Not only does this wedding on our wedding blog today take place at one of our favorite venues, but also it features the perfect combination of tradition and personality! The bride and groom’s 1000 paper cranes wedding was inspired by each other, of course, but also, the Japanese wedding tradition of Senbazuru. These 1000 cranes were hand-folded and strung by the bride’s family to create the most beautiful ceremony backdrop! But that’s not the only show-stopping element. With a stunning Hayley Paige gown and incredible cake (and cute cake cutting moment) this Rancho Las Lomas wedding is quickly becoming one of our favorites. Scroll on to see why, and to hear straight from the bride about every special detail that went into this 1000 paper cranes wedding captured by One Love Photography.
The bride shares…
Jack and I had been together for almost 8 years when we got engaged, and we immediately knew we wanted our wedding to be a chance for us to celebrate all those important in our life that got us to where we were. To us, that meant a short and sweet ceremony, and a longer more intimate reception. It started with our venue choice. We searched for a venue that both sets of parents approved of, wasn’t too formal, and represented a little of who we are. Rancho Las Lomas fit the bill and was our perfect venue. It was located in OC and easy to access (for the city boy in him). Plus, it was outdoors, spacious, and felt very secluded (for the country girl in me).
Jack and I also both agreed that the most important things about this wedding were our guests. Family comes first for both of us, so when it came down to who was going to officiate our ceremony, we really wanted someone who knew us. My uncle immediately came to mind and we asked him if he would do us the honor.
1000 Cranes (AKA Senbazuru) was the biggest decorative piece of our wedding. I am a 4th generation Japanese American. While my family doesn’t speak another language and are typically a non-traditional bunch, one tradition that is special to us is ensuring that whenever someone gets married, there are 1000 cranes present at the wedding for good luck. The funny thing is, there are really only 2 people in the entire family that fold cranes well: my mom and my aunt. There are 3 family weddings this year… some quick math means that they will be a crane factory this year, producing nearly 3000 cranes between the two of them!
The structure that we strung the cranes form was hand built by my dad. He’s the best handyman and he turned my scribbles on a notepad into our gorgeous backdrop during the ceremony. What most people don’t realize is that the backdrop at the wedding was prototype number four. He loaded version one in his truck and drove four hours to show us his amazing creation. We expressed how masterful he was at crafting reality from vision, as he slowly explained his thought process and what might be improved, but slowly talked himself into creating new versions… four times. Jack’s parents, my sister, and our friends helped us string each crane on fishing lines. I may have bribed some of them with dinner to help get us to the finish line.
We wanted to highlight the fact that our venue was a zoological garden, so we grabbed some animal figurines, spray painted them gold, cut them in half and added some magnets to make our name card holders. My father-in-law and my sisters roommates helped out tremendously to put these together and had gold fingers with an additional layer of superglue skin to show for it. I thought I would cut some costs by writing all of the name cards and dessert table signs by hand. Most of my friends know that I like to doodle and calligraphy in my spare time, so these little projects were fun!
Above all else, we wanted to make sure all of our guests at the wedding enjoyed themselves and were comfortable. We he had baskets filled with flip flops of all sizes to keep everyone’s feet comfy and encourage everyone to dance well into the night. Upon learning the temperature was rising going into our wedding weekend, we decided to get a Yeti cooler and fill it with as many ice soaked cooing towels as possible that people could drape over their necks during the ceremony. Lastly, we wanted to loosen everyone up and maintain that relaxed feel to the wedding. So, my mom approved an open bar list that was sure to include a lot of people’s favorites. It served to give our friends and family a little liquid courage to get on the dance floor as well.