Samm Blake is an Australian photographer living in New York. She loves to create pictures that tell stories. Weddings suit her perfectly, as she is fascinated with exploring the connections we have with others in our lives. She loves to document people in their most honest and vulnerable moments.
Takako, from Japan, and Steve, from Perth, Australia, met while living and working in London. Although the couple now resides in Melbourne, they decided to have a traditional Shinto-style wedding
at the Nogi Shrine in Akasaka, Tokyo.
On the day of their wedding, they had not seen any of their guests yet, who had flown in from all over the world, which made the celebratory day even more exciting. The Sanshin, the escorted walk from the temple to the shrine, was one of the most emotional parts of the day, as it was the first time they saw all their friends together in one place. Their Shinto ceremony involved getting purified by the priests via prayer, drinking sacred sake poured by the Miko/Shrine Maiden, declaring their commitment for each other to the Kami/Spirits of the Temple, and exchanging rings. All of the guests then joined them in drinking the sacred sake, meant to bind the marriage.
In the evening, they celebrated with a more western-style reception at the Fish Bank Tokyo restaurant.