That’s Amore: Let’s Get the Party Started

After the spectacular Taiko performance, my brother and Mr. G’s sister both gave a speech.  (As we didn’t have a bridal party, these were the equivalent to the best man and maid of honor speeches). Both speeches were wonderful. My favorite line from my brother’s speech was “Mrs. G’s favorite Disney movie was Beauty and the Beast. Belle, the main character, sang a song about wanting ‘more than this provincial life.’ Mrs. G has the same adventurous spirit which is why she left for Japan to find adventure and ended up finding love. “


My brother giving his speech. He also had a line  in his speech about how my favorite Baby-Sitter’s club member was Claudia Kishi. I can’t believe he remembered so many little things about me!


Mr. G’s sister’s speech was hilarious and very sweet. She spoke about how well our families get along and how she is so happy to gain two sisters.

Once our siblings finshed their speeches our dinner service began (more on that later) and we showed a slideshow with lots of pictures of the Gondolas growing up and falling in love as well as video about our life in Japan.

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 A sampling of  the photos we used in our “Life in Japan” video. In Japan, we shop with tiny shopping carts and hang our clothes out to dry on the veranda.

Once everyone had finished up eating (about 40 minutes into our meal) my step-mother gave a quick speech to thank everyone for coming and my father and I did a quick father/daughter dance.


My step-mother was the real hostess of the night and was in her element!


My father and I did a quick 30 second dance to Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World”.

 Once our father daughter dance was finshed the dance floor was open and our guests could get down!



One of the things I stressed about most when planning the wedding was the reception timeline.  I’ve spent most of my adult life in Asia and have only been to a few American weddings in my lifetime. I was unsure of the order of events and I scoured Weddingbee looking for a general timeline, but every wedding reception is different. Some weddings have various dance sets interspersed with cake cutting and speeches while other weddings have toasts, then eating, and then dancing. I had no idea which timeline would work best for our wedding.  I voiced these worries to my DOC and she told me not to worry because she and the DJ would handle making the schedule of the reception timeline and I could edit it as I choose.  About two months before the wedding I received a timeline from our DOC and DJ which looked a little something like this:

7:00 B&G First Dance – After bride and groom bow guests can have a short dance set.

7:15 Toasts

7:20 Dinner Service

7:40 Videos- Our life in Japan, Slideshow

8:00 Parents of B&G given opportunity to say a Toast

8:10 Father/Daughter Dance

8:15 Dance Set

9:00 Cake Cutting

9:10 Dancing for the rest of the Event

9:50 Last Song

10pm Send Off

As I mentioned before, my step-mother changed most of this because she had a few surprises for us throughout the evening, but we generally stuck to this schedule.

What did or will your wedding reception timeline look like? Will you have a few mini-dance sets throughout out the night interspersed with cake cutting and speeches or have everyone eat, cut the cake,  and then dance?

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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