Nov 13, 2011

Spend My Life With You

Have you been to a traditional Japanese wedding? Well, I went to my first one yesterday. I know I should probably wait for my memory to distill before I write about it, but I really feel it's the most beautiful Japan experience I've ever had so far, even after all these years in Japan.

The ceremony was held in Meiji shrine where the couple exchanged vows and received God’s blessing in front all the people important to them (except me, who they met for the first time and were generous enough to let me be part of it!)

With the bride’s family sitting on one side, and the groom’s the other, the ceremony started. Not only the couple got to drink some sake to seal the deal, but we also got some to drink, which symbolizes the unification of two families. (I don’t know why I just remembered a scene in Godfather…)

Although I was very busy trying not to break too many rules at once, especially after the embarrassing incident of me taking pics when I shouldn’t have, I still had time to appreciate this wonderful ancient ritual accompanied by the Japanese flute and koto music, and they’ve even got a bit of Shinto chanting and dancing going. You know how much I adore musicals!

But seriously, I was so moved at the end that I even found myself praying with the priest and wishing the newly-weds sail to their new lives together happily and safely, always hand in hand, in the sun but especially in the storm.

No wonder people cry at weddings! Many did yesterday at the banquet after the ceremony, including the groom and the parents when the couple was making the thank-you speeches to their parents. First I couldn't decide if I should join in and cry, and then I lost my chance altogether when they thanked us for coming.

Being a foodie, the food at the banquet in Meiji Kinenkan was definitely something to remember too, but the wedding cake was just gorgeous and get this, it was designed by the groom, not the bride! 

(to be continued)