Tokyo City View Elopement
Elopement Date:10th March 2019
Photography:Ross Harrison; Ayako Harrison
This was Tokyo city view elopement was one of the coolest things we have done. The couple contacted us at the last minute to see about a casual elopement ceremony somewhere in Tokyo with a modern city view. This was exciting for us, for as much as we love gardens and kimonos, it was great to do something different. And it was an opportunity to try something new.
Japan has a healthy mix of new and old, and up until now all of our elopements have paid homage to the old. Now, it was great to reflect the modern side of Japan. We had often talked about using Odaiba, in Tokyo Bay. Many people say that it represents modern Japan and visitors’ images of it. Once we pitched this to the couple they were sold! And after contacting the local authorities we found out how easy it was to get a permit for small events such as this and we were sold too! We will definitely be using this spot again!
The couple stressed that they didn’t want anything fancy. The bride is a personal chef for a Hollywood producer and is well aware of what it takes to plan big events. Because of this, she wanted to go to the opposite extreme – as casual and low key as possible. They were in Japan for the first time and only for a few days; they just wanted a small event to say their “I dos”. We were only too happy to oblige!
We loved their approach to the whole thing. They focussed on the story behind the event, rather than the spectacle of it. “If it rains,” she said, “it rains; it becomes part of the story!” Indeed they do have a story to tell since her dress got lost in transit…! So it was the most casual elopement we had ever done, but no less romantic and special!
The Big-Little Day
We hired a car and picked them up from their hotel in Shinjuku and drove through the city. I made a wrong turn or two (which added to the story), but they got to see more of Tokyo than they otherwise would have; and we got to drive over Rainbow Bridge twice!
Unfortunately the weather was very overcast, so we weren’t able to get the cool glow of the setting sun as we had hoped for, but the ceremony was nonetheless a special moment. We included a small Japanese custom/story into the event, the “Unman no Akai Ito” – the red string of destiny. The ancient Japanese believed that each person is connected by an invisible red string to one other, with whom they will make their history.
This event certainly became part of the couple’s and our collected history: we will all cherish this “story”.
To the couple we wish the very best going ahead. And on your return to Japan, we hope to take you out for a drink or two!