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Published: September 10th 2016
After Kev, Ross and I glammed up, Sappy and Takuya's wedding day started for us when 'Sappy's Wedding Ceremony' coach arrived outside our hotel. We were the only three passengers in the coach and by 8.45am were on our way to Bayside Geihinkan where it was all to take place.
We were greeted by Sappy's mum Masako and, along with other guests, looked after by the many very attentive staff. There was a beautifully set up entrance space where guest books were signed which was soon filled by the eighty guests. This including three bridesmaids who, it turned out, weren't actually part of the wedding ceremony itself.
The entrance hall lead to stairs at the top of which was the chapel, the central aisle strewn with pink rose petals. With the ceremony due to start at 10am Takuya was the first to arrive followed by a stunningly beautiful Sappy on the arm of her father. Once Sappy and Takuya stood in front of the Minister, huge curtains opened to reveal a view over the bay. Quite a short Christian ceremony followed accompanied by a pianist and a singer. Once the Minister said the words "You may kiss the bride"
lots of pink heart shaped balloons were seen outside the window floating away.
The reception took place in a large room to the right side of the entrance hall and, like the chapel, there were huge closed curtains taking up all one side of the room. These remained closed until the bride and groom arrived, revealing a swimming pool and a deck overlooking a picturesque bay. Toasts and speeches followed then we were treated to a delicious five course meal. Inbetween all of that numerous people took umpteen photographs, that's on top of all the official photographers and those videoing the procedures. I've never been to a wedding where so many photos were taken.
Later in the proceedings I was thrilled that Sappy asked me to accompany her, along with her mother, as we walked around the room past all the tables. Masako and I were either side of Sappy and, considering that I was only her "mother" for the month she spent with us in Sydney, I thought it was a great honour to be asked to do so. Thanks Sappy, your gesture was greatly appreciated.
On a couple of occasions during the reception we were
shown films of Sappy and Takuya as they were growing up and events during their courtship. Half way through the proceedings Sappy and Takuya left the reception, coming back in traditional Japanese costume, moving around from table to table to have photos taken with us all. Kev, Ross and I were on a table with three girls and a guy who, together with Sappy, had visited New Zealand as part of a peace delegation from the University of Hiroshima. Luckily for us, those at our table could all speak English! And it turned out that one of the bridesmaids was a friend of Sappy's who we'd met when we visited Kantai Bridge in 2008.
We met Sappy's brother Yuskae again and both her father, grandmother and aunties for the first time which was a great pleasure. It was such a beautiful wedding and we we so pleased to be asked to help to celebrate what was a truly memorable occasion.
Just before it was time to depart we watched a short video of clips from the ceremony we'd just attended. I'd have to give ten out of ten for all the preparation and planning which helped to make
Sappy and Takuya's wedding a day to remember. Everyone left with a bag of presents which is a little bit different from the wedding custom we're used to.
Once it was all over the bus took us back to our hotel although this time we weren't the only ones on it. After a short break it was then time for Ross to don his motorbike gear and ride off into the sunset bound for Tokyo.
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