A Clear Tent Offered This Couple's Guests a View of the Stars at Their Black-Tie Wedding
Grace and Ceron met at a mutual friend's birthday party in San Francisco in December of 2016 and were immediately floored by how much they had in common. For starters, both had family members that fled to South Korea before the Korean war and fathers who studied in Seoul—they're also both the oldest of their siblings. Since Ceron was living in Los Angeles, he traveled to San Francisco several times to pursue Grace. He knew the relationship was worth the distance and was ultimately right—soon, their friendship turned romantic.
In August of 2017, the pair traveled to Venice, Italy, where Grace took the initiative to book a photographer as a fun way to remember their trip. Little did she know that Ceron had planned a proposal in secret, only letting the photographer in on his plan moments before popping the question. The photographer found an amazing spot overlooking Piazza San Marco and had Grace walk along the pier. When she turned around, Ceron was waiting on one knee. Their vacation photoshoot had officially turned into an engagement shoot.
The happy couple spent less than nine months planning their May 19, 2018, wedding at a private estate owned by a close friend in Topanga, California. "It meant the world to us when he and his family invited us to hold our wedding at his estate," Grace shares. "We wanted a location that was not only beautiful, but more importantly held a special meaning to us on a very personal level." With help from Sarah Park Events, Grace and Ceron invited 250 guests to an elegant black-tie affair with a nearly all-white color palette and modern touches.
Invitations, Programs, and Fans
The couple's planner, Sarah Park, connected them with Julie Ha Calligraphy, who helped put together their invitation suite. Julie hand-painted Asian-inspired florals, which were then printed on traditional Korean hanji paper and placed on thick cardstock. She also painted designs onto fans that were distributed to guests along with the programs. Grace's mom wrote out the couple's Korean names on an iPad, and Julie converted them into a seal, which was later incorporated into their thank-you cards and other paper goods.
The Wedding Dress
Grace admits that she poured over Pinterest in search of the wedding dress. But when she flew to New York to shop for a gown with her mom and three sisters, she was fortunate enough to try on designs straight off the New York Bridal Fashion Week runway. After going through a dozen different dresses, Grace fell in love with an organza number by Marchesa at the Wedding Salon of Manhasset. "I loved how it was classic but had touches of whimsy with the strands of wisteria," Grace says. "The silhouette also looked like a Western take on the traditional Korean hanbok dress." She finished her look with a Tabitha Simmons shoes and a Marchesa headpiece.
Traditional Korean Attire
The Wedding Party
Members of the couple's wedding party traveled from New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Hong Kong to take part in their big day. While Ceron's groomsmen each wore tuxedos from The Black Tux, Grace's bridesmaids chose gowns from several designers, including Adrianna Papell, Birdy Grey, Dessy, Jenny Yoo, and Reformation.
Guests gathered on the estate's lawn for the ceremony, complete with a stunning backdrop of the Topanga hills. Grace wanted a simple design aesthetic for her ceremony, so she enlisted Poppy Design Co. to create an elegant archway out of dogwood flowers.
The Ring Pillow
The Grandmothers' Debut
Grace and Ceron's maternal grandmothers, at 81 and 86 years young, tossed petals down the aisle as the couple's flower girls. Ceron's friend's three-year-old son and two-year-old daughter acted as a ring bearer and additional flower girl during the ceremony.
Their ceremony was officiated by their pastor, Charles; the couple also wrote their own meaningful vows, "which brought tears for both of us," Grace says. "We both were similar in highlighting the importance of our faith and families."
The Cocktail Hour
The cocktail hour took place around the estate's pool. Grace and Ceron hired Gretje Angell and Dori Amarilio, a Bossa Nova duo, to perform. Wolfgang Puck hors d'oeuvres like duck fat tots, spicy tuna tartare, and sushi were passed around, along with two signature cocktails. Grace chose the "I Love Yuzu," a sparkling yuzu gimlet, as her signature cocktail; Ceron named his red dark and stormy cocktail "The Cardinal" after Stanford University, where he spent time at summer camp, college, and later, business school.
Guests enjoyed their choice of cappuccino, coffee, matcha drinks, and boba milk tea at the coffee bar.
Some of the drinks featured monogram latte art, which was also created by Julia Ha Calligraphy.
Find Your Seat
Julie Ha Calligraphy teamed up with Iron Grace Rentals to create a jaw-dropping seating chart on hanji paper that featured Korean calligraphy.
A Reception Under the Stars
The Tabletop Details
In line with the clean, modern look that Grace and Ceron had envisioned, place settings were kept simple with understated white plates, napkins, and cutlery. Each table held a low centerpiece that included white lilacs, paperwhites, ranunculus, and dogwood flowers. "Our florist donated our flowers to hospitals and schools afterwards, which we greatly appreciated," Grace says.
The First Dance
Grace and Ceron selected "God Bless the Broken Road" performed by Geoff Moore as their first dance song. "Before we met, we'd had our share of ups and downs," Ceron says, "Through it all, we never lost our faith. The lyrics to the song were so fitting."
A Choreographed Surprise
Ceron and his groomsmen surprised the bride with an epic choreographed dance routine to a remix that included some of Ceron and Grace's favorite artists. From Michael Jackson and Beyoncé to the Hamilton soundtrack, the guys put on a show that ended up being Grace's most memorable moment of the entire day.
The couple finished the night on a sweet note with M Cakes Sweets' modern two-tiered matcha green tea cake, which was topped with florals from Poppy Design Co.
Event coordination, Sarah Park Events
Invitations, calligraphy, and seating display, Julie Ha Calligraphy
Flowers, Poppy Design Co.
Bride's gown, Marchesa
Hair & Makeup, Chiali Meng Artistry
Groom's tuxedo, Saint Laurent
Groomsmen's tuxedos, The Black Tux
Traditional Korean attire, Chosun Myungju
Ring pillow and flower girl baskets, Meehee Hanbok
Catering, Wolfgang Puck
Cake, M Cakes Sweets
Videography, East West Productions
Lighting, The Lighter Side LA
Tent, Premiere Party Rents