Oleg Cassini, Monique Lhuillier, Vera Wang, Jenny Yoo, White by Vera Wang

Although the process was tedious, it brought me so much joy to see how beautiful my bridesmaids looked altogether. Seeing my friends from different walks of life come together as a new mismatched family made our wedding day that much more special.

Are you contemplating a color palette? Are you hunting for the best dress deal? Email me and I would love to help! Always looking to vicariously wedding plan. ;)

Love, MH

Photography: Sally Pinera // @sallypineraphoto

Jeju in 48 hours

Jeju is a short flight from Seoul and a popular vacation destination for couples. Since my parents went to Jeju-do for their honeymoon, Jon & I thought it would be meaningful to go to Jeju to celebrate our engagement. While the main event of our Jeju trip was our engagement photos, with a personal tour guide & ambitious itinerary, we were able to check off some major Jeju bucket list items.

Manjanggul Cave - 만장굴

Underground lava tubes! *Insert flashbacks to middle school Earth Science - Stalagmites! Stalactites! Sedimentary Rocks?* Strict covered shoes policy that we somehow evaded. Last call for tours is 1 hour before closing.
Pro-tip: Bring a poncho or a hat because rain water drips unexpectedly down there.

Osulloc Tea Museum & Innisfree Cafe - 오설록티뮤지엄 & 이니스프리 그린카페

The one westside spot we visited, Osulluc Tea Museum & Innisfree Cafe is a two-in-one stop. Run through Osulluc’s green tea fields for that epic instagram photo and enjoy green tea sweets at the cafe. The Innisfree Cafe offers brightly colored tea and snacks, along with a beauty shop with Jeju exclusive skincare products. Great place to start your morning.

Cheonjeyeon Falls - 천제연폭포

There are two entrances to the park that lead to the foot of the waterfall. If your mission is to get to the foot of the waterfall quickly, use the east entrance ~10 min walk. Experience a different vantage point of the waterfall from the west entrance, and a beautiful bridge (Seon Imgyo - 선임교) you have to cross to get to the base of the waterfall. Spot the signage indicating that “you can be died.”

Seongeup Folk Village - 성읍민속마을

We were lucky that our tour guide drove us through this Folk Village on our way from the west to east coast of the island! We only got to admire the beautiful traditional buildings from the car and wish we got more time to explore, eat & shop in this area.

Seongsan Ilchulbong - 성산 일출봉

Iconic crater you can hike. Difficulty level: easy-moderate. I only say moderate because at one point my mom almost gave up and we had to convince her to keep going. Uphill route is mountain steps and downhill route is wooden steps. I would assume the views from the top are beautiful but we unfortunately had foggy and drizzly weather! Regardless, it was great to breathe the mountain air and eat yummy treats.
Pro-tip: Food is not allowed on the hike - plan time to eat before or after the hike so you’re not forced to eat all your food at the entrance like us.

If you want to cover everything we did and thoroughly enjoy it in 2 days, I suggest you plan your itinerary with some extra travel time. Jeju island is covered with hundreds of “Oreum” (오름) - essentially defunct volcanos that are like hills. Although this makes for scenic routes, it also means limited roadways from coast to coast, which equals lots of travel time. We left the island wishing we had more time to explore but saw enough to catch the Jeju-bug & want to come back to visit again!

Love, MH