I admit I get teary-eyed at least once during most weddings. As a second shooter I’ve probably just met the couple that day, but still get so touched by the connection of two people so incredibly in love. So you can imagine how actually knowing the couple – in this case it was the bride Joyce – and sharing 14 years of friendship, sprinkled with graduations, heartbreaks, losses of loved ones, and laughter and tears alike, can do to someone. I bawled at the rehearsal dinner, I bawled when she was walking down the aisle, I bawled during the toasts, I think I even shed a tear during the first dance and it was the TANGO for goodness sakes. But I was SO happy for her. I mentioned this (between sniffs and snorts) in my speech at the rehearsal dinner, but Joyce, more than anyone else I know, was made to be an amazing wife and mother. She is one of the most loving and caring people I know and as her sister put it, “Yuki, you are the luckiest man in the world.”
Since I was a bridesmaid, I was banished from shooting the wedding, but I still snuck my camera along for some shots of the beautiful day. Joyce planned the entire wedding herself and did most of it from all the way across the Pacific Ocean in Japan, where Yuki is stationed and she studying at Cordon Bleu of Tokyo. Since I was generally out of commission, she asked Scott to document the day, along with the awesomely talented Jonathan Chan. From the perspective of a bridesmaid, I can say he made the portrait sessions really fun and relaxed and was a great photographer overall!
Enough of my babbling, on with the show! Most of these are my shots from those in-between moments when I was able to grab my camera. I’ve also included and noted the awesome shots Scott took that day!
Joyce was just radiating happiness from the moment she woke up (which was at 5 am! The only thing I radiate at that hour is grumpiness and um, bad breath. A big thank you to Christine for letting us all crash at her place!)
Scott grabbed this shot of us getting ready:
Joyce’s Jimmy Choos. Aren’t they elegant?
And of course, the dress:
I snuck this shot from the backseat on the way to the ceremony site:
Yuki and the swordsmen:
Careful! Watching that lipstick…
I could not get enough of her gorgeous bouquet!
Scott captured these moments during the ceremony, which was held at the Admiral Kidd Center on the naval base in San Diego:
“You may not pass until you kiss the bride…”
Post-ceremony.. liberating our feet:
Once the ceremony was over I was reunited with my camera. Good thing too – there were so many stunning details during the reception that I probably would have gone crazy had I not been able to take pictures of any of it!
Joyce used a crane theme for the wedding and folded almost all of them herself. She told me how she was working on them even as she flew from Tokyo to LA.
It doesn’t get much better than a chocolate fountain:
Yuki’s sword makes an excellent cake cutter:
More shots of the sexy tango…
Dancing with her grandfather…
Prepping for the garter toss:
A really cool thing that Jonathan Chan did was set up a little photo corner, where the guests could take pictures of themselves. You can check out all the hilarious shots on his blog, but I borrowed a few shots to show you what happens when photographers get in front of the camera:
After the reception we took a one-hour breather, and then rushed to the beach for some more portraits. We made it just in time to catch that sparkly sunset light!
On the walk to the shore Scott had a moment of inspiration and set this shot up:
Joyce requested the shot below, which Scott snapped. It was an awesome idea!
Joyce, I love you and wish you and Yuki a lifetime of joyful moments together. I hope you’re having a killer time on your honeymoon in Thailand, swimming and eating banana pancakes every morning! Can’t wait til you’re back in LA!!