From the month of January until April, anticipation riddles the Japanese. In an act in which they call hanami, or flower viewing, crowds gather at parks, shrines, and temples to share their city’s love for the blossoming cherry tree. A symbol of all things spring, the pink tinged flowers bloom for only a short time, creating a metaphor for life’s fleeting nature.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival
A person does not have to travel far to witness Mother Nature in action. The National Cherry Blossom Festival, held annually in Washington, D.C., celebrates sakura (Japanese Flowering Cherry) thanks in part to a generous donation given by Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo in 1912. In a true act of friendship, Ozaki bestowed 3,000 cherry trees to the city who graciously accepted his offer. The first festival was held in 1935, which led the event to be what it is today. A two week long occurrence touting over one million visitors yearly, the festival has grown exponentially.
Exciting Ways to Celebrate Your Spring Wedding
Incorporating the beautiful and symbolic cherry blossom into your wedding is an excellent way to usher in spring – and your true love! From the wedding invitations to the floral décor, the cherry blossom can kiss your wedding with sophistication and allure.
• For starters, select stationery that exudes the beauty of the cherry blossom. Consider a wedding invitation featuring sprigs of blooming cherry blossoms along with a silhouette of a bride and groom dancing. Guests will appreciate the simple beauty of the card and will be eager to attend the outdoor wedding.
• Hold your ceremony in a Japanese garden or equally elaborate enclosure. Anticipate any changes in weather and secure an indoor location for your wedding just in case you encounter rain.
• Purchase cherry blossom covered paper lanterns, chopsticks, and fans for wedding decor. Use pink and white silk flower petals to spruce up tabletops and give them a special touch.
• Be daring like the singer Gwen Stefani and wear a two toned cherry blossomed inspired wedding gown. A plain white dress can be dipped in the same manner that shoes can to match a specific color. Consult your local directory for bridal shops in your area that perform these services.
• Cherry blossom branches are not easy to purchase, but can easily be faked. Ask a florist to make you a silk arrangement and carry it rather than a traditional bouquet.
• Serve a signature pink drink and add fresh cherries to it. You can make a Cherry Blossom cocktail by following this recipe:
Shake with ice and strain
3/5 cherry brandy (1 3/4 oz, 5.5 cl, 7/16 gills)
2/5 brandy (1 1/4 oz, 3.5 cl, 5/16 gills)
1 dash lemon juice
1 dash grenadine
1 dash Dry curacao
Shake thoroughly and serve very cold
Serve in a cocktail glass (4.5 oz) rimmed with pink colored sugar.
• Enlist the services of a baker and have them create a beautiful cake with fondant blossoms running down the side of it.
A truly awe inspiring wedding theme, cherry blossoms make every outdoor wedding bloom with color.