How Traveling to Japan Inspired Me as a Wedding Planner: Part 2

It has now been over a week since my trip to Japan but I am still harvesting all sorts of inspiration.  Last week I talked about some of the bigger picture ways in which I was getting inspiration. If you haven't checked that out, take a second and give it a read.  But I had so many thoughts I couldn't fit it all in one post.  So here we are again...

The Japanese culture is known for its attention to detail and beauty.  The picture above is of calligraphy brushes from one of the stationery shops I visited in Japan.  The perfect placement of each brush in the display is so impressive.  After posting this picture I noticed two brushes that are slightly off center and I realized that was because of me!  I picked up those brushes to look at them and then quickly threw them back in place so that I could snap a shot.  Goes to show that slowing down and being more intentional (like the Japanese) really pays off in the end.

If there was one thing that I was most impressed by on my trip, it was the food. But not in the way you'd expect. Yes, everything was incredibly delicious - but the presentation blew me away because of the attention to detail. I loved how care was taken to present each piece of fish - just to lay them out was not enough. The Japanese see the world as a canvas, and because it is a country of participation and inclusion, no single person is incapable of contributing to the nation's art of presentation.  No one is without talent, and everyone has experience from childhood. Thus, on a plate the composition, color and overall arrangement of food, even in the most mundane dish like Ramen, is carefully considered.  Where the pork, egg, green onions, shoots and leaves lay atop the ramen noodles is done with as much intention as that in the dishes of the famous Kaiseki cuisine.

I smiled when I saw fiddleheads in the presentation here because I have always loved interjecting greenery unexpectedly. Perhaps that is one of the ways I can connect my experiences in Japan with my experiences as a wedding planner - sometimes taking the unexpected route can really pay off.  I see so many brides doing exactly what they've seen at other weddings because that's what they are "supposed" to do.  Brides, don't be afraid.  Put things where they might not belong.  Do what is unexpected.  It will mean your wedding is far more interesting and it will be remembered .

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As much as the presentation and detail impressed me, the spirit of Japan was incredibly captivating. Sometimes that spirit presented itself in light-hearted, fun ways like these emoticon inspired macaroons.  I loved seeing the smiles and surprise associated with these desserts.  If this is another inspiration as a wedding planner, it's to say not to take yourself too seriously - as a bride, but also in planning any event.  Too stuffy never makes for a good party.  Having fun is the most crucial part! 

Weddings and parties, like travel, are an experience and as much as one can try to control the situation, much of it is subject to the people we surround ourselves with and that is where the joy comes from.  I loved witnessing the Japanese culture and that has more to do with the people behind it than any food, clothing or place I showed you here.  I am so thankful for the chance to get to travel and see a culture so different from my own.  I consider myself so lucky.  Yokatta, arigatoo gozaimasu and sayonara.