The Wedding in Melbourne

I have been waiting for this wedding forever!
My amazing friend M got engaged last year and I’ve been looking forward to this day ever since. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Melbourne. Actually, I don’t even remember what the weather was like but there was so much happiness surrounding all of us there that it couldn’t be described any other way!
It started with an intimate wedding ceremony at the Old Treasury Building, filled with joy and laughter, which continued on to the lovely reception party. There were many toasts, dancing, and just all around good cheer throughout the night.
I personally was a little nervous at the reception because I was asked by M to do the speech. And if you know me, you know about my stage fright. Which is why I wrote every word down so my mind couldn’t go blank (unless the impossible happened and I forgot how to read…). 
I am so inadequate when it comes to words. But I did try to articulate how warm and amazing both M and J are. Maybe you can tell me if it came through because I thought I’d share my speech here so you could get to know a little about the newlyweds. Here it is…

Hello everyone. I’d like to thank J and M for letting me share this special day with them.

My name is Kaori and I am M’s friend from college. I don’t exactly remember when we first met because we had so many classes together, but M is one of those girls that is genuinely kind and makes everyone feel welcome in her circle of friends. I am incredibly lucky to have a friend who has such a big heart like her in my life.

Most of you know the story of how M met J. He was passing through Japan during his vacation and happened to meet M at a mutual friend’s place. When we heard from M how she’d met this “someone”…I’m sure we all had some questions.

Questions such as: (a) who is this grown man that takes over a month of vacation from work, which is unheard of in Japan, (b) is he really as nice a guy as M says he is? and (c) how do we know he’s not a serial killer? (So sorry J)

Well, when I finally got a chance to meet J, it was hard to stay suspicious because I saw just how happy he made M. Also, it is nearly impossible to resist his natural charm, which we like to call “J magic.”

Although, there was a time early on in their relationship, I remember M half whispering to me, “I can’t hold hands with J.” I thought this was because maybe he doesn’t like to hold hands…but no. M explained that it was because he is so expressive with both of his hands that it was impossible to hold on! We both had a good laugh over this quirk.

One thing about M is that, although she may seem a little shy or quiet, she is truley one of the bravest people I know. She jumped at the chance to go to grad school, even though it meant moving to a new country. She continues to challenge herself, be it sharing her art work at a gallery or taking up driving (pedestrians of Melbourne, you have been warned!) and I simply admire her for being so strong. She is the best mix of sweet and fierce.

As you know, M is an amazing teacher to her kindergarten children, so I’d like to close this speech with a passage from the famous Dr. Seuss. 

“People are weird. When we find someone with weirdness that is compatible with ours, we team up and call it love.” 

I’m sure anyone who has seen M and J together knows that they are definitely a team, even if they don’t hold hands all the time. I love you both and wish you nothing but the best in your marriage…to M and J! xx

Here are some photos of the beautiful wedding day:
The ceremony room at the Old Treasury Building.
The lovely bride walking down the aisle with her father (who looks like the emperor of Japan!).
The ceremony was beautiful!
Officially married!!!
Whoop whoop!
M and J stepping outside and cheered on by the crowd 🙂
We all took turns taking photos in front of the building.
Me in my dress I found for the wedding this spring and R in the suit he got the day before ;D
M and J in the traditional Japanese wedding kimono. We wrote messages on it at the reception.
We had an amazing table at the reception and it was fun getting to know everyone.
Don’t you just love the groom’s enthusiasm? x
Loved the Malaysian style toast of Yam Seng, meaning “drink to success!”
My vegetarian dish was delicious! So good!
Gosh, these two…they really are the best.
Completely out of focus but for some reason one of my favorite photos…very dreamy!
After their waltz they did the cutest rendition to this Frozen song! ;D
So blessed to be able to share this special day! Much love. x

The Wedding in Nasu

It was a glorious day in Nasu!
The perfect day for an outdoor wedding ceremony, which is quite rare in Japan. The outdoor weddings, not the perfect day (we have plenty of those!). June brides always run the risk of being rained (or even typhoon-ed) out on their wedding, so you know the gods must have been smiling down on this betrothal.
My friends and I sat on stone benches while we watched the ceremony take place in front of the beautiful green backdrop. The bride and groom looked a little nervous during the ceremony but once we all made our way inside for the reception, the newlyweds looked like they were having a great time! This celebration of love was the perfect way to end our weekend in Nasu!
Here are some photos:

Waiting for the ceremony to start outside…full of komorebi (木洩れ日)!

Pretty excited for the wedding to start 😀
Even the birds were chirping to celebrate their happiness!
Miffy and her man wearing the traditional Japanese kimono welcomed us at the reception.
We had a very enthusiastic speech right before the kampai!
It was almost too pretty to eat…almost.
The cutting of their delicious cake!
During the reception, they changed into different outfits…I loved the blue dress on her!
I didn’t get the bouquet draw…but I did get waffers! 😀
We sneaked into their wedding photos shoot. hehe.
One of the perks of attending a reception is you get to take home flowers when it’s over! Yay!
Heading back to Tokyo!
1859 Takaku-otsu, Nasu-machi Nasu-gun, Tochigi JAPAN
TEL: 028 778 7577

The Wedding Party in Ebisu

Last month my friends E and M had their wedding party in Ebisu!
They had gotten married with close family and friends in Hawai’i the month before and wanted to have a party with their friends in Tokyo. I was asked to help co-plan the wedding party with another friend Y, which I was really excited about. I didn’t learn until later that it would include taking on the role of co-master of ceremonies as well.
After 30+ years, I’ve come to know myself pretty well and one of the things is that I do better behind the scenes. Supporting is my thing, not center stage. I have huge stage fright and because I’m rarely in that position, I freeze up even more when I’m there.
Needless to say, I was slightly concerned about having to talk into the mike. And not only that, but you need to be on top of things, reading the crowd, checking the time, and making sure that the bride and groom are having a great time. (Did I mention I am also a worrier?)
But in the end, it all worked out.
The bride and groom were full of smiles, which is exactly what we wanted. Our plan to surprise them with messages from their parents were also a success. Everything went according to plan and it was great seeing them having a good time celebrating their marriage with all their friends in Tokyo!
Wishing E and M all the joy and happiness of this day and always. x
The bride and groom making their entrance.

I have no idea who took these photos on my camera…but whoever did, thank you!
E’s friend gave a poetic toast to the newlyweds.                        My co-MC was amazing.                

Friends surrounding the happy couple.
My flower arrangement for the bride and groom table, which I only had 15 minutes to do (eek!).

It felt good seeing everyone having a good time conversing with the bride and groom.
Who knew those high school ikebana classes would come in handy one day?

A piece of their cake waiting to be eaten, which they did after the party was over.
Like all good parties, it was over before we knew it. x

That Wedding in Kagoshima in Other Photos

I know, I know.
I already posted photos of my BFF’s wedding.
But I had these too and I love them so
on the grounds that this is in fact my blog,
I am going to post away!

Someone is excited to be married!
Weddings really are a sort of reunion.
Loved seeing old friends, too!
And I love how the stage looks so 50s.

Smiles at the table after I finished my speech!

The bouquet toss was done out on the terrace.
N caught it with just one hand!

How classy is this rose-shaped sugar?
After the after party
some of us went to eat ramen!
Kagoshima ramen is especially delicious around midnight.
We had a great time celebrating the whole day!

That Day Before the Wedding in Kagoshima

Can I tell you how excited I am to be in Kagoshima?
It’s been years since I was last here.
But back again for the same reason as before.
My bestie is getting married!!!

Here they are…
no wedding jitters here!
I love these two together.
So glad that they found each other. x

Here are the boys practicing their song
for the wedding reception.

Their voices are so loud
I was sure the windows would crack.

This is what happens when your classmates
go on to study music in university.

And you know you’re in Kagoshima
when there’s a garbage pile specifically for volcano ash.

That Wedding in Kagoshima

*Throwback Thursday: I’m slowly (very slowly) going to be bringing my old posts to this blog.

The special day is finally here!
My BFF’s wedding!
S was so beautiful.
Everyone saw how she shined
especially her husband. Aw.

The wedding reception was fabulous, too!

S had asked me to do the speech at the reception.
Ended up taking over a month
writing it, fixing it, and practicing it.
Somehow I got through it.
My speech instructor in college used to always tell me
“Speak slowly, don’t cry.”
Well, I tried to speak slowly
but couldn’t help crying here and there.
I mean, it was my best friend
and this was my first ever wedding speech!
(Cut me some slack here…haha)
But I made S cry, too, so it wasn’t just me 😉

Happiest of marriages to this amazing couple!

That Wedding in DC

The reason I was in DC was because…
my best friend from grade school got married!!!
I was in the bridal party as one of her bridesmaids
which was amazing because we don’t do bridesmaids in Japan.

It was so much fun.
So great to see her get married to her love.

It was also literally a huge reunion
with friends and family who flew in for the wedding.
But I guess weddings are like that.
I can’t say it enough, it was a beautiful wedding!
More than anything though
I loved seeing how happy the bride and groom were.
Their love was radiant.

Can you believe we’ve been friends for over 20 years?
I love that even though we’ve all changed
our friendship has stayed the same.
And now our family has grown
to include husbands, too!
Wishing the bride and groom all the happiness in the world! xx