Corey Schwartz and Joy Chua met as students in Brown University “We didn’t meet socially until my last semester of school, and didn’t start dating until after we both graduated,” recalls Joy. When they began going out, they realized how much their lives had orbited each other. “Before we met, there was one semester when we took almost all the same classes (three out of four), and in one of those classes, we were assigned to work on a big group project but didn’t interact beyond that,” she shares. They eventually got together when one of Corey’s best friends dated one of Joy’s best friends, and that’s when they started spending time together.
Corey proposed in New York in the Fall. “Corey made me breakfast, had our golden retriever Daisy wake me up at 7AM, and proposed before we dug into some delicious blueberry pancakes on our rooftop terrace,” says Joy. The wedding took place in Big Sur, California on a private estate on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. “Big Sur’s natural beauty and mystical serenity is unparalleled and was a destination we were excited to share with 100 of our loved ones,” says the happy bride.
The occasion was officiated by Graham Rogers, one of Corey’s best friends. Already civilly married, Corey and Joy decided to forgo a traditional religious affair and instead planned a ceremony that was a beautiful tribute to marriage. “We kept returning to discussions about couples whose marriages we admired, and to the truth that a marriage and partnership is something you have to work at every day,” says Joy. They asked family friends and friends who had been married for different lengths of time to share their wisdom and advice on marriage.
“The four couples who graciously agreed to do this have been married for one, four, six, and 30+ years. Not surprisingly, there were common threads that ran through all four. We are so grateful to these couples for sharing their insights with us, and hope it also provided them with an avenue to reflect on their own marriages thus far.”
A Taste of Elegance, a company based in Monterey, California, catered the food at the reception. “They asked us to fill out a lengthy survey about food we love, crave, associate with celebration, and crafted a menu based on that,” says Joy. To that end, the company delivered with a selection of food enough to make the mouth water. “Dinner was served family style (our favorite way to eat) and included an elote succotash salad, roasted rainbow vegetables, heirloom tomatoes with burrata and orecchiette, roasted prawns with Meyer lemon, and a braised adobo short rib with farro.”
Not really fans of cake, the couple instead presented several dessert dishes that made use of local ingredients, including locally grown California berries with whipped cream. Later on, guests nibbled on late night snacks inspired by what the couple consider comfort food, including pancit palabok bowls (“which they nailed!” according to the bride), street tacos and truffle tater tots. “We still dream about all the food at our wedding,” Joy reminisces.
Dart Collective provided the music. Like A Taste of Elegance, they had the couple fill out a survey of what music they liked listening to at different parts of their life, and the end result was a set list of remixed old songs, classics and popular hits that kept people on the dance floor for the whole night. “The most amazing thing about all this is since there is virtually no cell reception in Big Sur, they essentially anticipated every song request!” says Joy. Due to local noise ordinance laws, all amplified music had to be turned down. To keep the party going, they had a silent disco. “At 10PM, headphones were passed out to guests and our DJ continued to pump up the party. It was an incredible scene to watch and be a part of, especially if you take off the headphones!”
Scroll down to see more photos from Corey Schwartz and Joy Chua’s wedding…
Photography by Viera Photographics
Bridal Gown Victoria Kyriakides
Bridal Shoes Manolo Blahnik
Makeup and Hair Cara Hopkins of Face Forward Bridal
Groom’s Suit P. Johnson
Rings Excalibur Jewelry by Kurt Rothner
Wedding Coordinator Dianne Allen from Big Sur Weddings
Catering A Taste of Elegance
Drinks American Cocktail Co.
Music Dart Collective
Videographer Jason Magbanua
Giveaways Welcome Bag with water, snacks, a hangover kit, flashlight, postcard and magnet from Big Sur