Risa and Taka contacted me from Japan. I have been doing weddings for a while and realize how shy Japanese couples are. As some of you might already know, a lot of Japanese people are not good at being openly affectionate; very shy (there are always some exceptions). It probably has a lot to do with the way we greet. When I tell American friends that we don't hug or kiss at all but just bow to each other when we say "hi" or "good-bye", they are like "isn't it sad?" "but you do hug your close friends, right?" "that sounds cold...", etc, etc, but no, we do not hug or kiss for greetings at all and it's just how our culture is. I do not hug or kiss my parents even when they come pick me up at Narita airport but that does not mean I did not miss them or they did not miss me. OK, furthermore, we do not casually say "I love you". I have never said that even to my parents, whom I love dearly. Never heard those words from my parents, who love me a lot. Never seen them saying that to each other, either. I hear American people saying that to friends a lot and that used to be pretty shocking to me. A lot of Japanese people are just not used to be openly affectionate. I am feeling awkward even just by writing about this! I've been somewhat Americanized so I got used to hug & kiss on cheek to my American friends though.
Anyway, I noticed they were shy from the beginning but I asked them if they would kiss for photos. Risa was like "hmmm, maybe?" but Taka said to me right away, "No kiss!!!!", which made me smile but is not uncommon reaction from Japanese grooms. As we photographed, I asked them again, because people usually get pretty comfortable being photographed after a while. Risa finally succeeded to kiss on his cheek in some shots. Because they were so shy, I tried to take photos when they were in natural moment. They are grooming each other often because it was super windy (it was supposed to be thunderstorm all day but we didn't get any rain!), but it turned out well for getting those natural moments. We started at One UN New York Hotel, moved to Tiffany on the 5th avenue, Columbia University's St. Paul's Chapel, and finished in the Central Park. Risa & Taka seemed to be a perfect match. Congratulations, Risa and Taka!!!