Ashley and Gene’s Hakone Gardens Wedding in Saratoga, California is a memory that I want to hold close to my heart forever. It was a magical day, and I couldn’t have asked for a better couple.
Ashley and Gene are both from Texas, but they currently work in the tech industry in the Bay Area. Living in the area led them to choose Hakone Estate and Gardens as their wedding location. It is located in Saratoga, California, and I have to say that it quickly has become one of my favorites! It actually reminds me of the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco, but Hakone is much larger.
For their wedding day, I started out at their gorgeous Airbnb. Ashley and her bridesmaids were getting ready. It was easily one of the calmest mornings that I have ever had as a wedding photographer. Everyone there commented on how perfect the timing felt. They were able to get ready in peace without feeling rushed.
As they did their thing, I did my detail shots and captured them in their super cute, matching rompers. Most of the time, they have matching robes and this was a fun change.
From there Ashley and I headed over to Hakone for their first look and couples portraits with Gene. They turned out incredible, and the entire time, my heart was melting from the love I could tell they felt for each other.
Hakone Gardens remains open to the public until 5:00 PM so we got pretty good at avoiding the crowd for pictures! This is something I’m always mindful of as I’m taking my couple’s portraits and wedding party pictures, where is the best light, best composition, and how can I avoid people in the background.
Ashley and Gene’s wedding was a dry one which means there was no alcohol. Instead, they offered Boba. Boba is one of my favorites so I was so excited! From what I could tell, the guests were too.
Chinese dinner was catered in, and it was PHENOMENAL. The guests were served yummy lobster noodles, and the vendors were given some of the honey, walnut shrimp which was so satisfying.
For their reception, there was an indoor section specifically for dancing. Once the couple shared their first dance, they invited everyone to join them for one slow song before the party began.
I am so grateful I was able to capture Ashley and Gene’s Hakone Gardens Wedding in Saratoga, California. They were so kind and the love they shared was magical.
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Photographer | Helena Wong Photography
Venue | Hakone Estate and Gardens
Caterer | China Stix
Coordinator & Planner | Pretthi Affairs
DJ | Big Fun DJ
Florist | Bing’s Design + Mother of the Bride
Boba Bar | Moba Tea
Hair and Makeup | Nguyen Ha