Lively Lai and Michael Krupczak both recall feeling incredibly natural around one another on their first date. “Time flew that night,” remembers Lively. Later on in their relationship, Lively was faced with the difficult decision to return to Taiwan for an ACL surgery, so her family could be on her legal consent for medical treatment.
“As I almost bought a ticket back to Taiwan, Michael pulled out a temporary ring and kneeled down in our living room to ask me to marry him,” she remembers of his heartfelt commitment to not only be her husband but take care of her after surgery. Two years later, he re-proposed down a path of rose petals on the beach. She recalls saying, “Oh Michael, No matter how many times you ask, I am and will always be saying yes.”
As a sculptor, Lively has a very specific aesthetic and took the lead when it came to planning their nuptials. “Michael really wanted it to feel like a ‘Lively and Michael’ wedding… therefore, ensuring consistent visual design and a good amount of customization for the whole wedding was the top consideration for us,” confirms the bride. They planned a wondrous celebration with a “French Tea Party” theme to commemorate their favorite picnic routine – a cup of tea with French pastries. “We also made sure to incorporate some Taiwanese touches,” adds Lively.
The couple searched for a gorgeous venue with a European feel in Southern California, settling on an Italian-inspired villa. “The villa feels historic, like a building created in Italy many years ago, gently lifted from the ground, and gently placed there,” illustrates the bride, who especially loved the indoor-outdoor aspect of the spaces. “Its balance of feminine delicacy and masculine chivalry fulfilled my yearning for a fairy-tale wedding setting.” The décor complemented the venue beautifully and showcased a whimsical look inspired by Marie Antoinette and Bridgerton.
“[We] really wanted it to feel like a ‘Lively and Michael’ wedding… therefore, ensuring consistent visual design and a good amount of customization for the whole wedding was the top consideration for us.”
A vision of textured whimsy, a romantic floral palette, and delicate garden aesthetics in a range of pastel tones influenced the design. “As an artist, I believe all the colors have their own meaning and energy, so we decided not to have a fixed color theme. Rather, we brought all the colors we can see in spring to energize the visual design,” confirms the bride.
The alfresco ceremony showcased soft-toned blooms interspersed with greenery and bolder accents as the bride – who wore a stunning vintage-inspired Claire Pettibone gown with detached long sleeves – and groom were wed. Tablescapes showcased icy blue taper candles, centerpieces of large open blooms mixed with textured stems and foliage, as well as playful shapes and colorful accents.
Since many of their guests were on the younger side, Lively and Michael made sure to organize a fun-filled, nontraditional day complete with a “hilarious” ceremony officiated by their dear friend, gourmet food and drinks, a Star Wars-themed grand entrance, a choreographed first dance to their favorite song from La La Land, and Lively’s surprise dance performance for Michael later in the night. “We did not expect our elder guests to enjoy the day as much!” smiles the bride. “We could not have been more elated when some came to us and said, ‘This is the most special wedding I have ever been to.”
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