Hannah and Wataru met when they were 15 and dated throughout high school to the first year of college. However, then they broke up in college and did not speak for 6 years. In a strange twist of fate, they ended up reconnecting again as adults and ended up falling in love again, Nearly five years on they were planning their wedding.
The couple originally wanted to elope however, ended up planning a larger wedding for their families sake. "When Covid hit and we had to postpone our June wedding, we decided that we would take an unfortunate situation and make a perfect opportunity to get creative; finding ways to create a formal feel with a non-traditional approach." The couple decided to have a virtual wedding and stream their ceremony to loved ones, while only having four close friends present. "With all the virtual weddings and us just wanting to get married, we took a hold of the opportunity by recruiting a handful of friends to help us plan. Many parts of our day were spontaneous. We decided the week before on the Donatsu donuts, an hour before on ordering Panda Express and a week before on getting Wataru’s Bailey Hats fedora." The brides textural bouquet was created by Studio Yeoreum.
Hannah and Wataru knew they wanted the scenery to speak for itself, and looked for an Airbnb that had a beautiful indoor and outdoor space. "We decided to go to California because our officiant and his fiancee lived out there and we rather fly to them than them coming to us. California was also on Illinois’s mandatory quarantine list, so we were glad we made that call early on. Also, since our wedding was only a handful of people we figured, why not go somewhere interesting away from home. We looked into mountains, oceans and deserts for Airbnb's in California and knew we wanted the desert (nothing says social isolation than a desert). We felt that since it was such an intimate wedding, it would be perfect to have it in the middle of the desert where it’s just us and the friends we hold dear to our hearts." Gabby J Photography captured the couples day in the Californian desert.