KB Weddings: Sophie & Yul

KB Weddings is a new column that showcases Korean American couples and their weddings. Whether it be a traditional Korean wedding with richly-hued hanboks, or an offbeat wedding with a quirky theme, we’d love to share your wedding with our readers!

As the winner of Survivor: Cook Islands, you’d expect Yul Kwon’s wedding to be over the top and grand, but nope, not the case. Aside from the fact that Yul and Sophie Tan’s ceremony was televised on the TV Guide Channel, Yul and Sophie’s wedding on April 18, 2009 at Clos LaChance in San Martin, CA, was an intimate, low-key affair.

Beautifully photographed by Kenny Kim (whom we profiled for our [email protected] series earlier this month), the endless blue sky and hillsides served as the perfect backdrop to the couple’s simple and romantic wedding. Now happily married for more than two years, the couple is busy raising their daughter, Genevie, who’s turning one next month.

When and how did you both meet?

Yul: We actually met through one of my friends from Survivor. When my season starting airing on TV at the end of 2006, one of my former tribemates, Brad Virata, invited several of his friends to watch an episode together in Los Angeles. Sophie had never seen Survivor and was dragged along by her cousin. Fortunately for me, the episode they watched was one where I got a lot of screen time. When Sophie saw me half-naked on the show, she apparently made some suggestive comments about my appearance. A few minutes later, Brad sent me a text message saying that I had a new a fan. He set us up on our first date three months later. I fell in love with Sophie immediately and somehow managed to convince her to marry me before she came to her senses.

What was the proposal like?

Yul: I proposed to Sophie at a charity concert I helped to organize at Stanford. The band, Seriously, was kind (or drunk) enough to help me out by learning our special song, and after they played it, I popped the question onstage. Much to my surprise and delight, I didn’t completely flub the proposal. I did, incidentally, forget to put the ring on her finger, but overall, I got the words out in more or less the right order, even if I don’t actually remember saying them. To be honest, I don’t actually recall Sophie saying ‘yes’ either (coincidentally, neither does she), but why quibble over details. It seems my strategy of proposing in a public forum, maximizing social pressure, and shocking her into silence (and hence, eliciting tacit agreement before she has a chance to think) worked flawlessly. And now that we have a beautiful baby girl, Genevie, she’s stuck with me.

: We had prepared our own wedding vows and I pretty much sobbed my way through them. Yul, on the other hand, was solid as a rock and held it all together. I think what made our nuptials unique was that we both talked about how difficult our relationship was and that it was only in the face of hardship, that we realized how much we truly loved each other and how much we were willing to make things work.

Thanks to Sophie and Yul for sharing their wedding with us!

Photography: Kenny Kim Photography / Venue: Clos LaChance Winery / Floral: Nicole Ha Florist / Cake: Jen’s Cakes / Catering: Le Papillon / Make-up: Joanne Kim / Wedding Gown: Paris Connection / Entertainment: Warren Wong from Sounds in Motion