Akane is one of the most amazing brides I’ve ever worked with, because she has become one of my greatest advocates and has gone above and beyond to include me in her wedding day. Even before she had a venue, she knew that I would be the photographer. There was just one little catch– she lives in Japan! I, of course, was on board without hesitation. But wedding photography in Japan is not like photography in America– it’s always a basic service provided by the venue. So right from the start, Akane did her research and ultimately chose the Ritz-Carlton Osaka as her venue, largely because they were open to having an outside photographer. Talk about an incredible honor.
Because Akane and Gimpei both spent some time in the US in their schooling, they worked to blend both Japanese and American traditions in their wedding. The entire day was beautifully coordinated, and while it looked quite western on the surface, it was surprisingly different in many little ways– the formality, some of the ceremonies involving both families, and so on. But throughout the whole day, I also felt right at home, witnessing the love of two people with such generous hearts and getting the opportunity to capture beautiful emotions and fleeting moments of the day. This is the heart of a wedding. This is why I do what I do.
A million thanks go to Akane, Gimpei, both their families, and the amazingly accommodating staff at the Ritz. It was an incredible experience and a tremendous honor to be a part of this special day.
Akane and Gimpei opted to a mini “first look”– something they had to explain to the hotel staff, as it’s not done in Japan.
Before the ceremony, both families met in a special room and were formally introduced, one by one, to everyone.
True emotions, candidly captured. Love.
I love how calm Gimpei looks, as all of the bridesmaids start reacting when they see Akane at the door.
Her mom pulls down her blusher veil before sending her down the aisle with her father to meet her groom.
This first kiss… it was in slow motion, and seriously adorable.
Then it was time for a brief little visit outside to ring the wedding bells! It was freezing cold, but so adorable!
She looks like a princess.
An outfit change for the second half of the night– a pink peony dress.
The bride and groom visited each table to light the candles in the centerpieces.
There were wonderful speeches and video presentations from both sides.
And the night concluded with a very touching letter from Akane to her parents, as well as short speeches from each of the fathers.
Love, love, love. Congratulations, Akane & Gimpei!
Photographer: Anna Wu Photography
Venue: Ritz-Carlton Osaka
Hair & Makeup: Ritz-Carlton Osaka
White Dress: La Sposa
Pink Dress: Migliore
Florist: Ritz-Carlton Osaka
Catering & Cake: Ritz-Carlton Osaka