Japanese Inspired Engagement – Tea Ceremony

March 13, 2015

We SO enjoyed photographing this lovely tea ceremony and Japanese inspired engagement, beautifully designed by When Pigs Fly. Without giving you too many words, I will just let When Pigs Fly do the talking:
The inspiration for this shoot, so magically captured by Weddings by Scott and Dana, was born from the discovery of the indigo Zokin fabric, a highly collectable Japanese cloth typically used for cleaning wooden floors, which eventually served as the placemats on our table.   From the same Etsy store, we sourced the hand loomed vintage silk fabric dating back from the Showa era (50s/60s) for our napkins.   Rhapsody Rentals offered their gorgeous lanterns, pillows, and table and the idea took off from there.   We opted for a romantic while still modern and fun, color palette of traditional indigo and blue tones, lavender, lilac, and soft pink with a pop of bright yellow.  Inspired by Ikebana floral design, Layers of Lovely created a gorgeous floral arrangement hugged by striking purple roses. 

We really enjoyed researching and drawing inspiration from Japanese art and asian marriage and engagement customs. The symbolism behind the heritage and customs really brought out the specialness of the shoot.  Our giant heart is adorned with the ‘double happiness’ symbol which is the symbol for joy repeated. Our favorite symbolic message is the ‘red string of fate’ or ‘kanji.’

According to myth, the gods tie an invisible red string around the two small fingers of those who are destined to meet each other.  Our favorite decorative additions were the hand painted fortune cookies by Almond Pottery and of course the jaw dropping cake by Hey There, Cupcake.  To add to the authenticity of the shoot, we sourced beautiful vintage pieces like the bamboo tumblers, glass fish chopstick holders, tea set, and vintage Kokeshi dolls that served as lovely cake toppers.


The Japanese Friendship Gardens at Balboa Park served as the perfect backdrop for our young couple.   The Japanese gardens are a serene place for contemplation and strikes a beautiful balance between tranquility and romance. It poured rain on the day of our shoot but that made the environment glisten even more.   Surrounded by tall bamboo and a lovely koi pond, we couldn’t think of a more lovely and symbolic place for a young man to ask his love to marry him.

It is actually a traditional way to ask a Japanese girl to marry you by asking, “Will you make my miso soup for me everyday?”…we found the question incredibly charming and it sure made our bride-to-be swoon.

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(this story was also featured yesterday on the fabulous bridalmusings.com )

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