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From Japan with Love | Wedding of Yumiko and Daniel


This simple and unconventional wedding was a memorable one for both the couple and guests! The traditional Chinese tea ceremony was an eye opener for the Japanese guests while the French styled course served in a lush green garden was worth the trip to Japan for their Singaporean guests. They’d do it all over again if they could!

There were a number of attractive single females in the company where Daniel Yeoh was working at in Japan but he only had eyes for one. Her name was Yumiko Fujiwara.

Daniel was the only foreign wedding photographer in one of the most prestigious wedding venues in Japan while Yumiko was the album editor. It was the little, yet endearing aspects of Yumiko that drew Daniel to her. She loved watching the rainfall during summer evenings and this, particularly touched Daniel’s heart, as he loved doing the same as a child. “She was the only Japanese lady among the everyone I know, who’s into Japanese archery and has quite an in-depth knowledge of Kimonos and I, being the foreigner has so much to learn.” This groom is clearly smitten!

Yumiko loves to knit and cook while Daniel has his dosage of games to keep him going. “We started dating some months later and when I realised that I was no longer eating out every night,” Daniel really can’t cook, he confesses. But he had a homely companion by his side, doing just that for him. “I was gaming while dinner was being prepared… I knew Yumiko would make the perfect wife.” So it didn’t come to a surprise to both as marriage was already on their minds. “She told me that she didn't need a fanciful diamond ring on her finger that would obstruct her from cooking!” he candidly tells us.

“Before I met him, I didn't have any idea what I was going to do for the next couple of years,” Yumiko shares with us. “I was thinking about quitting my job and maybe go aboard to study English for a year or two.” But love takes you places and Yumiko was comfortable being with Daniel, helping this determined individual achieve his dreams.

This pair of travellers enjoys visiting different parts of Japan either by car or train. They love setting sights on historical places, ancient forests, ice-capped mountains and even the clear blue sea! Japan’s beautiful discoveries were limitless! In spring, the pair would head to places where Cherry Blossoms would be in bloom and in summer, they would set out to camp. Snowboarding would be the perfect winter activity!

Instead of the traditional Japanese wedding gown, Yumiko went for a vintage styled wedding dress. However the design that she chose was not available for rent on their wedding date at the boutique, which only stocked a limited selection of overseas imported, authentic vintage wedding dresses. It took Japanese artisans 3 months and an enormous effort to recreate a 1930s style European wedding dress that Yumiko had requested for. She does look beautiful in a classic mix of vintage and European, we must say!

“Paul Smith's Japan Collection had suits that are very well tailored for Asians and these were my natural choice.” Daniel’s readymade suit was the perfect fit and its snazzy design meant that it could also be worn for other occasions. The insides of the jacket boasted auspicious prints resembling an owl’s feather, which symbolizes good luck. This filled the silk that was a design from the traditional Japanese haori. “This fusion of different cultural roots was definitely unique,” Daniel’s suit’s final finish was met with a taste of European flair.

The wedding industry’s their forte! “We gathered all our friends, who were professionals in each of the respective wedding related industry, to make it all work.” They pulled together a team of experts including the chef, florist and wine maestro to make their wedding dream a reality. They had also printed out individual lists of the schedule for specific guests and had family members' and close friends to remind them of any in case they had forgotten.

When it comes to managing expectations, they both played it cool. “Anything can happened and we just ride along as it comes. Besides, we come from two different cultural backgrounds and so it would be interesting if something were to be different,” The groom remembers. “We wanted to keep it a simple garden wedding where our guests can have a good time so there weren’t really a lot of differences. But being Chinese, my parents' only request was to have the traditional Chinese tea ceremony and her parents were most enthusiastic to be able to attend something that they have never seen before.”

Traditions may play a concrete role in some cultures but versatility could always jazz things up a little. “I wanted her to be in a Kimono and then change into the Chinese wedding dress for the tea ceremony but her parents wanted her to be in a white wedding dress. In the end, we chose not to have the traditional wedding Kimono as it didn't quite fit into the theme of the wedding. It would also be over our budget to rent it.” In hindsight, Yumiko and Daniel had the opportunity to create a wedding that was distinctly unique to them!

Aside from gambling against the bad weather, they had to find time to prepare for the wedding in the midst of busy work schedule. The pair was hard at work once the busy day was done. “We live away from the bustling city in a rural quiet and small resort town so there isn't a lot entertainment around,” the newlyweds explain. “We would come home from work and I’d start designing the menu, invitation card while Yumiko would make the small items as we design and built our own unique invitation invites.”

Unfavourable weather forecasts leading up to the wedding daunted the pair, and news of a very present typhoon didn’t help either. But Yumiko and Daniel had decided to enjoy their wedding day and leave the rest up to fate. Miraculously, clear skies ruled their wedding day!

Yumiko and Daniel’s happy moments:

- Daniel was glad that he had a strawberry cake wedding cake made for his mum. She had always wanted to try those strawberry cakes on display in downtown Tokyo stores.

- Yumiko was elated that her dad could savour all the good food and wine, and not entertain the guests in a typical Japanese wedding.

- They were truly delighted that the guests from Singapore and Japan were able to attend a unique and original garden wedding party with a fully customised food and wine selection.

- Daniel had his florist create a boutonniere with a mini white fluffy merlion, which the Japanese guests loved. That was the most memorable activity for him.

Yumiko had gotten the vintage style flower arrangement and had vintage colours to fit the theme of the garden while working closely with the respectively staff. This wouldn’t have been possible in a typical wedding since she was pretty particular about the finer details.

You can have the best venue, perfect weather and Michelin star certified cuisine, but at the end of the day and perhaps years down the road, the wedding photos / album is the only evidence that this day ever existed. – Yumiko and Daniel.

Reception Venue: Restaurant The Vert, Karuizawa (Japan)
Photography: Brian Ho, thegaleria
Videography: Nakajima Motoki (Japan)
Gown: Petite Robe Noire
Her Shoes: Repetto
Suit: Paul Smith Japan
Hair Stylist: Hamashima Maho

Related Images
Theme: Backyard, Destination

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