That’s Amore: Taiko! We Feel the Rhythm

Once cocktail hour was finished, our guests headed into the venue to be seated and our families waited at the entrance to be introduced by the DJ for the grand entrance. Our DOC got us in line and our DJ started announcing everyone.

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My mother and brother dancing their way in.

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My sister and niece making their grand entrance

It was soon our turn. Mr. G and I made our grand entrance to theme of the 90’s cartoon X-men and then immediately went into our first dance. We choose the theme of X-men because we wanted to add a little of our geeky personality into the reception and its one of our favorite TV shows from our youth.

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Our entrance. You can tell Mr. G was super excited.

We decided to do an upbeat choreographed dance to Dean Martin’s “Mambo Italiano” for our first dance. During our wedding planning process, Mr. G would listen to Italian music while researching our honeymoon and we both fell in love with Mambo Italiano. It’s the ringtone on our mobile phones and very special to us. We planned out a simple little dance and practiced it a few nights before the wedding.  I wasn’t too worried about making mistakes as we were going for silly and fun vibe. Fortunately, we didn’t make any mistakes and the dance was a huge hit.  I wish I could show you a video of the dance, but my videographer has fallen off the face of the earth and I have no video footage of our entire day, including the dance. I hope you can get a good idea of the fun vibe of our dance from the photos below.

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Getting my shimmy on!

 

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Mr. G has got some killer dance moves!

You may have noticed a few drums in the background of our first dance pictures. While we were dancing I noticed them too and wondered why they were there. After our first dance, Mr. G and I sat down and my step-mother stood up and made a short speech about how happy she was that Mr. G and I had found each other and that she wanted to take a minute and celebrate Mr. G’s culture.  All of a sudden we all heard some shouting and out came a few Taiko drummers.

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Taiko are Japanese drums and Taiko performances are often done at special events in Japan. I was so surprised that my step-mother had found Taiko drummers and had them come to our wedding. They gave a great performance!

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Mr. G’s mother and father loved the Taiko drums! I think they really appreciated my mother’s gesture.

Will you be having entertainment at your wedding? What did you do or plan on having?

Did anyone else have a vendor fall of the face of the earth?

All photography by Courtney Ortiz.

recap icon

Miss a recap?

We have our rehearsal dinner,.

We set up the venue,

We do our first look and family photos.

The sushi at cocktail hour was great.

We blatantly copy the internet. 

Our boss gives a speech.

We say Kampai!

We cut the cake.

A quick guide to Japanese wedding receptions.

My bouquet toss was an epic fail.

I change my dress. 

Our guests ate and drank.

There were tears. 

We had a receiving line.

We had an after-party.

We tried to have a zero wedding. 

We head to America!

We receive some great OOT bags.

We have our rehearsal dinner. 

We get ready for the wedding.

We pose for a few photos.

We jump into golf carts.

We have our ceremony.

We use streamers to end the ceremony.

I try to use the bathroom in my wedding dress. 

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That’s Amore: Cocktails and a Little TMI

Once the ceremony was over, our guests were shuttled to the pool area of the golf club for cocktail hour. While the guests were being transported away, Mr. G and I took a few more photos of just the two of us before the sun set and then headed to cocktail hour as well.

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Mr. G takes the wheel!

When we made it to the pool area, Mr. G headed toward the party at cocktail hour and I headed to the ladies room. I’d been worried about how I would use the bathroom in my wedding dress. I’d read Mrs. Cola’s  very helpful post on how to pee at your party early in the wedding planning process, but I realized (a little too late)  that I couldn’t follow the advice in my mermaid dress as it was way too tight around that area. Taking off my dress would be the only way I could safely go and I was worried about how I would get it back on. Fortunately, my DOC followed me into the bathroom and helped me get out and back into my dress.

I soon headed to cocktail hour.  I don’t have too many photos from cocktail hour, which is unfortunate because I would have loved to have shown the photos of the we food we had which was a buffet of sushi (Which was so yummy.  I love American sushi!) and vegetable and cheese platters. We also had an open bar.

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Cocktail hour at the pool area of the golf club

Remember the huge fight I had with my mother about cocktail hour seating? She wanted none and I wanted enough for everyone. Well, as you can tell from these two photos below, we did half and half. We had high top tables as well as tables with chairs. Everyone seemed pretty comfortable.

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Guests sitting at tables

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Guests standing at high tops

Once I got to cocktail hour my DOC handed me a flute of champagne and I was immediately greeted by guests wishing me and Mr. G their best. It was great receiving so much positive energy from so many people. There were quite a few guests that I’d never met before so there were lots of “Nice to meet you’s.” Our cocktail hour went by incredibly fast. I think I had about two bites of sushi and spent the rest of the time introducing Mr. G to my extended family or speaking with the guests. Before I knew it, it was time to head to the reception. This was extremely fortunate. Our reception started at 6.30pm and it started to rain at 6.31pm. A few of our guests may have gotten a few raindrops on them, but most missed the rain. I felt so lucky that we had such good timing!

How are you planning on doing seating at cocktail hour?

This may be TMI, but does anyone have a game plan for using the bathroom in their wedding dress? If you have a mermaid dress I recommend you find someone to help you. I don’t think I could have gone alone.

All photography by Courtney Ortiz.

recap icon

Miss a recap?

We have our rehearsal dinner,.

We set up the venue,

We do our first look and family photos.

The sushi at cocktail hour was great.

We blatantly copy the internet. 

Our boss gives a speech.

We say Kampai!

We cut the cake.

A quick guide to Japanese wedding receptions.

My bouquet toss was an epic fail.

I change my dress. 

Our guests ate and drank.

There were tears. 

We had a receiving line.

We had an after-party.

We tried to have a zero wedding. 

We head to America!

We receive some great OOT bags.

We have our rehearsal dinner. 

We get ready for the wedding.

We pose for a few photos.

We jump into golf carts.

We have our ceremony.

We use streamers to end the ceremony.

That’s Amore: A Tangled Ceremony Send-Off

After our love letters, my sister then moved on to the vows. I asked her to do the typical  “in sickness and in health” vows because those are the vows I always imagined myself saying when I was a child.  We exchanged rings and my sister presented us as husband and wife. At the end of her statement, the ceremony musicians started to play the song we decided for our recessional, the theme from our favorite video game Final Fantasy. Mr. G and I squealed when we heard the song.

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Yay! Final Fantasy!

Hearing “our” song was the perfect end to our ceremony. To those of you who are planning your wedding, I highly recommend that you do a song that is really special to you and your significant other for your recessional. It makes the moment of being pronounced husband and wife a thousand times better.

We turned to walk down the aisle and our DOC cued our guests to start the end-of-ceremony send- off with Japanese streamers. I love Japanese streamers. They are very pretty and look dramatic when you throw them out. Clean up is also very easy as the strings stay connected to the base.

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Above is a gif of me throwing out the type of streamer we used at our wedding.

I shipped about 100 of them to the States to be used for our walk down the aisle because I thought it would be cute and add some Asian flair to the event. The streamer throwing went surprisingly well even though it was everyone’s first time using them. I was worried that we would get tangled in the streamers during our walk back down the aisle,  but we were able to get out just fine.

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Our guests did a great job of using the streamers. They were everywhere!

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Unfortunately poor Olive, who got so excited at seeing the streamers, ran down the aisle to get a better look and got horribly tangled.  I think she actually enjoyed getting all tangled up!

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It was a great way to end the ceremony!

Is anyone doing a send -off after the ceremony? What are you planning on doing?

All photography by Courtney Ortiz.

recap icon

Miss a recap?

We have our rehearsal dinner,.

We set up the venue,

We do our first look and family photos.

The sushi at cocktail hour was great.

We blatantly copy the internet. 

Our boss gives a speech.

We say Kampai!

We cut the cake.

A quick guide to Japanese wedding receptions.

My bouquet toss was an epic fail.

I change my dress. 

Our guests ate and drank.

There were tears. 

We had a receiving line.

We had an after-party.

We tried to have a zero wedding. 

We head to America!

We receive some great OOT bags.

We have our rehearsal dinner. 

We get ready for the wedding.

We pose for a few photos.

We jump into golf carts.

We have our ceremony.

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That’s Amore: The Gondola Ceremony

All of the guests were seated and it was time for the ceremony to start. I decided early on in the planning process that I wanted our wedding ceremony to be short and sweet. We decided that the ceremony would start with my sister, who would be the officiant, saying some kind words.  Mr. G and I would then read a love letter to each other, exchange rings, and my sister would pronounce us husband and wife. We planned on having the ceremony take about 10 to 15 minutes at most.

Mr. G’s parents,  my two mothers, and brothers walked down the aisle first. Our ceremony musicians played Pachibel’s “Canon in D” as they walked down the aisle.

cici-592cici-596Then my youngest brother, Jay, walked down the aisle as the ring bearer. We thought it would be funny to have some as gigantic as my brother be the ring bearer.

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The ring pillow looks so tiny in his hands. (Full disclosure: There are no rings on that ring pillow. My sister, the officiant, had the rings in her pocket. We just thought it would just be easier to do it that way.)

I saw my niece, Olive, walk down the aisle as my father and I neared the ceremony site in our golf cart.

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Olive with her father right before she walked down the aisle.  Earlier in the day I told Olive “You look just like a princess!” She shook her head and said “No, I look like a flower girl!”

It was soon my turn to walk down the aisle. I hooked arms with my father and the musicians started to play Wagner’s “Wedding March.”

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 The wind was still blowing like crazy.

Walking down the aisle was amazing. I did my best to be present in the moment and kept telling myself “You’re walking down the aisle. Remember every second.” Walking down the aisle at my wedding to the “Wedding March” with dozens of faces smiling at me was just how I imagined it as child. It was one of the surrealist and happiest moments of my life. The only bad thing about it was that it was much too short. I wish my aisle was double the length that it was so that my walk would have been twice as long.

Once the walk was finished I handed my bouquet to my mom, and my sister (who had changed out of her red dress and donned a suit) started the ceremony.  She started by saying a few words about how amazing it was that the two people who lived on the opposite sides of the country could find one another in Japan. She went on with a very touching speech and wished us happiness.

It was then time for Mr. G and I to read the love letters that we wrote to each other.  In our relationship, I would say that I’m the more articulate, well- written person out of the two of us, but let me tell you, on our wedding day Mr. G totally won for best written love letter.  It was honest, funny, and very sweet.

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Mr. G reading his love letter.

Here is the shortened version of his love letter:

When I first found out I had to write this I had a hard time thinking of what to write. I was never really good at expressing feelings or voicing my mind. So rather than try to be some sort of literary savant, I decided to simply write what I feel.

First off I want to thank you for being a part of my life. Anyone who knows me will tell you, you’ve changed my life for the better. I’ve learned to love someone unconditionally. You’ve taught me the importance of budgeting money. You’ve taught me the fun of great literature. You’ve shown me the fun and excitement of traveling. You’ve also help me quit smoking. So I just want to say thank you.

 I assume though, people don’t want me to just thank you for what you’ve done but rather say how much I love you. Which by the way, is A LOT. Yup. All capital letters. 

It’s not the grand gestures that really captured my heart. It’s the little things.

I love how you laugh. And how when you laugh really hard you cover your mouth just like a Japanese person would.

I love how you let me choose what we eat at a restaurant. While I look through the menu, you look through the wine list. Just to let you know I will be your designated driver for life.

I love that you don’t like to go to bed angry. We both feel that we need to make-up after a fight before we can go to sleep. That’s something I always want to keep-up. I never want to be angry around you.

To put it simply, I love you. All of you. Everything about you.

 You are the one person I’ve been waiting for all of my life. I met you thousands of miles away from San Diego. I could have met you in California. I could have met you in Florida. But the fact that we met in Japan, a place that is on the opposite side of this planet, is  fate. Fate brought us together, but nothing will be able to tear us apart. So today is the day we pledge our love for one another. I really don’t feel a pledge to you is enough.  Because I am, and always will be yours. Forever.

My love letter was crap. I’m not going to even post it here as you will all think I am an unfeeling, horrible person. It was pretentious and horribly unoriginal. I blame it on bridal brain.

How are you planning on doing your ceremony? Will you have readings? Write your own vows?