This past weekend I had the honor to participate in my first 和式 (washiki/Japanese style) wedding in Tokyo by attending and photographing the marriage of my childhood friend Jessica and her new Japanese husband, Kenichi-san. Out of the 10+ weddings I’ve attended, this was one of the most beautiful, inspiring weddings because it united 3 cultures: Taiwan, America, and Japan in traditional and modern fashion… and the timing perfectly fell in unison with sakura in full bloom.
Washiki wedding ceremonies are typically held in Shinto style shrines…The bride and groom, clothed in white shiromuku and montsuki hakama kimonos, are accompanied by their families, friends, coworkers, and of course Shinto priests. The procession began at Kanda shrine at 15:00 sharp as we closely followed Jessica, Kikurin, and the family out from the reception into the shrine. Honestly, I even completely scraped and bruised my knees to battle crowds and shoot from the right angles and perspectives. Photography is completely prohibited inside the shrine while all participants clap, chant in unison and the bride and groom sit facing each other, sip sake, and declare their vows in front of their families.
Following the procession was the western-style banquet that was held at New Hotel Otani. There, she had two other outfits – another more elaborate kimono that was passed from Kikurin’s family (not pictured, sadly), and this delicate wedding dress from Canada. A few other favorite snapshots, including Jessica introducing an American cake tradition to Kikruin by shoving wedding cake into Kikurin and them leaving the ceremony. Absolutely stunning. Many thanks to the Kikuchi and Chang family, our lovely friends, coworkers, Kanda shrine, and New Hotel Otani, for all of your support and love!