The Most Original Wedding Ever

Posted on Wednesday, September 08, 2010 | 0 comments

   We attended a good friend's wedding party on the 28th of last month, and I've been dying to write about it but am only just now finding the time.
  The happy couple got married last year, but with the way things work in Japan, you don't have to have a ceremony in order to get your marriage license--you just go to the city hall and sign some paperwork. It's a bit of a letdown, actually. At least, when Yuki and I went and signed our papers, I remember thinking that there should've been a bit more fanfare involved!
 Hence, the practice of having wedding ceremonies and parties here anyway, even though they're not actually necessary. While they may occur around the time of the actual marriage, they obviously don't have to and can therefore to adjusted to accommodate the bride and groom's schedules.
  Anyway, this wedding party was held near Mt Fuji, at an inn close to Lake Yamanaka (Yamanakako). The ceremony itself occurred just before twilight on the back lawn of the inn, having been preceded by a garden party in the front. While the ceremony wasn't technically supposed to occur so late in the day (it was delayed due to a massive traffic jam that prevented many guests, including ourselves, from arriving on time--sorry again, Kato-san!), I thought that the lighting at the time was perfect for the event.
   Let me also mention just how creative, artistic, and musical the bride and groom are--as was evidenced in every aspect of this event. To begin with, after filing out to the rear lawn and greeting the groom, we all stood in a large ring around the ceremony site and waited for the bride...only to have the solemnity of the moment interrupted by....a chimp shrieking???
 Sure enough, from various openings in the bushes, a rather large chimp-like creature could be seen, hooting and making his way around the group towards the groom.
  The priest had arrived! Dressed in a chimp costume (complete with full stage makeup) topped by a priest's cassock, this guy (a friend of the groom's) looked like someone right out of Planet of the Apes. Considering that acting is his job, I shouldn't have been so surprised at how GOOD he was, but in my defense, I've never had the chance to see any of his plays in Tokyo.
  Not to steal the bride's thunder, though, the 'priest' took his spot and quieted down in time for the procession to begin. Following a cute flower girl, the bride arrived in style, wearing a vintage Dior gown. After a fun ceremony involving several bad puns by the 'ape' and a beautiful song performed by the groom, we were dismissed to change into our costumes before the dinner party began.
  That's right, dinner was a costume party. Those of us invited to the wedding had been divided into sub-groups, and each group was given a theme. Our group's theme was something along the lines of 'haunted' or 'ghostly', while others had themes such as 'the beach', 'Victorian' (or maybe it was princess?), etc. While the work that went into some of these costumes was truly amazing, once again the bride and groom showed their imagination throughout the rest of the night with several more costume changes of their own.
  At one point, the groom was dressed as the Egg man (as in, 'I am the Walrus') and the bride as Yoko Ono, while their final costumes involved the groom dressed as a bride, and the bride as a male rocker. I'm pretty sure there was a musical reference with those final costumes too, but I will admit to being rather naive about what it was!
  Live musical performances and skits involved one (male) friend in a wedding gown, and another dressed as a character from the groom's artwork on the various albums he's released.
  Near the end of the party, the bride and groom smashed their wedding 'cake' to smithereens with the help of some drum sticks. Finally, as part of the finale, there was a best-costume contest (Lady Gaga, my pregnant angel, and others were beaten by an adorable baby princess).

  All in all, an extremely unique and memorable wedding celebration! I would love to go into more detail but will in the interest of finally getting this posted will let the pictures speak for themselves. Thanks again, Kato and Mayumi!

                                The garden party

                                        Bride and groom during the ceremony

                                              The 'priest'

                               Devil and angel (with baby devil horns popping out)

                                  One of the performances

                               Die cake, die!!!

                                      Cute Disney princess

                                    The devil wears...bifocals