When Kimiko first reached out to me and told me a bit about her relationship with Kai, I fell in love with their story, but had no idea how much I’d grow to admire them as friends. We grabbed drinks at a cute wine bar in Carlsbad the first time we met, chatted about our love for pinot noir, our opinions on the meanings behind tattoos and the story of how Kai and Kimiko’s chance meeting was thanks to her mom. You see, Kimiko and Kai met in Vegas at a pool party on Mother’s Day, two months after Kimiko’s mom passed away from breast cancer. It was a getaway for Kimiko, a way of choosing to celebrate in a time where she was dealing with the loss of someone so close. Kimiko said “I swear she brought us together that day and picked him out for me,” because for Kai, seeing Kimiko was love at first sight. If you met these two even for one night, you’d learn Kai is Kimiko’s positive beam, her rock, the person to support her through the bad and the good; he loves her with his actions and is always there to lift her up. You’d also learn that Kimiko loves Kai deeply, supports his ambitions fully, makes him smile literally from ear to ear, and is there to bring adventure to their lives. Together, they light up a room and bring the best energy to everyone around them.
If you got a chance to see the adventure session to a waterfall with Kimiko and Kai, you’ll know just how stoked we all were to be in Portland, Oregon for their intimate wedding. Their best friends and family flew in from Colorado, Missouri, California and Pennsylvania to celebrate with them! Kai’s mom helped Kimiko get ready at The Nines Hotel before the two saw had their first look on the streets of downtown Portland. Shortly after, we spent some time in Hoyt Arboretum to soak in the beauty before the ceremony. Kai laugh-cried during his meticulously crafted vows (this man is a genius with words) and Kimiko was beaming with joy the whole time.
The greatest part of the day, if I could interject my opinion here, was shortly after the ceremony. Everyone had left to Andina for the reception, while Kimiko and Kai had a moment alone in the forest. Jaime and I were waiting at the car when this majestic song began to fill the air. A man with a flute was wandering the forest, gracing the silence with his music. Kimiko and Kai emerged from the arboretum with the musician following them, playing a song, which he said was good luck on a wedding day. It was beautiful, but what was more touching was what they told us in the car ride after. The day Kimiko and Kai were engaged, a man had been seemingly following them throughout the day. When Kai proposed, that man popped out of no where asking if he could take their photo with their phone! After he snapped the photo, they looked down at the screen to see the photo, looked back up to thank him and the man had disappeared. Mind you, they’d been in a place where there was no way he could have ran fast enough to leave their sight. Kimiko and Kai felt like these were Kimiko’s mom’s way of saying, I’m here, I see you, I’m with you.
At Andina, we ate delicious Peruvian food and mango cocktails that tasted like Mexican candy (omg thank you guys), we laughed and cried at the wonderful speeches prepared by their best friends and parents and we filled our hearts to the brim with love. Congratulations to two of the most beautiful people, inside and out, I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.
THE FLUTE MAN!
Ceremony Venue: Hoyt Arboretum – Redwood Deck
Reception Venue + Food: Andina
Coordination + Styling: Bride
Florals: Fieldwork Flowers
Hair + Makeup: Vicky Stana of Blossom & Beauty
Wedding Gown: Paloma Blanca
Dress Boutique: Here Comes the Bride
Bride’s Shoes: Nina
Groom’s Shoes: Steve Madden
Ceremony Musicians: Vancouver String Quartet
Jewelry: Nadri Jewelry
Engagement + Wedding Ring Designer: Vanessa Nicole Jewels