“ Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile.” ~ William Cullen
It was a perfect fall day. The kind of autumn day you dream of, when you are actually outside amid flaming trees burning so bright with color it is beyond breathtaking and beyond words. Life, work and deadlines in the bustling city so frantic you’re almost unaware of the season, you forget to breath it in. But then you take a little trip away. For work. Even when there’s no time. Up in the mountains, under clear, blue skies. And then throw in a stunning bride and grrom. And what you have is magic.
And we are reminded again, absolutely, and unequivocally that there is no place in the world with quite such a spectacular autumn as Japan. The colors. Oh, the colors. At the foothills of the Nakasendo Highway we looked up to the mountains. From a distance they were certainly a different shade. The closer we drove and the show really started. Golds, oranges, fiery reds. It was a mass of color. We were very happy to get lost just for a bit, thanks to our famously temperamental Navi. As we climbed higher the foliage thinned out, ready for winter but here and there were pockets of trees in full autumn splendor just waiting for us and we were at a loss for words. We were hopeful our cameras could find a way to express it all.
We found ourselves in Karuizawa to reunite with our dear friends at the Karuizawa Tokyu Harvest Club for a beautiful and intimate Wedding. We met our gorgeous couple Maiko + Brian at the bullet train station with their equally adorable little boy Enzo. And then headed off happily to the hotel to get things prepared. And what an elegant, chic and inspiring space it is. We have been so looking forward to photographing the interiors and exteriors again since our first wedding here a few months back. Resplendent with natural beauty and the most perfectly in bloom Japanese maple trees – ever. It was a dream location, perfectly suited to Maiko + Brian. A fabulous couple, so easy and beautiful to photograph. And just so in love. They simply radiated affection, from the getting ready to their storybook day featuring the hotel. Too many highlights as we dive into marriage.
The getting ready.
The first look. How much do we love this?
The chapel and ceremony.
The reception & details.
The garden and gazebo. Just heavenly.
The hotel interior.
The stunning private lounge.
The equally as amazing private bar.
To Maiko & Brian, we truly cannot thank you enough for taking time to share in this day and experience with us. Truly from start to finish it was a complete joy, full of happiness, utter chicness and elegance, spontaneous and well, so much fun. You bought so much to the day. Just so full of love and effortless emotion. That you can feel and see. You made it beautifully easy and even more special than we could have imagined. We knew it was a fabulous day as it honestly went by in a blur of color, wedding bliss and so many moments. We hope you love the photos as much as we do.
Maiko, you were stunning. And as cold as it was, you were incredible, never giving in to it, coming up with idea after idea for your bridal portraits and inspiring us every step. Seriously, what bride would not want to be you?
Brian, we know you are currently somewhere around the world on your non-stop business trip but we truly cannot thank you enough either. Your energy and enthusiasm blew us away. You were the perfect groom.
Enzo, we adore you. Thank you for being the best-page boy of all time and the face-plant on the wedding dress is perhaps one of our most favorite photos. Ever.
To our lovely friends at the Harvest Club, Shino especially, you are a wedding planner extraordinaire. Thank you for all your kindness and beautiful preparations, for your warmth and belief and dedication to perfection and style and a new vision for wedding photography in Japan. We love your spirit and way, thank you to your amazing team; Asami, the junior wedding planner, Suzuki-san for hair & Make-up, the banquet team, the florists and the many helpers throughout the day for your sincere hospitality.
And many thanks to Junko from Bloom & Stripes here in Tokyo for the divine bouquet she prepared (in conjunction to the lovely one provided by the Hotel).
And finally, to Harumi. Goodness, you were such a star. We wouldn’t get anywhere without you… We know you know what we mean! Thank you always for your support and love, for your professionalism and for always being there even when we subject you to terrible reality TV on the drive home. We could never do this without you.
Love fest over for now… but it had to be said, the sentiments are so heartfelt. For now we are dreaming of more future stunning weddings, in high, dramatic mountains of brilliant color. Karuizawa, we cannot wait to see all your seasons of love.