April 1, 2017
Outside the reception, there was a desk set up, with two young men in suits and two women in kimonos. I was thinking that this is where they tell you what table you are seated at. Nope, this is where you drop off the wedding presents. The room at the Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa where the reception was being held was amazingly big. There were approximately 30 tables, each holding eight people, with plenty of walking room in between. I wasn't sure which table we were going to be at, but somehow Mariton knew it was the table closest to the door. This surprised me, as usually family is sitting close to where the bride and groom would be at, but they were on the complete opposite side of the room. The only table even further from the bride and groom was the bride's parents and immediate family.
At this time of year, cherry blossoms or sakura
are at their peak bloom. The Japanese people love this time of year and it seemed to be the theme of the reception, as cherry blossoms were everywhere, including the centerpiece of our table.
I would like to think that the writing after my name
is what it would be in Japanese, but it is most likely a greeting. And each person had both Western silverware and chop sticks set in front of them to choose from.
Just a very short time after being seated, the newly wedded couple were announced upon arrival.
And, of course bowed to the guests.
It didn't take long until the food started coming and like the flight over, it just kept on coming, course after course. You could choose between the Japanese meal or Continental, which meant French. I went French, Mariton Japanese, so I had easy access to photographing both. I will let you decide which one is which.
The food was not only visually dazzling, but everyone I asked said that they loved the food. The pistachio crusted steak was especially delicious.
One of my favorite moments in the wedding was when bride Maki and her sister Erika posed for photos with their 89 year old grandfather.
The girls are 5' 6" and 5' 7" and tower over their grandfather and it was easy to see that he was absolutely beaming with pride!
Later on, the bride and groom were reintroduced, only now Maki was wearing a lovely red dress,
which she wore for the remainder of the reception.
Eventually, even I got tired of eating, so I got up to take some photos. The wedding cake was the tallest I have ever seen.
They did call everyone's attention to the cutting of the cake, but interestingly, cake was never passed around. There was no band playing, so the only music was provided by a four string quartet.
On the way back to the table, I stopped at the bridesmaids table and asked Miki, Mari and Junko to come to our table and pose for some photos, which meant there were lots of cell phones being passed around. Here is Miki, Junko, Mariton and Mari.
Maki is the first one out of this close group of college friends to be wed. As for the dresses, Marivic visited in the United States last September and went shopping in both Los Angeles and New York to buy all the dresses necessary for the wedding. From what I heard, these dresses are exorbitantly more expensive in Japan and they saved plenty of money by doing it this way.
We wanted to go get our photos taken with the happy couple and there was a long line to do this.
Sure, you get to see me in a suit, but look at those cherry blossoms! Another interesting note; only the bride and groom sat at this table. Everyone else in the wedding party was seated elsewhere.
Another interesting thing I noted is that among the responsibilities of the bride's parents is that they have to go around and drink toasts with different guests. Here is Hiroshi and Marivic with Dr. and Mrs. Yeh,
who were seated next to me and are the parents of Erika's husband Jeff. Dr. Yeh is from Taipei and is a terrific guy. I really enjoyed getting to know him. Unfortunately, Mrs. Yeh does not speak English, so it was difficult to communicate with her. Since everyone else at our table was speaking English, no doubt she felt a little left out.
With all of this, the best moment of the wedding was when the four parents lined up on the near wall and the bride and groom took turns giving long speeches into the microphone. Even though I don't understand Japanese, it was impossible not to feel the genuine, raw emotion, as the newly wedded couple thanked their parents. Lots of tears throughout the room. After they were done speaking, they walked over for presenting flowers to the mothers and more hugs.
Such a touching moment!
So, no cake to eat, no dancing and the entire thing wrapped up at 4:00PM. As a matter of fact, Marivic and Hiroshi had to hustle as the were attending another wedding reception that afternoon! When I told Erika later on, that wedding receptions in America usually last all night, she seemed surprised.
We stuck around the lobby, talking with family for another hour, but we were tired and caught a cab back to the Hyatt Regency. On the way, this was the only time a driver spoke to us outside of us getting in or out. He asked if we wanted to take the expressway, which would mean tolls and take less time or take the city streets. We chose expressway, where we immediately ran into traffic. Our cabbie was very apologetic for this, which was completely unnecessary.
Once back at the hotel, we were happy to lay down for a nap.
Much more to come.....
post edited by buffetbuster - 2017/04/22 16:47:25