Real Wedding - Andrea and Shigeki in Kingston, Tennessee
When planning a wedding many couples like to incorporate their cultures into their day. This beautiful Japanese – American wedding was a pure celebration of cultures and had plenty of fun!
Andrea is originally from Knoxville, Tennessee but met Shigeki, who is from Hiroshima, in Japan while Andrea was an English teacher and Shigeki was in the self-defense force. They were at an international party and met through a mutual friend, and the rest is history.
Andrea had a string of terrible birthdays and Shigeki was determined to fix this. For Andrea's 28th birthday he took her out to a very fancy Japanese restaurant that overlooked Osaka Castle. He brought her flowers and bought some champagne. He had planned to take her to the famous and very romantic Umeda Sky Building after dinner, but the dinner courses ran longer than expected and the couple couldn't make it before the Sky Building closed their admission both.
Shigeki found another romantic spot and caught a cab to Breeze Tower. Once they arrived they took an elevator to the top, found a cozy spot that looked over all of the city of Osaka, and had a seat. Then, Shigeki handed Andrea his laptop and played a special video that contained pictures and highlights of their relationship. At the end, the video told Andrea to turn around and behind her kneeled Shigeki with a ring. He could barely get the words out because he was so nervous, and when he asked Andrea said “Yes!”
As well as the usual challenges of planning a wedding, the couple had the extra work of getting Shigeki to America in time for the wedding. Shigeki and Andrea started the paperwork a little over a year before the day they had originally planned to have their American wedding. But 2013 was a very, very busy year for United States Immigration Services, so the couple faced long delays in getting Shigeki's visa. After a lot of phone calls, emails, and meetings with their vendors, Andrea was able to push the wedding back to July, and Shigeki given permission to enter the U.S.
“It's hard to pick just one moment,” Andrea says. “We enjoyed giving speeches to each other. Shigeki said that we were like macaroni and cheese. I'm the macaroni and he's all cheese. Our family also gave great, heartfelt speeches that we will never forget.”
The couple honored both cultures during their wedding ceremony and reception. Shigeki ad a Tish with his groomsmen and family pre-ceremony which is a Jewish tradition including drinks and telling stories. Andrea and Shigeki owed in traditional Japanese fashion as they entered the reception. Shigeki also did a non-traditional mother-son dance, choosing Rock Around the Clock as their song much to the delight of their guests.
“We went on our honeymoon before I moved back to America,” Andrea says. “We went to gorgeous Okinawa, located in Japan's southern islands. There we saw a beautiful castle, watched the sun set on cliffs that overlooked the sea, ate delicious local cuisine, swam in the blue ocean, and went scuba diving off the coast. We will never forget that trip.”
Take a look at the beautiful photos taken by 2 Hodges Photography of the couple’s special day.