Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Little Wedding moments

Many things happen in one day at a wedding, and it is difficult to make a coherent story out of such an event without making a very long post. Since I am already under investigation by various international bodies for the length and pointlessness of my posts, I have decided to reduce my other report on this big day into a series of fragmented episodes which you, dear reader, can skip through or enjoy at your leisure.

We started the day in Flawless, a kimono shop near the University, getting dressed. Here we discovered that a kimono is a considerably stricter affair than it looks, with much tugging and tightening of cords before it is ready to wear. There is some kind of stiff board in the back of the mens kimono which gives its wearer an upright (or perhaps stuffed) look, and breathing is a little impaired. So too are other essential functions, including walking (on account of the thong-like footwear which has to be worn). Some of you may be surprised to know that I am also not used to walking upstairs in a dress.

At the shrine we had to ascend a long flight of stairs while our 8 guests watched - a hazardous task, especially in the cold in ungainly shoes. I managed, however, not to slip or trip on my way up (the first time). Emma came separately, and both of us were applauded into the shrine by our guests.

After the ceremony we had to gather for a professional group photo, and at this point the snow started falling. The sun was still shining, a type of weather we were rather pleased to discover is called "Foxes' wedding march." However, the weather was only charming for the first minute, after which time we were still sitting on our chairs waiting for the photo to be taken, because every time the assistant arranged the long sleeves of various kimonos the wind would blow them out of place. This wind was so strong that outside the shelter of the surrounding trees the snow was now being driven horizontally, but around us it was still (mostly) falling gently. Even 1 minute was too long for a photo in these conditions!

The actual ceremony is something of a blur, of course, but I managed to avoid the major mistakes (fluffing the vows; spilling the sake; drinking the wrong amounts of the sake; standing or sitting at the wrong times). The rest of the day was much easier, the reception being really just an expensive lunch with friends.

Our Japanese friends followed tradition and gave us envelopes with money in them (which we opened later, and whose contents shall remain secret); we also received (and gave) various presents, these being from Australia for the Japanese guests, and from Japan for the Australians. We also managed to get quite drunk on nice wine, which is a pleasant way to end a wedding. The staff at the restaurant were nice but very talkative; by happy coincidence the manager's husband is American, but he was very interested in chatting to us because he very rarely gets to meet foreigners; and the other Japanese staff were very eager to talk to our Japanese guests. It is a strange phenomenon to have the staff being very obtrusive in a Japanese restaurant ...

Finally, at 5pm we all returned to Flawless to return our clothes and collect the luggage of the Australians who had turned up that same morning for the wedding; and retired to the Ryokan to have a well-deserved (and altogether thoroughly too hot) bath in the Onsen. Overall, a perfectly successful, very simple and very enjoyable wedding.


Blogger Cracklypork said...


[This word encapsulates much.]

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Overall, a perfectly successful, very simple and very enjoyable wedding."

Surely the best kind? Dashed vexed I couldn't be there in person to participate!

3:29 PM  
Anonymous La traviata said...

Congratulations! Stumbled onto this via Aislinn's live journal. You all look absolutely stunning and sublimely happy. :) Many happy returns to you both.

Much love,

12:16 AM  
Blogger Sir S said...

Well SinJin, we too were dashed vexed at your non-attendance, and the day came perilous close to disaster without your steadying hand on the tiller! But we prevailed regardless, and have returned to normality after the wedding festivities.

And thank you la traviata, feel free to return to these humble pages!

5:03 PM  

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