Last month, we attended the wedding of one of our friends, Yvette. This was my first Japanese wedding, so I thought that I would share here some of my impressions, and the pictures from her special day.

We first met Yvette through our Bible ESL class. She attends Seaside Chapel, and wanted to learn more English. As we’ve mentioned before, Okinawa tends to have a last-minute culture. The wedding was planned to start at 4pm. The bride arrived at 2:30pm in street clothes, with her hair not done! After quite a bit of relaxed chatting, she left for her preparation room.

Her husband (Yosef) is not a Christian, though he sometimes does come out with her to church. He arrived at around the same time as Yvette. The couple were slated to sing a song together at the reception. So, Yosef sat around jamming on his guitar with some of his friends until 3:55pm! Finally someone shooed him away to get changed.

This is called the “Virgin Road”. No one (except the flower girl and ring bearer) is allowed to walk down the aisle before the bride.

It is acceptable, and common, for children to wear their school uniforms to the festivities.

Peter played his violin during the processional and recessional. (The ceremony started “early” at 4:30…)

At the end, when the pastor says, “You may now kiss the bride”, the groom gives the bride a peck on the cheek. Kissing in public, in any form, is considered extremely uncouth. However, a small peck (accompanied by many titters) is allowable during a wedding ceremony.

After the ceremony, everyone was kicked out of the church sanctuary, and it was transformed into this: the reception venue!

So far, we’ve noticed that the Japanese weddings Peter or I have attended tend to include Disney themes. At Yvette’s wedding, I heard the DJ play songs from Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Aladdin.

This was not a traditional Okinawan wedding. Usually, the bride also changes into a Japanese kimono, but in this case Yvette was happy with a Disney-style pink dress.

Peter and I helped to provide music for the reception. We played and sang two Beatles songs! (“All You Need Is Love” and “In My Life”) We didn’t get a picture of ourselves singing at the actual reception (Peter makes excuses about having his hands full with his violin…) but here is a picture of our practice.

And I’ll close with a picture of us with the bride and groom.