I’m a lucky photographer because so many of my clients choose to get married in beautiful locations, making my job quite a bit more rewarding. Still, when I saw the idyllic wooden bridge, the waterfalls and the lush, lush greenery that would be the backdrop for Eula & Jimmy’s Hakone Gardens wedding, I was blown away.
Hakone Gardens in Saratoga is the oldest Japanese gardens in the Western Hemisphere — est. 1915 — and a landmark recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It also happens to be where Jimmy proposed to Eula. And it’s an incredible spot for a wedding.
Eula is an old friend — my wife played roller hockey with her, and she was at our wedding in 2009. Jimmy is also a hockey connection, and there were more than enough hockey-playing wedding guests to have had a pickup game. Instead, Eula & Jimmy put together a schedule that allowed their guests to wander and enjoy Hakone Gardens after their morning ceremony, then gather for brunch at California Cafe in Los Gatos.
After Eula & Jimmy’s first dance at the start of brunch, there were some wonderful speeches, followed by a delicious meal. Brunch was a relaxed affair, guests had lots of time for socializing and following the origami instructions that Eula and Jimmy provided to keep people entertained.
The post-brunch reception was at Jimmy’s parents’ house, which was full of custom decorations and treats: candy and candles, succulents and snacks, and a cake made to look like a tree. It was a casual and comfortable party, a gathering of friends and family. During it, Eula & Jimmy did something I’ve not seen other couples do but suspect it could become as much of a tradition as the cake-cutting: They simultaneously updated their Facebook relationship status to “married.”
I had photographic help during Eula & Jimmy’s ceremony and portrait session by Erika Wang, a talented young photographer.
Check out my favorite photos from Eula & Jimmy’s Hakone Gardens wedding in the gallery below: