A Wedding Inspired by Old Hollywood Glam at The Ebell of Los Angeles

A childhood friendship rekindled as love years later: the kind of love story many dream of. This was the reality for Steve Kwak and Grace Lee, whose p

A childhood friendship rekindled as love years later: the kind of love story many dream of. This was the reality for Steve Kwak and Grace Lee, whose paths first crossed during gym class in the sixth grade. Grace reminisces, "We would often walk home together," a simple routine that laid the foundation for a lifelong bond. Despite multiple moves that led them in different directions, "we kept in touch throughout our lives thanks to technology," explains Grace. Years later, fate conspired to reignite their spark at a mutual friend's wedding. "During the weekend, sparks started flying," the bride says. "We spoke every day, and he officially asked me out three months later." With their parents' blessing, the couple eloped in early spring on Steve's army base.

When designing their grander celebration for family and friends, they wanted their wedding to be a culmination of dreams, a celebration of heritage and a declaration of love that began in middle school hallways. Grace took the lead in planning, her creative vision guiding their way. "My inspiration came from my love of Mediterranean architecture, intimate backyard/garden settings and vintage Hollywood glamour/NY High Fashion," she shares. Their theme, Met Gala meets Hollywood Glamour, was a nod to their fashion-forward sensibilities and a heartfelt invitation for their guests to revel in pure grandeur.

The colors recommended to the attendees, "metallics, jewel tones, red etc.," mirrored the setting sun, casting a spell of enchantment over the Wilshire Ebell Theater. The stage was set for a ceremony that promised to be as intimate as it was magnificent, under tall pillars dressed in smilax greenery. The bride, radiant and poised, drew inspiration from her surroundings and her heart. "My wedding veil was the starting inspiration for all of the decor," she explains, a masterpiece of vermillion floral appliqués that set the tone for the day. Every detail, from the color-blocked florals that framed the ceremony area to the repurposed bouquets that graced the reception, was a testament to her vision and the collaboration with the couple's planner and floral designer.

Grace's background in fashion and Steve's willingness to trust her stylistic direction informed their wedding day outfits. Grace's admission, "Completely ignoring many pieces of advice about not falling in love with the first wedding dress you try on, I fell in love with the first two dresses," set the stage for her dual roles as bride and muse. The ceremony dress embodied timeless elegance, complemented by custom puffy sleeves that evoked romance and femininity. As the reception began, she transformed into a vision of glam in the Brielle dress, its pearls and daring slit echoing the night's glamour. Steve, not to be outdone, exuded sophistication in a double-breasted suit, his look curated by Grace from the pages of a Ralph Lauren catalog.

As the ceremony unfolded, the air was thick with love and the scent of pastel-toned florals. Bridesmaids carried small nosegays of homogenous flowers, making a varied rainbow of blooms coming down the aisle. Their vows were exchanged in an intimate Christian ceremony, a nod to their faith and heritage, with their mothers honoring their Korean roots in traditional hanboks. "Our heaven-sent angel Rachelle, owner and principal of Radiant Love Events, scheduled us to have our alone time for 20 minutes after the ceremony," Grace recounts. This precious interlude allowed them to bask in the reality of their union.

The reception was a spectacle of lights, delicious food and dance; the checkered dance floor was a canvas for the night's festivities. Guests were treated to a visual feast, and the repurposed ceremony florals created a vibrant backdrop against the historic venue's architecture. Friends and family could write personalized messages to the newlyweds on custom postcards featuring Grace and Steve's engagement photos. As the night wore on, the couple shared dances, laughter, and moments that would soon become memories, each one captured in the timeless grain of Studio Z's lenses.

Reflecting on their journey, Grace's advice to future couples resonated with wisdom and warmth: "You can be as meticulous as possible, but something will definitely go wrong and not according to plan. Roll with the punches and let it go because your wedding is one day, and your marriage is forever." 

Groom's Gold Wedding Band, Bride's Artful Solitaire Engagement and Wedding Rings
Groom in White Double-Breasted Suit Jacket With Floral Pocket Adjusting Watch
Bride in Low Bun, Modern Dress With Mom in Red Traditional Korean Hanbok Dress
Bride in A-Line Gown, Detached Puff Sleeves With Bridesmaids in Blush, Champagne Dresses
A bride in a sleek A-line gown with detached sleeves and a large bouquet of different pastel flowers posing with her bridesmaids in different satin dresses, all holding varying bouquets of single-flower bunches at a historic venue in Los Angeles.
Bride's Hand With Engagement Ring on Groom's Hand With Gold Band, Floral Veil Flowing
The Ebell of Los Angeles' Courtyard With Statue Fountain, String Lights
Bride Walking Down Steps With Floral Veil Under String Lights, Guests Looking On
Bride With Veil Over Face at Altar, Dad in Tuxedo and Mom in Hanbok Greeting Groom
Black-and-White Photo of Groom Wiping Tears From His Eyes, White Suit Jacket
Bride in Long Veil With Intricate Floral Details Standing at Altar With Groom, White Suit
The mother of the bride and the mother of the groom in traditional Korean hanbok dresses (one in red and one in purple) lighting a unity candle surrounded by greenery at the altar during a Christian ceremony.
Bride in A-Line Gown, Groom in White-and-Black Suit in Recessional Celebrating, Bubbles
Bride Holding Bouquet of Pastel Flowers, Floral Embroidered Veil, Groom in White-and-Black Suit
A bride in a strapless sweetheart gown with an A-line silhouette with detached sleeves and a delicately floral-embroidered veil and a pastel bouquet posing with her mother in a traditional red Korean hanbok dress.
Gold-Frame Mirror Welcome Sign, Custom Text and Ample Greenery
Postcard Guest Book With Engagement Photos of the Bride and Groom
Black-and-White Photo of Wedding Favors of Instant Ramen Noodles, Sign
Passed Crostini Appetizer on Wood Serving Platter and Small Floral Arrangement
Long Reception Tables With Minimal Decor at The Historic Ebell of Los Angeles
Beef and Carrot Lettuce Wrap Passed Appetizers With Lemon and Floral Arrangement
Brown Seating Chart On Easel With Greenery Draped Around
Small Chicken-and-Waffles Passed Appetizers on Wooden Board
Black-and-White Photo of Groom in White Suit Twirling Bride on Dance Floor