Gathering In Green

Katie + Bruno

Japanese Friendship Garden

Katie and Bruno held their stunning July 2023 wedding at the Japanese Friendship Garden, a jewel hidden inside San Diego’s historic Balboa Park. Amidst the Garden’s verdant backdrop, the couple exchanged their vows and celebrated with beloved family and friends in an environment that married modern sophistication with classic beauty. A color palette of lush greens and soft whites created a romantic ambience that set the stage for a dream day skillfully coordinated by Marina Miller of the Japanese Friendship Garden, assisted by Kiss Sweet Events.

Expertly captured by Sara Whittaker of Desert Born Studios, the style of the couple and their wedding party added richness to the aesthetic. Katie was the picture of perfection: The loveliness of her lace gown was accentuated by an unforgettable cathedral veil. Each of her bridesmaids wore a dazzling dress of regal green in various fabrics and design. Bruno and his groomsmen dressed handsomely in classic black tuxedos. The personal florals, fashioned in all white and lovingly crafted by Selena Arellano of Sun Flor Co, were organic in feel: Katie’s and her bridesmaids’ handheld bouquets were a voluminous mixture of Playa Blanca roses accented by white anemone and delphinium, tied in delicate ribbons. For the ceremony, the couple was framed by a grand all-white floral arch that incorporated the flowers of the day. “We wanted to create something special and luscious that highlighted the beauty of Katie and Bruno,” shared Selena Arellano.

The dinner reception echoed the visual elegance and sense of community of the ceremony. Catered by Ranch Events, guests enjoyed a delicious meal at expansive family tables that created an opportunity for conversation and relaxation, while the couple enjoyed dinner at an intimate sweetheart table. Each table was adorned with graceful tablescapes of white hydrangea and roses appointed in glass vases, interspersed with white taper candles to create a warm and loving ambience. Under the direction of DJ John of the Wedding Entertainment Collective, dancing and merriment lasted far into the night.



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