Sunday, June 26, 2005

My first time to attend a wedding banquet... in Japan!

Okay, so as I wrote in my previous entry, I attended a wedding banquet last night... But the whole thing is more like a gathering for the city hall employees.. because about 50% of the guests were city hall workers and their spouses/families. It's absolutely madness.

So I went to the Satsuki-en Hotel with Yamanaka-san and we actually found parking quite quickly. Then went in to find a massive number of people in the hotel lobby. We lined up to give our "present" (which is money--usually 20 thousand yen) in the special envelope that has design for wedding (they have all different kinds of design for different occasions).

After we handed reception people the envelope, they gave us a card for us to write down our name, address and a message to the newly weds (like congrats, etc). Then they handed us a booklet (like a program...for opera?) with today's schedule and our seating charts.

Then we lined up to greet the bride and groom and give them our congratulations before we get in the banquet room.

Because of the number of people (probably 300 people there yesterday), the seating chart was quite massive and we really couldn't find our seats. But then I realized that since I'm probably the only one with name in Katakana, so I found mine quite quickly. hee hee~

After about 20 min or so, the ceremony started... with many many MANY speeches! The first batter was our kacho (division director).

Now, remember we're the groom's side (Shinmiya Hisahiko san)... Our kacho, being as he is, had to say the name wrong... the kanji reading of Shinmiya-san's first name can also be read Naohiko, but it's Hisahiko...(probably after his mom who is Hisako). So Kacho kept saying Naohiko, Naohiko... then changed back to Hisahiko, the correct way, and in the end said Naohiko again. Really, just outrageous...

Then the really traditional Japanese singing from Shinmiya san's aunt, and then some chinese poem reading from the two nephews of the bride. Apparently, this was the probably the most traditional Japanese wedding you could ever get. With all the singing and dancing and pretty much everybody was wearing Japanese kimono (at least all the close relatives).

hmmm and some taiko drumming, some silly dancing... oh yeah and our "Oyome Samba" turned out quite good! We forgot that Fujita san (the vice director) was supposed to sing the song and we never actually listened until the wedding. We practiced while the bride and groom cut the cake... :p Finally we got on the stage, wearing our Kanoya Rose City happi (shirt you wear for festivals in Japan) and danced like a bunch of silly people. It was quite obvious that we didn't practice at all. However, the whole show was quite entertaining, even if it's just for ourselves.

Then we got back to our table to finish our meal which was already cold and not that good anymore. (Today I just realized that I missed quite a few because I didn't even know there were more food like chawanmushi... >_<)

After that more shows... serious, I never thought the guests are required to do performances to entertain... geez, why can't you just go and enjoy an overpriced meal and get it over with, but you actually have to provide entertainment...

Then the bride and groom had to go around and the light the candles (called "Candle Service") at each table and thank everybody for coming. I took some pretty interesting pictures, and I'll put them up in the photo albums.

Finally the bride and groom gave flower bouquets to their parents to thank them.

In the end, all the guests lined up again (just like when we came in) to head out, and thank the bride and groom for inviting us. Then they gave us a small spoon that has a pretty green leaf on it. I suppose it's some sort of souvenir...

Then we headed to the Nijikai (second party), which pretty much not many people attended... (I'll let you know, it was only about 8pm at the time...) So we went to Hemmings in downtown for some more drinks. I was just curious what it's like, you know a nijikai for a wedding.

The bride just never showed up and Shinmiya-san showed up like an hour late. By the time he came most of the people were already having fun without the groom.

I ended up talking with this guy who works next in our office but we never actually talked. hee hee, I never realized there were many interesting people in the city hall.

After that I went to karaoke down the street with Minoda-san and Higo-san. Then we sang "Oyome Samba" there. with Minoda-san vocal and Higo-san dance... hee hee~ It's one of the best video I've ever taken:)

Anyhoo... that's the brief version of my first time to attend a Japanese wedding banquet. It was certainly nice to dress up in nice pretty dress and my cute stilettoes. (Although I felt like a snack bar hostess a bit, in a pink dress with a shiny pink shawl... actually Torigoe-san even jokingly asked how much it is to "request" (shimei) my presence at his table... geez, that could be considered sexual harrassment!)

Anyways, next April I'll go to Yuki's again~ yay~

1 comment:

medea said...

Sounds interesting, and makes me glad we had our wedding reception in Vancouver rather than Kagoshima!