After a small informal ceremony in Whistler, Mima Hirose and Evan Iveson flew to Japan for a traditional Shinto-style wedding. "Celebrating our union in Japan meant the world to both my wife, a Japanese citizen, and myself as the visitor," says Evan. "It was an unreal experience." The two count themselves lucky to have had their families and a few friends from Canada by their side. The couple rented traditional kimonos for their ceremony held at Hotoku Ninomiya Shrine in Odawara city, and Mima recalls that it was difficult to find one to fit Evan, given his height. Evan also points out that not being a fluent Japanese speaker, the ceremony had its challenges for him. "After drinking sip after sip of sake (part of the ceremony), Mima and I had to say our vows in Japanese . . . but with some practice, we prevailed," he recalls. Holding their wedding in the spring meant Japan's iconic cherry blossoms were in bloom, creating a soft pink atmosphere for their photos that day. For their reception in the Hotoku Kaikan banquet hall, Mima changed into a multi-coloured gown rented from a Japanese tailor. Pieced together from old wedding kimono fabrics into a modern halter gown, the dress offered Mima a colourful way to introduce a bit of Western flair into their traditional Eastern wedding.

Photography Gabi Moeller | Ceremony Venue Hotoku Ninomiya Shrine | Reception Venue Hotoku Kaikan | Wedding Planner:  Chizuka Inagaki (at Hotoku Kaikan) | Bride’s White Kimono & Groom's Kimono Takami Bridal | Stationery, Flowers, Catering, Hair & Makeup Hotoku Kaikan