To Bilingual or Not To Bilingual

As some of you already know, the Gondolas are having two weddings. One of the main reasons we decided to have two weddings was because we didn’t want to force either Mr. G’s family or my family to buy a hefty ticket to fly half way across the globe.


I’m the middle child of five- that’s a lot of plane tickets.

Surprisingly, a few of my family members still wanted to go to the Japanese wedding and celebrate there. This left Mr. G and I with a bit of a problem: Should we make our wedding bilingual to accommodate our American guests?

I’ve been to bilingual weddings before where all of the speeches and announcements are said twice- once in English and once in Japanese. I’m going to be honest with you hive, I was usually kind of bored. Everything takes twice as long and the waiting is hard when you’re excited for the fun to start. This made me lean toward having a Japanese- only wedding, but I started to consider that it might also be boring to sit through a reception where you have no idea what people are saying during the speeches.

In the end, Mr. G and I decided that we should keep everything in Japanese since we were only going to have a few family members from America. One of the main reasons would be that translating speeches would be difficult because everyone would have to give us their speech beforehand, we would then have to translate it, and find someone to say the English version. I was worried that my family members would be upset about having to sit through an all Japanese reception, but I ran it by them and they said it was totally fine. They actually said they would be too busy drinking to notice- my family rocks!

I was very confident in having a Japanese- only wedding, but the trouble is that more and more American guests are opting to go to the Japanese wedding. Most of them are friends who have wanted to go to Japan for a while and my wedding is the perfect excuse. I’m super excited about this, but I’m starting to worry about our Japanese-only wedding. I have warned every guest that the wedding will be only in Japanese and all of them have said that they don’t mind sitting through a few speeches they won’t understand, but I still want to be a good hostess and have everyone feel comfortable. I’m considering making a program just for the American guests so they at least have some idea of what is going on during the reception or having a few of my bilingual friends periodically check on my non-Japanese speaking guests to make sure they are okay.

Are there any other brides who are dealing with two or more languages at their languages? How are you making all of your guest feel comfortable?


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