Friday, September 17, 2004

Monumental Nuptials

My wedding was very traditional fare for Japan. The ceremony itself was a small and very typical Shinto affair, i.e. notable mainly for its simplicity (not to mention the cool, Heian Era music, my actually drinking the sake [and getting quite a buzz off of it], and my dad goofing up the prayer ritual). The formal banquet, on the other hand, was typically flamboyant.

There were over 300 guests, most of whom Kiharu barely knew and I had never seen before. Several spoke a dialect I could barely understand. Some were very, very old. Gifts were given to each of them. The food, which Kiharu and I had no time to eat (except one flower of broccoli that I quickly popped in my mouth when I could no longer stand it), was a gourmet course including several local specialties. I don't even want to try to guess how many gallons of beer, sake, whiskey, tea, juice, and Coca-Cola were put away. In keeping with modern custom, we wore three different outfits at intervals: traditional Japanese kimonos, Western wedding costumes, & Western formal wear. Every time we made an entrance, a different spectacle was presented. (In the case of the formal wear, we came in under the black-light-illuminated haze of a fog machine as "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" played in the background.) There was a concert performance by musician friends of mine plus my sister. Kiharu's coworkers sang a song (badly). Several individuals were asked to give speeches (which tended not to be listened to on account of most people being roaring drunk). The decorations were fancy. At the end, Kiharu and I marched out as the band played the "Liberty Bell" march (and the Japanese guests couldn't figure out why the handful of Westerners there were all laughing and why my sister threw in a quick "pfft" at the end of a phrase). All of the guests that had traveled more than fifteen minutes were put in rooms there in the Itako Hotel. There were two or three informal parties after the formal banquet. Itako's economy definitely benefitted.

Yes, it cost a BLOODY FORTUNE. Japanese weddings always do.

However, there are those that can't be content with the normal Tradition & Commercialism variety wedding, so they have to go out on a serious limb.

How about you guys? Do you have any good wedding tales to put in the thread? (Hint, hint...)


Anonymous said...

Philrod Piddlewaif:

For those too ignorant or inconsequential to know better, the "Liberty Bell" march, by John Philip Sousa, is the theme of Monty Python.

Jolly good. Carry on, my good fellow.

Don Snabulus said...

Same thing happened at our wedding. Man, weddings are wacky.

Actually, I'll need to think about it and write about it soon (or maybe Ladybug or maybe both of us or maybe a quasit).

Don Snabulus said...

Our wedding bore no resemblance to a Japanese wedding. Our wedding clothes were handmade. Ladybug wore a beautiful and colorful Afghan nomad dress and I wore a Russian outfit (as did my groomsmen). The planning was fairly loose. Ladybug's Mom and some other relatives fed everyone, so our reception was actually before the wedding.

We included our daughter who walked up with us and she was the only one who ended up with wedding jewelry (we decided that a honeymoon would be more important than expensive rings); besides we already had a Navajo wedding vase...rings would have been redundant.

My sister and my chiropractor provided the wedding music which ranged from Lyle Lovett to Rush. They were fantastic! Our cake was provided by a person called Cake Boy and although we didn't actually get any, I heard it was great.

It really was a wonderful time. It was fun to share with everyone and it was filled with lots of love and not as much worrying. Cousins, Moms, friends, and Dads all pitched in to help out. In other words, it wasn't like a normal wedding at all.