That’s Amore: First Look and Family Photos

I had always pictured myself being surrounded by my bridesmaids when I got my makeup done for my wedding. Japanese wedding, however, don’t have bridesmaids or groomsmen so I was alone for the most part when I got my makeup done. I didn’t mind this for two reasons. 1) I knew I would be surrounded by my friends and family while I got my makeup done during the American wedding and 2)I was grateful for a few calm minutes alone to myself. I knew that once my family and friends made their way to the venue (they were coming early to take family photos) things would become very hectic.  I have no professional shots of getting my makeup done since this isn’t something that is usually done in Japan. About 45 minutes into the makeup appointment friends and family started coming in and things started to get busy.   I was on the phone with Mr. G constantly confirming who was at the venue and who still needed to be picked up.


Talking on the phone while getting your makeup done is not easy. Personal Photo

After everyone had gathered, my friends and siblings had a short practice for a grand entrance we had planned (more on that later!) and then it was time for me to get my wedding dress on!

I have no professional pictures of me getting into my wedding dress, another thing that isn’t usually done in Japan and something that would have probably made my male photographer uncomfortable.  My mother and step -mother were there to help me get dressed and I wish I could tell you it was a very sentimental time, but it wasn’t. Getting my Spanx on had exhausted me and I couldn’t feel anything but grateful that I finally had them on and terrified about what I was going to do when I had to go to the bathroom and pull them off . Once I got my undergarments on my moms helped me into my dress, touched up my makeup and helped me with my jewelry (My moms loved the necklace the hive helped me pick out!). I started getting nervous, as the time for me and Mr. G’s first look was soon approaching.  

First looks are quite uncommon in Japan as most couples go out and rent their wedding dresses and tuxes together. The groom usually helps the bride pick out her dress and vice versa. Mr. G and I explained the concept of a first look early on and the venue staff and the photographer loved the idea.  I had gotten dressed behind large Chinese screens in a large room reserved for ceremonies and family photos. I hid behind those and slowly crept out once it was time. I could hear all my friends and family giggling as they watched from the entrance.

Photography by Kawakami Teppei

My mother took a wonderful video of the first look.

Mr. G had just the reaction I was hoping for!


After that we took a a few family photos and a few photos of just me and Mr. G.


A typical Japanese family photo. Half of the family sits in chairs and the other half stands.


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Next, it was time to make an entrance at our ceremony!

Unless noted, all photos taken by Teppei Kawakami

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That’s Amore: Tutus and Ninjas

That’s Amore: We Get Up and Set Up


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