Saturday, April 24, 2010

Wedding Bells are Ringing in Adelaide. An International Marriage

March 2004 - Fast-forward to our Big Day which has arrived at last. T-chan's family and best friend had come to sunny Adelaide, to Carrick Hill, which is one of the old colonial estates in Adelaide that stands overlooking the city. We had planned for a fairly simple and small garden wedding - but even then it was a major effort to organise! We would have the first half as a traditional Western Wedding - with vows in both English and Japanese - and then we would have a Japanese ceremony at the end.

The day was a beautifully bright day in March (which can be a changeable month in Adelaide). As the harpist started playing the Ave Maria, I watched as T-chan and her father approached down the pear arbour. My heart melted...

The Wedding Ceremony itself went so fast - and we both managed to get through our vows alright. Whew!

The exchange of rings...I do, I do I DO!

Finally... now for the fun stuff...

A few moments to take some photos... 

Our Sakura+Ema Wedding Wishes Trees...

After a short break for people to eat and relax, T-chan and I changed into our kimono. Not a trivial matter - especially for T-chan. Actually, strictly speaking it's a bit strange for T-chan to wear this kimono at her wedding ceremony - but it was going to be last chance for her to wear this kimono (as it's not appropriate for her to wear now that she's married... what a shame).

We then undertook the san-san-kudo Shinto ceremony (meaning 3-3-9 times), which is an elaborate tradition where the groom and bride take three "sips" each from three lacquered cups containing sake. Actually, you only drink the last time. Three is a sacred number, and here each cup represents heaven, earth and humankind. T-chan's mother and aunt conducted the ceremony.

We were now officially an International Marriage... is that different from any other sort of marriage? Well, yes and no. And perhaps I'll explain as I go in later posts.

After the wedding ceremony, T-chan and I returned home, stopping off in Himeji Gardens on Adelaide's South Terrace which is a very nice (though compact) Japanese garden. 

Today was very much a bonding between Western and Japanese Wedding ceremonies... as well as the bonding between lovers. Husband and wife....otto to tsuma.

For love. Forever.

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