The planning was worth it, because the wedding felt more like a Las Vegas show then a wedding. The most interesting thing was the mock chapel ceremony. I asked a friend who understood the Japanese being spoken what type of ceremony it was. The asnwer - a white wedding / unity candle celebration, held in the quaint chapel atop the swankiest hotel in Kochi City. A violin and cello duet played less dancey versions of such wedding classics as "Beauty and the Beast". There was even a "Minister", though I was told he didn't mention God, Jesus, the bible, or any of the other trappings of what might be said at a wedding. We never bowed our heads in prayer, and yet the bride walking down the red carpeted isle and the image of a classic small chappel wedding was preserved and cultivated. Just after the white wedding ceremony the bride and groom were whisked away for their first of three costume changes, this one from white dress and tux to traditional Japanese kimono. After the reception started and the families had their grand enterences, the bride and groom disapeared again to change into the relaxed dress part of the night (think prom night but with more spacklies). There were home movies set to high tension anime theme songs, and flaming swords used to light candles on every guest's table. It was quite the night:
Theatrics aside, it was beautiful. Weddings are such a process in the States as well, but the ones I have always felt most comfortable at were the ones that were not grandiose, and focused more on the joy of two people admiting their love for one another. Cheers, well wishes, drinks, good food, tears of happines, and the hope that the passion of their promiss will last through the trials life attempts to throw at them. The hope that they`ll always wear the smiles spawned from the laughter shared the night of their union. I can`t imagine anyone felt any other way at Aika's ceremony. Filtered through my cave man Japanese I only caught simple ideas within the various speaches read: "Mom, Dad, thank you for loving me. I love you." or "I'll do my best for her." (that one is a rough translation), but the point is waylayed by the semantics of translation and linguistics. There is a definate universal language to be shared in joyous smiles. . . and a few too many celebratory sips.
More to come.