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.


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.


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.”


 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.


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?


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