So… I am obsessed with this wedding. Like head over heels, can’t stop thinking about it, wish I had been invited obsessed. A sort of true love that can’t be stopped, if you will. It’s an obsession that comes from time well spent soaking in the crazy gorgeous blooms from Creative Floral Designs, the al fresco paradise that is The Peacock Café at the Arboretum and image after image of pure lovely from Serena Grace Photo. It’s honestly unavoidable, people. And the bride and groom, who glow with a thousand rays of happiness and who are sweeter than sweet to boot (see: the bride’s description)? Well, I love them, too. See it all in the full gallery. It’s soooo good.
From the Bride… I was homesick when I first moved to the U.S. for college, but I grew to love southern California for its climate and scenery. I could’ve never guessed that I’d meet my future husband there too! The moment Felix proposed to me, I was sure of two things: 1) I would say YES to this wonderful man, and 2) we’d be married in a sweet garden ceremony like I’d always dreamed.
I adore flowers, especially in the Springtime. Even my name translates into “smells like sunshine.” The Arboretum’s natural splendor inspired our theme and palette. All of our major ceremony “decorations” were in full and glorious bloom at the Rose Garden. For the reception, we loved the idea of hosting an elegant al fresco affair on the terrace of the Peacock Café.
We decided on a Western-style wedding, interwoven with various elements from my Japanese heritage. My dad passed away when I was very young, so I asked my uncle to walk me down the aisle in his traditional hakama. As we approached the altar, our violinist Reiko and her quartet performed a moving rendition of my favorite Studio Ghibli soundtrack, Spirited Away. I helped kick off the evening’s toasts by reading the bride’s customary thank-you letter to my mom. Of course this brought us both to tears, even though we’d jokingly promised not to cry beforehand.
Our vision couldn’t come to life without our all-star team of vendors. Nicole, the owner of the Peacock Café, understood my desire for an intimate yet communal gathering. She lined up her café tables end-to-end and draped them in a formal white tablecloth, creating one long, continuous banquet setting. Our rental coordinator, Aykui, complemented this timeless look with dusty rose linens, antique gold runners, and organza chair sashes. Bernie, our florist, transformed my milk glass collection into a stunning seasonal tablescape of peonies, hydrangeas, lisianthus and lilies. Our day-of-coordinator Kat, whom we met the week before the wedding, made everything flow together as if she’d known us our entire lives.
For all the intricate planning and details, some of my favorite memories were the ones I didn’t anticipate: the warm breeze, the exquisite patterns of my mom’s kimono, the pink trumpet tree that dropped blossoms like whimsical confetti onto the dance floor. So to all my fellow brides: yes, your hard work and preparation will pay off in spades! Just remember to enjoy the lovely little surprises that the big day finally brings.
Wedding Photography: Serena Grace Photo | Wedding Venue: Los Angeles Arboretum & Botanical Garden | Floral Design: Creative Floral Designs | Wedding Day Coordination: Kat Keane Weddings & Events | Wedding Cinematography: studio205films | Catering: The Peacock Café at the Arboretum | Bar Service: The Bottle Shop | Wedding Cake: Cake Sensations | Dessert Bar: Dots Cupcakes + ‘Lette Macarons + Beard Papa’s + JJ Bakery + Phoenix Food Boutique | Wedding Invitations + Stationery: Angela Dal Bon Custom Invitations & Announcements | Ceremony + Cocktail Hour Musicians: Strings by Reiko | DJ: High Resolution Productions | Rentals: Dolphin Party Rentals | Wedding Dress: La Soie Bridal | Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade | Hair + Makeup: Vivihair and Makeup | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: David’s Bridal | Groom’s Suit: J.Crew | Groomsmen’s Suits: Alfani via Macy’s | Groom + Groomsmen’s Shaves: 18|8 Men’s Hair & Grooming Center