I really DO love weddings. I didn't always love weddings, but I think that since my besties started getting married, I've come to associate weddings with great times with friends/family. I'm not gonna lie, I have also come to love weddings because they remind me of my own wedding (which by the way, was awesome).
This past weekend Rich and I attended the wedding of friends we have made while in Japan (the groom is one of Rich's co-workers). The wedding was at KKR Porthill Yokohama Hotel which is located at the top of a hill that overlooks the bay. Luckily on our way to the wedding we met up with friends that were also going to the wedding - I say luckily because even though I tried to map it out and find out how to get there ahead of time, I probably still would've gotten lost trying to find it. In any case, our group arrived with time to spare and spent the remaining minutes outside enjoying the scenery, including the area we thought was where the ceremony was to occur (see photo in bottom right corner). The weather was perfect (not too cold), which I appreciated since I was wearing a dress. After noting the continued absence of guests or anyone official looking, we figured out we were in the wrong location (for those that know our group, this should not surprise you).
The ceremony was held upstairs in the hotel in an indoor chapel with a fabulous view of the bay and bridge - the fact that the ceremony took place at dusk made it a particularly gorgeous sight. The groom came in first, followed by the the bridal party who took their places behind him. The bride entered the chapel with her mom, who put the bride's veil down before they walked down the aisle. A particularly touching moment occurred when the bride (a talented violinist) surprised the groom by performing a musical piece with the best man (a cellist).
After the ceremony, we were ushered upstairs to the reception. I think one of my favorite things about weddings is getting to see how the bride and groom sort of make different aspects of the event their own, so that their guests are like "that's soooo them." After everyone was seated, the bride and groom made their entrance in a dramatic fashion that was definitely "them" - they entered dressed in Yokohama Baystars uniforms as the beer guy/girl. If you've ever been to a Japanese baseball game, you'll understand; if you haven't, see my blog post on it to get a better idea of what I'm talking about re: the beer girls (Baseball in Japan) After entering the reception hall with the spotlight on them, they proceeded to go from table to table filling the pitchers with beer and providing a basket of snacks to each table. It was great!
After their entrance, the dinner service began. Each course was presented in an impeccable fashion - being a Japanese wedding and all, I expected nothing less. The food was not only beautiful, it was also delicious (and thank goodness the main course was steak, otherwise Rich would've starved). After dinner, there were the customary speeches and a few games. One of the games, which wasn't really a game, called for the guests to see if they had 1 of 3 chocolate pieces hidden in their slice of cake. Since my hubby was out smoking when this took place, I HAD to rummage through his cake to see if he had the chocolate! It's not like I ate any of it, but it was pretty funny when he came back and looked at the state his cake was in - he of course ate it anyway.
Ahh, I almost forgot....then came the part of weddings that up until July 2011 I dreaded more than anything (and hence the reason I omitted this wedding ritual from my own wedding)....the bouquet toss. Don't get me wrong, some people live for the bouquet toss - I'm not one of them. I think the reason I swore off on the bouquet toss was due to one particular wedding I attended where I purposely went to the bathroom when I knew it was going to occur. Well, to my profound surprise, embarrassment and anger, I actually heard the emcee calling my name (note to all brides: don't do this, especially to your good friends). Anyway, back to this wedding - I will gladly admit that it was quite an amazing feeling to FINALLY be able to stay in my seat and watch other females have to stand up in front of everyone. I'm sure the feeling will wear off but this was the first wedding I've attended since my wedding last year. After all of this, the bride and groom left and when they returned, they were dressed in their traditional Japanese attire for the cake cutting, thank you's and joining of the families.
The event ended somewhat early, as Japanese weddings are known to have somewhat of a time limit. No matter though, it was a great night and when we got home, I went through all my wedding photos (haha, just kidding). Congratulations again to the happy couple!!