I woke up pretty early on the day of the wedding, and totally copying Charlotte from Sex and the City, shouted “Oh my gosh! It’s our wedding day!” to wake up Mr. G. We got dressed, had breakfast at the buffet offered by the hotel, and headed back to our hotel room at about 8 a.m. I had made a detailed schedule for the day of the wedding – showers at this time, breakfast at this time, and so on- but due to my excitement we were way ahead of schedule. We were supposed to head to the venue at 9 a.m., but I was much to anxious to wait in our hotel room for an hour. I suggested that we just head over to the venue since I’m sure they wouldn’t mind if we were an hour early (probably a bridezilla move, but I couldn’t help it). To be honest, I ‘d been incredibly nervous about the venue set-up. Mr. G had dropped off about a half a dozen boxes filled with props, decorations, and gifts a few days before the wedding. I had left instructions on how to set up everything, but I was nervous that the venue staff would have trouble understanding them since they never had a wedding with so many DIY elements before. I was also extremely nervous about the flowers. As I mentioned before, our florist didn’t even bring a portfolio with him to the meeting and I had no idea what our flowers were going to look like. I was harboring a secret dread that we were going to have really ugly flowers.
Mr. G and I headed to the venue right as they were opening the store front. Our wedding planner, Taie-san, must have seen the anxious look on my face because he walked right up to me, bowed, and said everything that we had asked to set up had been set up and the flowers were already in place. He lead us into the room and I gasped. Everything was set up better than I could have ever imagined.
Our sweetheart table. Photography by Teppei Kawakami
One of our centerpieces
I could not get over how wonderful our centerpieces looked. Our florist had used our invitation graphic as inspiration and created some wonderful centerpieces. He had also told me that getting sunflowers in October would be close to impossible but he some how pulled through!
Our invitation graphic our florist used as inspiration
After we toured the room and chatted with our wedding planner for a bit, Mr. G and I started to set up our escort cards and Jenga guestbook. Our wedding planner had never heard of either of these things (instead of escort cards everyone receives a paper with a seating chart on it in Japan) so we decided to do them ourselves.
Our escort card display
Photography by Teppei Kawakami
We also used baby pictures of ourselves to decorate the bathroom doors.
We then went on to setup our photo booth. I’d looked online for DIY photo booth tutorials and found quite a few that called for PVC tubing or wooden stands, items that would be difficult to find and transport in Japan. I started focusing on having a backdrop I could tape to a ceiling or a wall and luckily I found a great tutorial on how to make a DIY fringe backdrop.
Image via ohhappyday.com
This seemed perfect for our photo booth. The tutorial is very easy to follow; all you do is cut long strips of crepe paper. I brought the crepe paper fringe to the venue along with our tripod and camera. We taped the fringe to the ceiling, added a few tissue puff balls and set up the camera and tripod. Two friends we’d asked beforehand would man the photo booth during the cocktail hour.
Testing out the photo booth. I’m doing peace signs already!
We finished setting up the venue and we were right on schedule schedule! Mr. G left to pick up our out of town guests from their hotels and I left to get my hair and makeup done by my make up artist.
Were you nervous when you first saw your venue? How did it make you feel? Are there any brides setting up their own venue for the wedding?