Japanese Fashion Courthouse Wedding – Chen & Shaf
Shaf says that they "decided to marry on Election Day. A few weeks after, Chen proposed to me hilariously right before a wedding photoshoot we were modeling in. Our wedding ceremony was on Jan 20th, Inauguration Day. We wanted that day to be a positive memory and the beautiful and historic San Francisco City Hall was a perfect location. A note on the gorgeous photography: all the lovely photos were taken by our good friend Leah of f27 Photography. We met her and her husband Isaac at an anime convention a few years ago. Her skills are incredible, and she was the perfect choice to capture the romantic and magical atmosphere of our special day."
"Both Chen and I are very into lolita fashion. It’s an often misunderstood street fashion style, mainly due to the Japanese name, that merges Victorian and Rococo elements with a shorter modern silhouette. We wanted our elopement to incorporate our fashion tastes with other aspects of our cultural backgrounds. I wanted to have hints of red, the colour of weddings in South Asia, and a slightly masculine element to my silhouette. I was lucky enough to find a secondhand dress online that, with a few alterations, was perfect. I've always loved Vivienne Westwood shoes and was lucky to find the pair of Melissas I've always wanted. I discovered the brand through the Japanese comic Nana, and I’ve loved it since. I opted for a boutonniere with hints of red and a custom fascinator instead of a traditional veil and bouquet. I incorporated red into my makeup as well - Sugarpill had a lip colour and false lashes perfect for the occasion!"
"Chen wore a dress from a Japanese brand we have both modelled for in the past: Baby the Stars Shine Bright. It was from a recent wedding collection and suited her perfectly. Her veil was hand trimmed by our friend Andrea, who is a fashion designer. She was in attendance at the ceremony and also made all the flower crowns for our wedding squad. Chen wore flowery eyelashes handmade by a Japanese designer and 3D fake nails that matched them. Her bouquet matched her colour palette perfectly. Thank you to Farmgirl Flowers for the perfect custom boutonniere and bouquet."
"Chen and I wore matching Vivienne Westwood necklaces, and our matching wedding rings were from Baby the Stars Shine Bright. We were not able to indulge in many of the wedding traditions common to our respective ethnic backgrounds due to the haste of the ceremony, but I managed to find a mehndi artist willing to work with us. Jasneet from Mehendi Zone was excellent, she did our hands on a very rainy night right before the ceremony! Tradition says that the strength of love in the marriage is shown by the colour of mehndi on the bride’s hands. The darker the stain, the deeper the love. We both had a very deep colour on our hands, so I suppose that’s twice the love of an ordinary marriage!"
"Our small wedding party prepared at The Inn San Francisco, which is where we spent our first Valentine’s Day together. It’s a lovely Victorian bed and breakfast that is very LGBT friendly. The decor is lush and their breakfasts are quite a large spread, the biggest I’ve seen! They make their quiche fresh every morning, along with pie."
"We decided on having a non-religious ceremony at San Francisco City hall for multiple reasons, the main one being that it is simply a gorgeous building full of history, rich detail, and a perfect match for our aesthetics. Each of us wrote our own vows. Our officiant Tom was so charming! He managed to strike a beautiful balance between levity and gravity."
"Given our love for Japanese fashion, and the fact that we met our photographer at an anime convention, it’s no surprise that both of us are anime fans. Chen gave me Chanel lip balm, a reference to a moment in the show Yuri on Ice, one of our favourite anime of 2016. The show was meaningful to us for many reasons. Not only was it a lovely homage to men’s figure skating, it had authentic queer representation and the first LGBT couple in a mainstream anime. It was proof that progress was being made despite recent events."
"We had lunch afterwards with our small wedding party at the Palace Hotel. The venue is gorgeous and again, was a perfect match for our tastes."
Photographer: f27 Photography // Venue: San Francisco City Hall & The Inn San Francisco // Caterer: The Palace Hotel // Officiant: Judge Tom from San Francisco City Hall // Chen’s Dress/Socks/Shoes: Baby the Stars Shine Bright // Chen's Eyelashes: Miyuki's Eyelashes // Shaf’s Dress: Lapin Agill // Shaf’s Shoes: Vivienne Westwood // Shaf’s Alterations and Fascinator: A Midnight Affair // Mehndi: Mehndi Zone // Rings: Baby the Stars Shine Bright // Floral Designer: Farmgirl Flowers