ONE AUTUMN EVENING
When a design-minded duo dreamt up a wedding that celebrated their heritage and the art they love, the result was dramatic detail at every turn.
best romantic relationships are like works of art: They carry layers of meaning and are, for those lucky enough to witness them, things of beauty to behold.
Glara Ahn and Matthew Huang share one such relationship. The pair first met as college freshmen, and their romance blossomed from friendship as they discovered how much they had in common: They both grew up in the New York City area and had lived abroad in Asia (he in Japan, she in Korea). They also found a mutual, and compelling, love of art. “I can see, looking back, why we connected so well,” Glara says. “And I think that’s what did it.”
And so, five years after graduation, the San Francisco–based couple (she’s a designer; he’s an investor) set out to create a work of art all their own—a wedding that included modern takes on contemporary Chinese, Korean, and baroque arts. They added unexpected details, like Glara’s dazzling red gown, as focal points. On October 31, 2015, with 120 loved ones gathered in one of the couple’s favorite modern-art-filled hotels in New York City, they became husband and wife, proclaiming their love in a setting every bit as visually stunning as they’d imagined.
The bride and her floral designer, Saipua, collaborated to give each of several spaces at the Gramercy Park Hotel its own color palette and mood, so that guests would experience an evolution throughout the celebration.“The goal was to imbue the setting with a certain richness using metals and a range of natural colors,” Glara says of the overall palette. “It was more or less a custom art project, making it all the more meaningful.” Attendees entered through the living room, where soft-pink florals and live jazz created a warm, welcoming atmosphere. They then moved to one of the terrace gardens, where lush greens, votive candles, and antique details set the scene for the ceremony, which featured a Chinese friendship poem and personal stories. The next stop was the parlor, a luxuriant jungle with escort cards hanging from palms that later became the background for a photo booth. Then came the dining area, the decoration of which was inspired by the jewel tones and rich hues of the Dutch masters and the bounty often shown in their paintings.
The black-tie affair was a sensory delight across the board, with music filling the air and plum wine filling glasses. Dinner incorporated seasonal ingredients with an Asian touch, including aged sirloin with maitake mushrooms, herbed potatoes, and wasabi and apple purée. The final stage of the party evoked an energized night market, complete with hanging paper lanterns; guests indulged in steamed dumplings, spring rolls, and more, as well as sweets like sesame balls and pineapple buns.
In the end, the wedding was exactly what the couple had hoped for—an evening layered with memorable art and artful décor, nature and tradition, and an abundance of love.
LADY IN RED The bride’s cascading bouquet, inspired by a painting and trailing several feet, featured peonies, orchids, amaranth, umbrella fern, chrysanthemums, eucalyptus, and euonymus. Opposite: Matthew Huang (in a Tom Ford tux) and Glara Ahn (wearing Alexander McQueen) took to the streets of Manhattan for preceremony photos.