Elopement at Shofuso Japanese House and Garden | Kathy + Keiko

Kathy and Keiko stand together in front of a field in the sunlight

Pennsylvania is one of a handful of states that allows self-uniting marriage licenses. There is something undeniably intimate and beautiful about folks who want to celebrate their love in this way — with vows written on paper, without any pressure to perform for a large crowd of guests.

Kathy and Keiko’s elopement outside of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden in Fairmount Park was low-key in the best way possible. We started with portraits in the woods with their dog at the observation deck, Pavilion in the Trees, in Fairmount Park.

Their ceremony opened with a land acknowledgement — something I’ve noticed my recent clients incorporating into their elopements. It’s a simple, yet impactful way folks can disrupt the erasure of Indigenous people. I loved the tangled composition of the Japanese maple trees where their intimate ceremony took place. This has been such a challenging year for so many individuals and communities, so when we still find ways to care for and celebrate each other, despite it all, there’s magic there.

Kathy, a queer Chinese woman, snuggling with Keiko, a queer, disabled, mixed race Japanese person.
Kathy and Keiko snuggle in front of a field in Philadelphia.
Pavilion in the Trees in Philadelphia
holly on trees in the winter
Pavilion in the trees, a perfect spot for an elopement in Philadelphia.
Kathy and Keiko at Pavilion in the Trees for their Philadelphia elopement.
Kathy and Keiko at Pavilion in the Trees for their Philadelphia elopement.
Kathy and Keiko at Pavilion in the Trees for their Philadelphia elopement.
Kathy and Keiko at Pavilion in the Trees for their Philadelphia elopement.
Kathy and Keiko at Pavilion in the Trees for their Philadelphia elopement.
Kathy and Keiko at Pavilion in the Trees for their Philadelphia elopement.
Kathy and Keiko at Pavilion in the Trees for their Philadelphia elopement.
Kathy and Keiko at Pavilion in the Trees for their Philadelphia elopement.
Kathy and Keiko at Pavilion in the Trees for their Philadelphia elopement.
Kathy and Keiko's dog at Pavilion in the Trees for their Philadelphia elopement.
A couple stands in front of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden for their elopement microwedding in Philadelphia.
A couple stands in front of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden for their elopement microwedding in Philadelphia.
A couple stands in front of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden for their elopement microwedding in Philadelphia.
A couple stands in front of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden for their elopement microwedding in Philadelphia.
A couple stands in front of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden for their elopement microwedding in Philadelphia.
A couple stands in front of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden for their elopement microwedding in Philadelphia.
A couple stands in front of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden for their elopement microwedding in Philadelphia.
A couple stands in front of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden for their elopement microwedding in Philadelphia.
A couple stands in front of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden for their elopement microwedding in Philadelphia.
A couple stands in front of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden for their elopement microwedding in Philadelphia.
A couple stands in front of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden for their elopement microwedding in Philadelphia.
A couple stands in front of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden for their elopement microwedding in Philadelphia.
A couple stands in front of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden for their elopement microwedding in Philadelphia.
A couple stands in front of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden for their elopement microwedding in Philadelphia.
A couple stands in front of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden for their elopement microwedding in Philadelphia.
A couple stands in front of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden for their elopement microwedding in Philadelphia.
A couple stands in front of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden for their elopement microwedding in Philadelphia.
A couple stands in front of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden for their elopement microwedding in Philadelphia.
Kathy in front of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden for their elopement microwedding in Philadelphia.
Kathy stands in front of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden
A couple cuddle in front of a tree outside of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden
Kathy stands in front of Shofuso in Philadelphia, with lavender hair and a green jumpsuit.
A couple cuddle in front of a tree outside of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden
A couple cuddle in front of a tree outside of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden
A couple cuddle in front of a tree outside of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden
A couple cuddle in front of a tree outside of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden
A couple cuddle in front of a tree outside of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden
A bride welcomes her family to her elopment while wearing masks in Philadelphia.
Kathy and Keiko are surrounded by Japanese maple trees at their elopement outside Shofuso in Philadelphia.
Kathy and Keiko are surrounded by Japanese maple trees at their elopement outside Shofuso in Philadelphia.
A guest greeting the couple's dog while masked.
Kathy and Keiko are surrounded by Japanese maple trees at their elopement outside Shofuso in Philadelphia.
Kathy and Keiko are surrounded by Japanese maple trees at their elopement outside Shofuso in Philadelphia.
Kathy and Keiko are surrounded by Japanese maple trees at their elopement outside Shofuso in Philadelphia.
Kathy and Keiko are surrounded by Japanese maple trees at their elopement outside Shofuso in Philadelphia.
Kathy and Keiko are surrounded by Japanese maple trees at their elopement outside Shofuso in Philadelphia.
Kathy and Keiko are surrounded by Japanese maple trees at their elopement outside Shofuso in Philadelphia.
Kathy and Keiko are surrounded by Japanese maple trees at their elopement outside Shofuso in Philadelphia.
Kathy and Keiko are surrounded by Japanese maple trees at their elopement outside Shofuso in Philadelphia.
Kathy and Keiko are surrounded by Japanese maple trees at their elopement outside Shofuso in Philadelphia.
Kathy and Keiko are surrounded by Japanese maple trees at their elopement outside Shofuso in Philadelphia.
Kathy and Keiko are surrounded by Japanese maple trees at their elopement outside Shofuso in Philadelphia.
Three guests stand under the shade of a tree while masked at an elopement.
Kathy and Keiko are surrounded by Japanese maple trees at their elopement outside Shofuso in Philadelphia.
Kathy and Keiko are surrounded by Japanese maple trees at their elopement outside Shofuso in Philadelphia.
Kathy and Keiko are surrounded by Japanese maple trees at their elopement outside Shofuso in Philadelphia.
Kathy and Keiko are surrounded by Japanese maple trees at their elopement outside Shofuso in Philadelphia.
Kathy and Keiko are surrounded by Japanese maple trees at their elopement outside Shofuso in Philadelphia.
Kathy and Keiko celebrate at the close of their ceremony.
The couple's guests clap at their ceremony.
Guests sign a marriage license after a self-uniting elopement ceremony in Philadelphia.
Guests sign a marriage license after a self-uniting elopement ceremony in Philadelphia.
Guests sign a marriage license after a self-uniting elopement ceremony in Philadelphia.
Guests sign a marriage license after a self-uniting elopement ceremony in Philadelphia.
The couple pose with their immediate family, who were all tested for COVID before the elopement.
The couple pose under the tree they just wed, with their dog.
The couple pose under the tree they just wed, with their dog.
The couple pose under the tree they just wed, with their dog.
The couple sits in yellow fall leaves with their dog.
The couple sits in yellow fall leaves with their dog.
The couple sits in yellow fall leaves with their dog.
The couple sits in yellow fall leaves with their dog.
Kathy and Keiko hold each other close with the fall Philadelphia backdrop behind them.
Kathy and Keiko hold each other close with the fall Philadelphia backdrop behind them.
Kathy and Keiko hold each other close with the fall Philadelphia backdrop behind them.
Kathy and Keiko hold each other close with the fall Philadelphia backdrop behind them.
Kathy and Keiko hold each other close with the fall Philadelphia backdrop behind them.
Kathy and Keiko hold each other close with the fall Philadelphia backdrop behind them.
Kathy and Keiko hold each other close with the fall Philadelphia backdrop behind them.
Kathy and Keiko hold each other close with the fall Philadelphia backdrop behind them.

Venue: Outside the grounds of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden
Portraits: Pavilion in the Trees
Florals by Flower Shop Philadelphia

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