"When We Said 'I do' Near the Cherry Blossom Tree"

Oh dear, it's been just about over a month since I've posted anything. And on top of that, I haven't told you anything about the wedding Leanna and I shot by ourselves, for the first time.

Well, this wedding was for my cousin Dara and Tammi (who is also now my cousin), the same couple we did the Engagement shoot for way back in March. Yup, it's March.

The wedding was beautiful —  in a quiet Japanese (Zen) Garden, in Saratoga, CA — I put the parenthesis over "Zen" because I don't think they call themselves a zen garden, but to me it was very peaceful and relaxing. Afterwards we sauntered through the garden, capturing some intimate moments of the bride and her bridegroom. Then we made our way to some urban scenery, near the San Jose Museum of Art, to capture a dance of two newlyweds. And finally, I give you a small glimpse of our reception fun.


Let's get started.

I think this first begans with their wedding invitations— because I think they will give you an idea of who they are. 




Each wedding invitation was crafted together by hand—each one of them different. I have a deep appreciation for origami, and making any art involving paper, so I loved this right away. After you take the bow off, it opens out like this, and you're presented with the official invitation:



Then, that folds back, and you're now presented with the locations and directions—brilliant! 





Okay, now for the wedding.

Bright and early at 6am in the morning; I wanted Tammi to remember that this was where she, and her lovely bridesmaids, prepared for her big day together; so I hoisted her dress onto the doorframe for this: 


hakone garden wedding


I know I know, the dress looks really small up there, so here's a view up close:


hakone garden wedding 01


So simple and elegant, I love it.

One of my favorite things about Tammi and Dara is the way they retell fun memories of their lives together. If you ask them a story about when they got lost, it'll sound something like this (they never told a story like this, but this is how I'd imagine it'd go):

"So Dara made us get lost on the way to the airport, because he didn't check the directions before he left the house, because he thought he knew where it was." That's Tammi, very direct and to the point —  or as they say, "she tells it like it is."

Then, Dara would tell his side of what happened: 

"Okay, you have to understand that sometimes things don't go the way we expect or plan [start with a general but philosophical idea]. Like I didn't know the highway was under construction between those hours [then insert excuse]. And I checked the map, but it didn't say anything about any construction going on [contradict something Tammi says], and you can't really do anything about it in those situations [then make it sound like he couldn't do anything else to prevent what happened]. "

I don't know if that's really happened before, but I think that's what it would sound like.

Here are some pretty flowers, by a very talented florist, Nicole Ha.


hakone garden wedding 01


Here's the Rose herself, with her mom helping her out with the dress:




Meanwhile, at the bat cave (or wherever Dara is at). Just about an hour before the ceremony, reviewing his vows. If you were Tammi, this would be a really cute picture:



A drink to calm the nerves? Of course. So pretty. 




Okay, so check it out. That's Ansel Adams' photo. How cool is that!




I meant the photo behind Tammi, the middle of three, but thanks for the compliment anyway.

To hide her beautiful identity, Tammi must don the cloak of invisiblity so that she can walk onto the ceremony premises, without her bridegroom seeing a thing. (Except I captured this on camera, because my camera can see through cloaks of invisibilty; it's magic, see).




Sssh! The ceremony is beginning! Look at this handsome man, with his entourage. Why the delay in the next 007 movie? Because the man's busy getting married, that's why:


hakone garden wedding


Beautiful flowers again, and don't miss the joining of their hands in the background. 


hakone garden wedding






Some fun with the wedding party:




Beautiful bouquet:




Agent 007, at work:




Here's a better glimpse of the garden they were married in:


hakone garden wedding


I would tell you what they were whispering here, but there are preschool toys present:



One of my favorite shots:

hakone garden wedding


Near Tammi's alumni, San Jose State University, is the San Jose Museum of Art. They were practicing their dance in the middle of the trees:


hakone garden wedding


And here's a beauitful display of their wedding cake. If you look closely on the table, you'll see their wedding topper: Beauty and the Beast. 


hakone garden wedding


And some dancing at the reception:


hakone garden wedding


That's all I'll show today. Hope you liked it.