In her first semester in college, Hallie Yarger never imagined that her future husband lived on the same floor of her dormitory – let along that he was enrolled in some of the same classes. She kept running into Liusuke “Liu” Nagayoshi on campus, and the two became captivated with each other. “We felt instantly comfortable with one another, and both left wanting to get to know the other more,” confides the bride. Seven years later, Liu secretly asked Hallie’s parents for her hand in marriage and popped the question in her hometown in Ohio on Christmas Eve. “I accidentally spilled red food coloring all over my hands while making Christmas cookies,” Hallie reveals. “My mother saw my bright red hands and made such a fuss about trying to get the dye off – that’s when I knew something odd was going on.” Of course, Hallie quickly accepted Liu’s proposal.
Just over a year later, the bride flaunted a stunning Ines di Santo gown, purchased at Bella Bianca Bridal Couture, during the ceremony. The couple decided on a timeless, classic theme with a modern touch including a palette of neutral hues with metallic accents. Vibrant blooms were the focal point of the décor, as the couple budgeted around their flowers. “We were very inspired by the floral arrangements in paintings from the Dutch Masters era, which feature sprawling, richly colored compositions,” says Hallie. High and low centerpieces showcased vibrantly toned anemones, Juliet roses, peonies, and parrot tulips in gold vases. A customized floral chandelier was suspended above the dance floor, and a metal orb with silk flowers was designed and constructed by their florist. The blooms, greenery, and candles created a soft, romantic ambience within the large venue.
Coming from different backgrounds, the pair put an emphasis on honoring their respective cultures. Liu’s brother read a letter from their grandmother, who lives in Japan and was unable to attend. During his speech, Hallie’s father presented the newlyweds with 1,000 origami cranes as a surprise, all of which he himself folded over the course of a year. The cranes represent Senbazuru, a Japanese tradition for blessing the couple with a long, harmonious marriage. Tradition was a key feature for their wedding, but the new Mr. and Mrs. also desired to reflect their personalities. The DJ played an array of songs from jazz to R&B and EDM to satisfy their contemporary tastes in music. A unique element of their wedding was a slow-motion photo booth: as guests stepped in the booth, the videographer shot 30-second clips to play on the projector for all of the attendees to enjoy.
Though the wedding was a celebration of their love, guests were just as important in their planning process. “We stayed true to ourselves, while honoring the wishes of our parents and making the guests feel comfortable,” Hallie confides. They could not have enjoyed the day without their loved ones by their side.