Shihyen Pan and Satoshi Mitsumori met at the Japanese restaurant Ootoya in Chelsea. “We were sitting next to each other but by ourselves. I was having trouble reading the menu, and Satoshi helped me out,” recalls Shihyen, a 36-year-old graphic designer. “He was the restaurant manager, but he happened to be eating there on his night off.” After dating for three weeks, Satoshi, 33, asked Shihyen to join him for lunch with his parents. “Satoshi is very Americanized. But in Japanese culture, if you do this, it’s really serious. When his father saw me, he said, “You should just get married!” I was shocked, but we did start thinking about it.” Eight months later, Satoshi proposed in Central Park. “I knew it was going to happen,” remembers Shihyen, laughing. “He’s very easy to predict.” A simple City Hall marriage in June 2014 was followed by a reception at Alger House six months later. Satoshi’s dad flew in from Japan, Shihyen’s family made the journey from Taiwan, and 40 guests feasted on pumpkin-filled gnocchi. Celin Wang, who went to college with the bride in Taiwan, helped find Shihyen’s dress, styled her hair, and did her makeup. “Satoshi keeps asking me to do my makeup like that again. I always say no, that it was a onetime thing.”
*This article appears in the Winter 2016 issue of New York Weddings.