Eric and Esther Jan

Beautiful weather and the lush backdrop of Maryland’s Catoctin Mountain provided the perfect setting for the June wedding of Eric Jan and Esther Lee.

THE COUPLE: Eric Jan, 31, is an optometrist who grew up in Rockville and attended Thomas S. Wootton High School. Esther Lee, 24, who grew up in Howard County, attends pharmacy school in Washington, D.C. The couple lives in Rockville.  

THE WEDDING: The wedding and reception were held June 22 at the Springfield Manor Winery & Distillery in Thurmont, Maryland.  

WHERE THEY MET: A birthday party in Washington, D.C., which the couple attended with mutual friends.

FIRST DATE: A cooking class during which they prepared a modern version of Thanksgiving dinner.  
The proposal: Eric took Esther horseback-riding in Marriottsville, Maryland, where she grew up, and then to a restaurant they used to frequent at the beginning of their relationship. Later, Eric took Esther to get a massage and then to his parents’ house, where their immediate family members were waiting around a lighted gazebo and a bonfire. Esther’s dad, Jun Lee, gave a short speech and gave Eric permission to propose.

WEDDING THEME: Mint with coral accents


WHAT MADE THE EVENT SO SPECIAL: Eric and Esther wanted the day to reflect them as a couple. They decided to have a moment to themselves for a first look, and to skip a first dance. “We got to spend a lot of time with all our guests even before the wedding and took pictures with them,” Esther says. “Our fathers both blessed our marriage through prayer and words of encouragement.”

FAVORITE MOMENT: Their first look. “When you see each other for the first time in all the wedding gear,” Esther says, “it really starts to sink in that you’re going to be spending the rest of your life with that person.”

FAVORITE DETAILS: The coral and mint tones that artfully tied everything together, and the natural light from the windows that filled the reception room.

COST-CUTTING TIPS: Esther says to make as many items as you can yourself, especially things that guests might throw away, such as programs, invitations and party favors. “When you buy a wedding dress, make sure they order it in the correct waist size,” Esther says. “Sometimes they order too large and charge you more for the alterations. You can always rent veils and other accessories, so don’t waste money on something you’ll only wear once.”

GOWN: Esther wore a traditional white wedding dress with layers of tulle.

THE HONEYMOON: A two-week trip to Oahu and Maui, Hawaii  

THE DETAILS: Invitations were by the bride; hair and makeup, flowers and the cake by Jennifer Chung of Annandale, Virginia; music by Scorpion Rose; and photography by Elizabeth Fogarty.

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