Last weekend, I went to Kagoshima to witness my friend’s wedding, my first for a Japanese ceremony. I didn’t have any idea on how the wedding will proceed except that it will be in Japanese. And having a limited knowledge with the Japanese language, I knew that it will be quite a challenge for me to understand everything. But love has the power to translate things and action speaks louder than words, clichéd as it may seems. Everything was systematic. Everyone was very formal. No hint of panic at all. As soon as we arrived at the venue, we were led to the chapel. I was surprised that it was almost a Christian wedding, officiated by a priest. Fortunately for me, part of the sermon was in English so I didn’t need any translation at that moment. (And of course, I was busy shooting).
love's an elusive thing
everything turns red, once found
bound to forever
After the final blessing, my friend (the groom) was very emotional. He is one my closest Japanese friends, just like a brother. There was no mandatory photo sessions unlike the previous ceremonies I've been to, which I liked. Everything was very fast yet very smooth-sailing. After the bouquet toss, we were led to the reception area. And believe it or not, we had a seat plan with our names on the table. No gate crashers allowed. Donned in traditional Japanese kimonos, the bride and groom listened to the speeches of the well-wishers. All speeches were in Japanese and my friends tried to translate it to me from time to time. This is also the time where guests can give their wishes to the newly-wed. Of course, beers are a must. Wonder how much the couple had drink during the wedding.
The 3-hr ceremony was full of love and cheers. Applause is never ending. There was a presentation of photo montage about the years they were together. A presentation from couple's friends and families. Speech from the couple again. This was another emotional moment. After which the couple went to each table to convey their appreciation and thanks. I know they're very tired but still, it was overshadowed by their emotions.
We joined the 2nd party but skipped the 3rd and 4th parties. See, in Japan, wedding is a grand celebration.
All I wish to my friend and his wife is to have a good family and that their love will be forever. Happiness all throughout as they start a new chapter of their lives.
Tetsuro-kun, Madoka-san, gokkekon omedetou goizamasu!