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1,000 Paper Cranes Lined the Ceiling in Honor of the Bride’s Japanese Heritage at This Winter Wedding

By Cathleen Freedman | Photography by 

Kelly Hornberger

|Planning by 

Kiran + Leigh

Bailey Tsuru and Tanner Saha were high school sweethearts, and while they committed to different universities, they also promised to stay together, despite the distance. “This was never easy, but easily the best decision we ever made,” Bailey shares. They made their long-distance relationship between Georgia and Arkansas work until they could be together again.

Somehow, even after nine years, Tanner could still surprise Bailey. On May 1, 2021, the couple joined Bailey’s family for a small gathering at the Japanese Garden in Houston’s Hermann Park. Tanner pulled Bailey into the romantic gazebo that overlooks a glittering pond and happily shocked her when he proposed.

The couple collaborated with their planner, Chelsea Wenner of Kiran + Leigh, to create a timeless yet modern wedding. Once Bailey’s parents offered their home, a realm of newfound opportunities opened, and the couple could have their “must-have” requests that other venues would be unable to accommodate. Tanner envisioned lots of greenery and oyster shucking, and Bailey dreamed of cranes and white florals. Her maiden name “Tsuru” translates from Japanese into “crane,” so featuring the bird felt significant for the big day.

The bride looked for a dress with a silhouette and structure so striking, it would not need any embellishment. Her search ended once she tried on a Romona Keveza gown at Casa de Novia Bridal Couture. Her sentimental jewelry choices consisted of her mother’s earrings—her something borrowed—one custom ring with their engraved wedding date from Ring Concierge—a gift from her soon-to-be husband—and a ring from David Yurman—a something blue gift from her parents. Butter Artistry applied her understated makeup, and Gracie Florez styled her sleek chignon. 

Kelly Hornberger documented the entire wedding, including the couple’s first look. Bailey and Tanner made this moment even more intimate by sharing private vows before standing in front of their family and friends.

On February 26, 2022, Bailey walked down the aisle where just above, 1,000 hand-folded paper cranes dangled from the ceiling. She met her groom at the altar, underneath GRO Designs’s antique archway covered in baby’s breath. The longtime pastor of Bailey’s church officiated the tender ceremony. After saying “I do,” the processional commenced to the tune of “Simply the Best” by Tina Turner because there was no better way to articulate the feeling of finally being Mr. and Mrs. Saha. Tanner was so moved, he went in for another kiss and dipped his bride halfway down the aisle.

Jackson & Company catered the reception that followed. Beginning with a cocktail hour, guests sampled from various food stations located through Bailey’s parents’ home while Oysters XO served freshly shucked oysters. Bailey’s parents delivered toasts, including a poem the father of the bride wrote for the newlyweds. After a blessing from the couple’s pastor, everyone took to their seats for the carefully crafted three-course meal of crispy wonton tostadas, roasted cauliflower soup, shio koji marinated beef tenderloin with wasabi mashed potatoes, roasted bunashimeji mushroom, miso broccolini, milk bread, and yeast rolls. The feast was complete with slices of marble-iced cake by Becca Cakes.

After Bailey saw the Atlanta-based band, Jessie’s Girls, perform at her sister’s New York City wedding, she knew they should serenade at her own wedding. When guests weren’t utilizing Motus‘s 360-degree camera photo booth or sipping martinis from The Mark Hotel-inspired bar, they were dancing to the music. Bailey and Tanner kicked off the evening with their first dance to Leon Bridges’s “Beyond.” She changed into a jumpsuit by Houston’s David Peck and wore earrings by local jewelry designer Annét Chatoyer. This second outfit was much more suitable for all of the twirling and jumping of the latter part of the evening.

The father of the bride is a vintage car collector, and his favorite pastime proved to be particularly helpful for the couple’s send-off. Mr. and Mrs. Saha hopped into a vintage 1956 Jaguar XK-150 and drove straight to the artful luxury boutique La Colombe d’Or. After their stay, they journeyed to Rosewood Little Dix Bay and honeymooned in the British Virgin Islands.