Heritage Inspired California Canyon Wedding at The Ranch at Laguna Beach
November 2, 2018
Classic WeddingsAl FrescoRustic Weddings
Cloud 9 : /noun/ in a state of blissful happiness. Synonyms: joyfulness, jubilation, glee, euphoria, this very wedding. There is always something that speaks to us in the weddings we choose. The details. The photography. The gown. In this wedding? It's her. Her pure joy. Her infectious smile. Her obvious love for him. Throw in some gorgeous florals by The Loved Co. and a stunning design by Details Details ... oh and maybe the most beautiful photos ever from Janine Licare ... and you basically have your very own cloud nine situation.
From Janine Licare Photography... Mika and Rafai's story is unique and one beyond borders. They met in middle school while living in Japan (his mother is Japanese and his dad is from Trinidad, and her father is Chinese/Japanese and her mother is from the US). While they were friends (or "frenemies," according to Mika) throughout middle/high school and college, they didn't start officially dating until after college when they both ended up in LA. Shortly after, they did long distance during her Fulbright in China, so their wedding had a combination of various cultural traditions and unique nods to their heritage.
Mika loves earth tones, so you'll see lots of greens, whites, and neutral colors throughout the day. Their entire wedding was set in the canyon at The Ranch at Laguna Beach and incorporated lots of natural elements into the aesthetic.
The ceremony took place under a beautiful grove that added to the rustic elements of their wedding. Their adopted pup, Taro, was an important part of the day as well. He and Rafai wore matching bowties.
Her bouquet was was whimsical and wild, chock-full of white and gold cosmos, brown lisianthuses, ferns, and jasmine vines, wrapped in the prettiest honey silk ribbon made by Tono & Co. Her dress had layers upon layers of tulle that took on a life of its own when the wind picked up in the evening. When it came to footwear though, Mika prioritized comfort and chose her favorite Soludos as her wedding shoes.
For the reception, she changed into a 70s inspired jumpsuit and, along with their entire bridal party, entered Soul Train style. Shortly after, they did a traditional Sake Breaking ceremony. Every guest received their own wooden sake masu (sake box) with "Mika & Rafai 7-7-18" engraved into each of them, and were poured sake to cheers with the bride and groom.
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The wedding cake was a perfect compliment to the bright red sake barrel. It even closely resembled a Japanese Mirror Glaze cake, another nod to their shared heritage.

About the couple: