Last Minute Elopement

  • Date:20th September 2019

  • Planner:Ayako Harrison

  • Photographer:Ayako & Ross Harrison

  • Officiant:Ross Harrison

This was a last minute elopement in the truest sense.  While they had gone through the legal side things in the US, they reached out to us just one week ahead of their trip to Japan.  They wanted a simple Garden Elopement Ceremony.  

It was so last minute, that they signed the contract electronically, at the airport just before departure for Japan!  

Last Minute Elopement

For this couple, experience was everything.  They didn’t need to spend a ton of money doing it, they were in Japan, so whatever they did was going to be different.  Anything we could help with was going to be a bonus!  And that they were here for the start of the Rugby World Cup was also a boon for the rugby loving groom.  

They not only soaked up the atmosphere of early autumn Japan, but also the atmosphere of what turned out to be a great tournament.  Unlucky England in the final though… but that is another story for another blog on a different website entirely!

When it is so last minute, it is hard to build up a relationship with any couple.  But for those who opt for a last minute elopement, there are certain things  that we can know ahead of time.  They want:

  • Something simple
  • Beautiful
  • To focus on experience
  • To have fun while doing it


Beautiful gardens are plentiful in Japan and our garden elopements are simple by design.  Because they are simple, the focus then turns to the bride and groom and the experience is all about them.   

As last minute elopements go, this was one of the most fun we have ever done!

Ceremony Day

They were quite comfortable getting around Tokyo and so we arranged to meet in Shinjuku.  By the information center at the South East Exit, to be precise!  

From there we walked a few minutes to the kimono vendor’s studio, where they picked out their choice of kimonos.  Since the weather was still on the warm side, they opted to wear yukatas, summer weight kimnonos.  

Yukatas are easier to fit than kimonos and take less time, and so we were able to get to the garden rather early.  This has its benefits, since we don’t always want to be/feel rushed.  It gave the couple a chance to enjoy the atmosphere and beauty of the garden before show time. 

(When we reserve gardens for ceremonies and photoshoots, we give them a time – a precise hour – which needs to be adhered to.  Therefore, if we are early, we have to wait until our allotted time.)  

The ceremony was awesome!  During the proceedings, the couple could not stop beaming!  They were clearly so besotted with each other and the stunning setting.  They improvised heartfelt, yet amusing vows, which perfectly summed up this fun loving couple.

The photoshoot following the ceremony was no less fun!  While we enjoy all photoshoots we do with all couples, I don’t think we had ever laughed quite as hard as we did in this one.  We were in stitches!!

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Last Minute Elopement in Japan

Japanese Elopement Ceremony

Japanese Garden Elopement

Last Minute Elopement

Happy Bride - Wedding in Japan

Last Minute Elopement fun in Shinjuku

Rugby World Cup Spirit


What they said

From Tripadvisor:

“Ross and Ayako provided us with an amazing experience! We contacted them 3 days prior to leaving for our trip to Japan after deciding elopement was the way to go. They responded immediately and pulled everything together quickly. Everything was well organized and exactly how we envisioned it. No stress…just a perfect elopement ceremony in a perfect garden space. I’ll certinly be using them again for my next wife, too.”

Ready to start thinking about your Japanese Shrine Wedding elopement ceremony   If so, feel free to reach out to us today.  We would love to hear from you!

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