Renee and Justin's autumn wedding at Carillon Historical Park in Dayton was a beautiful celebration of their Chinese and Japanese heritage and love for Harry Potter! Their wedding featured a rich fall palette of navy, marigold and burgundy and handmade origami cranes throughout the ceremony space and reception. Chelsea Hall Photography and Hatfield Productions captured their day!
A Chinese American multicultural wedding with rich fall tones in Dayton, OH
Renee had wanted to go to Sugarcreek Metro Park for a while and Justin said that his sister wanted to go one weekend, as well. October 29th turned out to be unseasonably warm and sunny, so it was a perfect day to walk around. Renee noticed that Justin was packing an awful lot of items in his bag and was acting quite suspicious. Justin had to play it off cool when Renee was going to put her Polaroid in the bag herself. He stated that it could get smashed by the two water bottles in there so she decided to hold onto it separately (crisis averted!). Suspiciously enough, his sister also had an unusually large bag.
We all walked around the park for a while until we got to the tunnel of osage orange trees. His sister asked if they wanted a picture together on Renee's Polaroid. She then told them to stay put and brought out a really nice camera out of her bag. As soon as Justin turned towards Renee, she knew exactly what was happening. As we know, he asked and she said yes.
About the Wedding
As soon as we saw the bridge and Transportation Center at Carillon Park we knew we had to get married here! We wanted to incorporate parts of our cultural backgrounds into our wedding since we valued family traditions as well as traveling and learning about different cultures. From Justin's Japanese background, we chose to fold 1,000 paper cranes which were hung on the bridge during our ceremony. From Renee's Chinese background, we had the double happiness character as decoration on the cake, favors, and photo booth.
Special Details & Traditions
Justin has a passion for fencing, so he and his groomsmen all wore fencing foils that day! It's safe to say that no one dared to challenge the union. 100 days from the wedding, Renee decided to keep a journal detailing their adventures together. She would write in it every day about what they did that day, fun memories, and reasons why she couldn't wait to marry Justin. The hardest part was keeping it a secret from Justin. On the day of their wedding, Justin received the journal as a gift before the ceremony.
We were married over Justin's family bible which is 140 years old. It has been passed down through generations of his family and has every member of the family recorded in a family tree. It meant a lot to Justin's father and grandmother to include the family bible in the ceremony.
We also folded 1,000 paper cranes, with the 1,000th crane being folded at the ceremony. Japanese lore claims the crane is one of three holy creatures that lives for 1,000 years. After folding 1,000 origami paper cranes, one for each year of its life, the majestic “bird of happiness” is able to carry that person's prayers to heaven. The time and energy put into the thousand hand-folded origami cranes symbolized the patience and trust necessary to sustain a happy marriage.
Renee wore her mother's Chinese gold bangles with a dragon and phoenix engraved on them. The Dragon and Phoenix are the quintessential symbols of wedding bliss. Renee also chose to wear a red and gold cheongsam like her mother did on her wedding day. Renee also borrowed a string of pearls from her mother-in-law to wear with her dress.