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Amy, the bride, has recently opened her own event planning and design firm after moving to San Francisco after she married Osamu. Before that she was a planner for Yifat Oren which may look familiar…because, I just connected the dots, ironically, Amy actually helped her old friend/co-worker, Stephanie Cove, out with the wedding we featured just two days ago (scroll down to the Harbor Island wedding posts), and Stephanie returned the favor by helping Amy at her own wedding. Small world. Anyway! Amy also was kind enough to write to us about some things she learned when it was her turn to be the bride. I especially love what she has to say about traditions….

Having a background in events, I was already very familiar with planning weddings. So the actual planning and design was very natural for me, and something I enjoyed. The tough part was reconciling the fact that I’ve never been able to picture myself as a bride, and I especially have never been able to envision my family in a traditional reception. So I had to figure out a way to celebrate this meaningful life event in a way that stayed true to my personality. I wanted something in-between going to the courthouse and a grand old wedding.

For the wedding, I thought about each component and how it would work in my situation. If it felt forced or awkward to me, I got rid of it. So instead of bridesmaids or groomsmen, Osamu and I had both sets of brothers and parents walk down the aisle. Instead of an officiant we didn’t know, we had a close friend conduct the ceremony. Instead of reading our vows to each other during the wedding, we read them a few weeks later as we sat in the dirt and buried our time capsule. Instead of a first dance, we showed a “first video” — which involved dancing, but also showed  us dressed up as our infamous Halloween alter-egos, the Karate Kid & Mr. Miyagi. Instead of a plated dinner, we had a casual family-style meal with bottles of sangria on the table.

So, it’s kind of a timeless lesson that we all know deep-down…but I did learn that staying true to yourself is tough to do (especially in situations where there are expected norms), but ultimately can lead to something really authentic and special.

Photographer: Gia Canali // Event Planning & Design: Bride-Amy Kaneko Events // Venue: SmogShoppe //  Florist: GD Designers // Catering: Auntie Em’s Kitchen //  Rentals: Classic Party Rentals //  Officiant: friend & author, Vasugi Ganeshananthan //  Ceremony Music: EspiMusic //  Reception Music: DJ Crash via Dubgypsy // Bride’s Dress: J. Crew “Orion” gown //  Groom’s Suit: Hugo Boss  //  Bride’s Hair: Salon DNA //  Bride’s Earrings: Borrowed from mom


Comments (14)

Caribbean Wedding Events | Reply

This is so spectacular with the succelents displayed in a circular fashion and the bouquet is breath taking!

lane dittoe | Reply

great job beautiful..

Jonas Peterson | Reply

Amy is Awesome. Hire her.

Eileen Garcia Photography | Reply

I’m a sucker for succulents! :)

Madison | Reply

what a gorgeous wedding, loving all the details! This wedding is being bookmarked as we speak!

lydia {ever ours} | Reply

the bride looks absolutely stunning!

grace @ wedding favors | Reply

I like how they have thought out of the box regarding their wedding details. It’s very unique and so cool of them to do all those things not following the standard wedding elements and rituals. :)Anyway, I super love her bouquet and her gown is very simple yet so elegant!

Capella Kincheloe Interior Design | Reply

To me this is the perfect wedding, the location, the personalization, and the dress looks stunning on her.

Jen Green | Reply

Gorgeous! I love the ring of flowers where the ceremony took place. Thank you so much for sharing these photos!

Christine | Reply

These photos are gorgeous! What a beautiful wedding :)

Witty and in Love | Reply

Every time I see photos from the Smogg Shoppe I fall in love! If only I lived in California…
{what a beautiful wedding}

jenn {bow tie & bustle} | Reply

Those succulents make my heart go pitter-patter!!!

Emily Dionne | Reply

Amy! I just love your gorgeous wedding. As a long time Once Wed reader and fellow YOA alum (’04), I was so delighted to see these photos from your event when I pulled up Once Wed today! Best of luck to you with your company!

with a love like that | Reply

I LOOOOOVE the dress, very simple but soooo glamour!