Intimate Elopement

  • Wedding Date:27th September 2018

  • Place:Old Japanese House and Garden, Kanagawa: https://www.airbnb.jp/rooms/12629681

  • PlannerSerendipity Flower and Wedding, Ayako Harrison

  • First Photographer:Kohyoh Iwata: https://www.instagram.com/koh.yoh/

  • Second PhotographerRoss Harrison: https://www.instagram.com/rossharrison_tokyo/

It was such fun working with this couple, who were so excited to be in Japan. It was her first time, and his first time since he lived here as a child with his parents. He had always had it in mind to return, and what better excuse than for an intimate elopement?!  They opted for a very intimate setting, no guests, just the two of them.  So, we arranged for the elopement ceremony to be held in an old Japanese house (an AirBnb Rental) and landscaped garden in Kanagawa, about 30 minutes drive from Tokyo. And perhaps the best part: this place was not only theirs for the ceremony and photoshoot, but also for the night afterwards. It was beautiful, it was peaceful, and it was romantic.

Before the ceremony

Before their intimate elopement ceremony, they asked if we could arrange for a city shoot.  Since it was their first time in Tokyo together, they wanted to document their trip. And of course, we were happy to oblige! We did an off-the-cuff-mini-tour, taking in Asakusa’s Sensouji Temple, and a boat ride on the Sumida River, culminating in a few shots on the beach in Tokyo Bay. This was perhaps the last day of bright sunshine until after the elopement!

Intimate Elopement - City Tour
Under the great lantern, Asakusa’s Sensouji Temple – Photography: Ross Harrison
Intimate Elopement
In front the pagoda, Sensouji Temple – Photography: Ross Harrison
Intimate Elopement
Odaiba Beach, Tokyo Bay – Photography: Ross Harrison

Rain, rain go away…

We woke to rain on the day of the ceremony – this year the Autumn weather has been terrible.  There were two devastating typhoons in September – one while they were in Kyoto – and seemingly unstoppable rain. However, about ten minutes before the ceremony was due to start, the skies started to clear, and the sun dared to poke through. We could do the ceremony outside!

It was perfect!

The garden was designed around a pond with a very simple stone bridge. We all agreed that it would be a great place to do the “first meet” photos, before the ceremony. However, we worried about the bride and her shoes on the potentially slippery bridge, which was narrow, and after the rain quite wet. But she, and he, assured us she was a pro at wearing high heels on all terrains – we went for it.  The bride looked stunningly beautiful and the groom very dapper in his tux!  Don’t take my world for it – let the pics speak for themselves!

Intimate Elopement
The excitement builds, as they prepare for the first meet! Photography: https://www.instagram.com/koh.yoh/
Intimate Elopement
First meet! Photography: Ross Harrison
Intimate Elopement
The Happy Couple! Photography: https://www.instagram.com/koh.yoh/

Intimate Elopement and Photo Shoot

This was a non-religious ceremony, combining the best of the west with a hint of Japanese culture thrown in for extra measure. The couple read their own vows, making it even more personal.  There was not a dry eye in the house! After the ceremony, the photographers got to have their fun!

Intimate Elopement
The Ceremony Starts! Photography: https://www.instagram.com/koh.yoh/
Intimate Elopement
Getting ready for the vows!
Intimate Elopement
From inside the house. Photography: https://www.instagram.com/koh.yoh/
Intimate Elopement
The garden was small, but had so many photo spots – this in front of a mini bamboo grove. Photography: https://www.instagram.com/koh.yoh/
Intimate Wedding
While the first photographer was getting the main shot, the second photographer was hiding round the corner! Photography: Ross Harrison
Intimate Wedding
We injected a little bit of Japanese culture into the day with green tea and a drama doll. The Japanese believe that whatever wish you make while colouring in the eyes of the doll, will come true. Photography: Ross Harrison
Intimate Elopement
Photography: https://www.instagram.com/koh.yoh/
Intimate Elopement
Just a bit of fun! Photography: Ross Harrison

A huge thanks to the bride and groom for being so fun to work with, and many congratulations to them as they embark on their new lives together.  Can’t wait to see you guys again on your return to Tokyo soon.  We got to have drinks again!  🙂

For your own intimate elopement ceremony and photoshoot, email us at info@serendipity-flower.com.  Alternatively, send us a message on our contact page and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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