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Posted by Hannah Faulder on 8 July 2021
Back home, the loved-up pair set the date for 30th March, 2019, and chose the exquisite Eltham Palace as the setting. We chat to Hana about how it all came together…
Eltham Palace was the perfect location for Hana and Brendan; they knew it was the one for them as soon as they walked over the pretty moat bridge. As Hana is half-Japanese, the couple opted for a Japanese and cherry blossom theme, with a nod to Disney. This was all pulled together by a palette of claret, mint and gold.
The bridesmaids' bouquets were pink and white, while Hana's arrangement incorporated red blooms too. "The red matched the girls' dresses, while the pink tied into the cherry blossom elements," Hana says. "A family friend designed a subtle Disney-themed lantern for each table with faux cherry blossom branches. Tied to these were hand-folded origami cranes that Brendan and I made." The bride's best friend created the wedding cake and cupcakes, which were decorated with sugarcraft cherry blossoms made by the bride's grandmother.
The tables were given Disney-inspired names, such as Pride Rock, while the place settings were made from Hana and Brendan's hand-crafted origami cranes. "As favours, we gave our loved ones a sweet bag each," Hana says. "They could then help themselves to Brendan's favourite sweets, and doughnuts, which are my favourite treat."
Hana was lucky enough to have her stunning gown designed and made by a friend. "It was a short dress with pretty mint flowers and gold beads on the straps," she says. "It had a removable floor-length lace skirt, which matched my veil. After the first dance, I took the long skirt off so I could enjoy the night without tripping over! During the wedding breakfast, I took off my veil and wore a traditional Japanese hairpiece to honour my heritage."
Brendan looked smart in a blue suit with a grey waistcoat and red accessories to match the bridesmaids' dresses. He stood out from the groomsmen who wore the same suit but with light blue waistcoats and mint accessories. "My best girls wore David's Bridal and Vera Wang dresses," Hana says. "They were all the same colour but they each chose their own style so they were comfortable in them."
On the day, a 1930s Rolls Royce limousine was hired to ensure they were transported in style. After the ceremony, guests were treated to a reception with canapés and drinks, then a sumptuous three-course sit-down meal followed by a DJ to get the party started. "The best money we spent was on our first-dance lessons with Start the Dance," Hana says. "We rehearsed the routine in advance so that we could surprise our nearest and dearest. Everyone was so shocked as they know that Brendan hates dancing!"
How did the pair feel on the day? "It felt exactly like it was meant to," Hana smiles. "We had so much fun. There were no nerves, just lots of laughter. We got to see our hard work designing all the little details come together. We had so much support from friends and family to bring the day to life, and our guests all noticed how personalised the day was. Our wedding coordinator at the venue, Annabelle, made the day run so smoothly; we didn't have to do anything but have a good time."
One of the funniest moments of the day came during the ceremony. "The registrar introduced Brendan as Brenda!" Hana says. "They then asked if I'd take Michael as my lawfully wedded husband! As you can imagine, during this serious moment it could have been awkward, but it had the whole room laughing."
Hana's words of wedded wisdom: "Make the day your own in every way you can."