Hi! I'm Judy Braakenburg-Yang as of a beautiful fall day in September 2017 (Judy Yang up until that point). I was born in Taiwan, raised in sunny Claremont, CA, and have been living in NYC since 2013. My hobbies include running around NYC trying different boutique classes and cooking one pot meals (easier to clean up).
My husband, David Braakenburg-Yang, is the coolest human ever for also changing his last name. He's from The Netherlands and has been in NYC since 2012.
What was most important aspect to you about the wedding day?
When we first started planning the wedding, we both realized that we weren't really familiar with what people expected from a wedding. There were so many decisions to be made, and we wanted to plan a day that would be memorable and fun not only for us but also for our friends and family. We googled a lot trying to find out how a wedding was supposed to go, and we found a million different ideas from our search. In deciding the different components of our wedding, we always stuck to our rule of only incorporating things that felt natural and comfortable to us. At the end of the day, that was the most important thing to us. The last thing we wanted was to plan a wedding based on what we thought we were "supposed to do" and end up feeling unlike ourselves on our wedding day.
You guys had guests come from all over the world! How did you welcome them into you Brooklyn lives?
We did! We were really excited about our friends and family traveling to Brooklyn to celebrate with us and really wanted to show them what the city has to offer. Most people from afar were staying in town for at least a few days and we wanted to plan a few things to show them a good time. The day before the wedding, we planned a rehearsal dinner at a restaurant in our neighborhood, and a "Welcome Drinks" event at a bar within walking distance of the restaurant. We picked the restaurant and the bar because we thought they showed different sides of Brooklyn, and they were both family and friends friendly. The day after our wedding, we also threw a BBQ Pig Roast, which we picked because its hard to find an equivalent experience outside of the US. We consciously kept things a bit more casual for these events and that worked out great because the environment was really conducive to our friends and family meeting each other, which is ultimately what we wanted!
One moment that sticks out to you?
Walking out to the cocktail hour room after the ceremony. We hired a jazz quartet of students from The New School for our ceremony and cocktail hour music. I had never heard them play before that day and kind of just went with my gut when we decided to hire them. I remember walking in that room, on a high from the ceremony just ending, eager to see all my friends finally, and the quartet was killing it! I took a pretty casual attitude during the whole planning process because I wanted the process to be enjoyable and believed that things would fall into place without me having to obsess over every detail. Part of me was always a bit nervous that things wouldn't turn out, that maybe I should have obsessed over every detail. This moment was so perfect because I walked in and everything was better than I had imagined–the music was perfect, our friends were all mingling and chatting, the hors d'oeuvres were being served, our specialty cocktail was being served. I remember that hour just flew by.
Do you have a favorite photo from the day?
I actually LOVE this photo of my parents!!!! They are almost NEVER dressed up and I've never seen them look so in sync! Plus, I was on an emotional high during their speech and can barely remember the details so this photo perfectly captures the tone and feeling of that moment.
Any advice for someone about to get married?
Have fun! Lots of things did not go as planned for ours: I ran out of time and didn't get a manicure, my mom stepped on my dress when walking me down the aisle, the flower girls forgot to toss petals, the DJ skipped our second dance song, we paid extra for bride & groom cocktails but forgot to put signs up so the guests didn't know... so many things! But it was still the single best party I've ever been to and the day flies by so quickly that none of those things that went wrong even crossed my mind for more than 1 second. The day was really just about being with all your favorite people in the same room at the same time.