What first struck Grace Jung about William Paik was his ability to make her laugh. She felt relaxed around him immediately, and this sense of comfort – along with much laughter – became the framework upon which their relationship grew. When he knew it was the right time, Will approached the proposal with dramatic flair by popping the question during a hot air balloon ride overlooking Del Mar, California. When they finally made it back to earth, their happiness kept them floating high above the clouds, even though their feet were firmly planted on the ground.
In just seven months, Grace and Will created an elegant affair for 250 of their closest family members and friends. From the time she could remember, Grace always dreamed of being married in a church followed by a grand party in a hotel ballroom. With this vision set in her mind, she knew her dream had come true as soon as she discovered the First Congregational Church and the nearby Millennium Biltmore Hotel, both in downtown Los Angeles.
The historical majesty of the First Congregational Church started the affair in grandiose fashion. Founded in 1867, it houses the largest organ in the country––of which Grace and Will took full advantage. The bride and groom brought in an organist and an accompanying string quartet to perform during the ceremony, unleashing amazing sounds that reverberated throughout the great hall. The bride wore a strapless Vera Wang gown, but in honor of their shared Korean heritage, the mothers of the bride and groom wore traditional Korean attire in pink and green.
Grace and Will chose to decorate the reception in muted ivories and creams to complement the rich gold accents of the ballroom. The tables were brought to life by elaborate centerpieces comprised of tall crystal candelabras with round crystals dripping down their sides. Cymbidium orchids, roses, and hydrangea were also arranged so as to burst from the top of each centerpiece. Rose petals surrounded the base of each candelabra, and the entire arrangement was encircled by four peg votives with cream candles burning inside.
The cake was a true masterpiece in its understated simplicity. With six layers, it was three and a half feet in height. Fresh flowers crowned the top, and each layer had a beading of ivory at its base. To satisfy the sweet tooths of the bunch, Grace and Will presented a candy station of glass vases filled with various irresistible confections. Each guest was given an ivory silk bag to fill and take home as inspiration for some “sweet dreams.”
One of the highlights for the bride and groom occurred when their guests took to the dance floor for an actual dance competition. The animated energy it created was interrupted only by the uproarious laughter generated later when the groom’s friends roasted him, revealing some rather embarrassing details from his past. The fun continued all through the night as guests participated in one interactive game after another.
Grace marvels at how smoothly everything went during the planning process, and believes the wise decision to hire a wedding coordinator was the reason she was able to enjoy it so much. Speaking from experience, she explains the beauty of allowing a professional to coordinate the party: “My planner stressed for me!”