Thursday, July 17, 2008
A HAWAIIAN WEDDING
The main reason I went to Hawaii last week was to attend the wedding of my good friend Ron. An interesting thing was that I knew I wouldn't meet Ron's wife, Miho, until probably after the ceremony was over. Even though Ron, Miho, and I both live in Vancouver, I never met her in the three years they've been dating.
When I initially got word that the wedding was going to be in Hawaii, I immediately had thoughts of a beach-side wedding with a reception that would have guests gazing a brilliant ocean sunset as we dined on super fancy cheeseburgers. As it turned out, Miho wanted to get married in a church, miles away from any beach. The reception was to be held in a restaurant, though fancy, it was not next to the beach but certainly close to it. It puzzled me for a second but then I realized that some women dream about their weddings for many years and if they want to get married at a Star Wars convention in Arkansas, then that's what they should get.
I arrived in Honolulu on a Thursday night. The wedding ceremony was at noon on Saturday. The reception would be at 8pm the same night, followed by a buffet lunch at 12:30pm on Sunday. Thursday night was pretty chill as we had flown for about six hours. Friday was eventful, especially Friday night but that'll have to wait for another post.
On Saturday morning, I took a cab from my hotel to the church. I arrived early at 11:30am. I walked around the grounds a bit. It was a nice church on a somewhat big piece of land, with decent groundskeeping. John, the best man and my travel partner on this trip popped out of one of the side rooms and invited me in. Inside I saw Ron in his sparkling white tux. I think both of us shared some nervous chit-chat. Also there was the minister, who would be conducting the ceremony. Neither the bride and groom are remotely religious, so I found this part of the wedding a little odd. Again, it wasn't my wedding, so who was I to question it. Ron, John, the minister, and myself chatted for a few more minutes before it was time for me to find a seat outside. I wished Ron good luck and left the waiting room.
Inside the church I took a seat on the groom's side. There I met Ron's family for the first time. There were his parents Anna-Belle and Hank who graciously thanked me for coming all this way. Actually, those aren't their names but it'd be cool if you played along. I also met his sisters, one of which brought her husband along. I quickly learned his siblings were merciless when it came to poking fun at Ron, even his parents were like that and this was minutes before the ceremony.
Across the aisle were Miho's parents, Johan and Natasha. As you might guess, those aren't their real names but let's continue. There was also Miho's brother, his wife, and their two well-behaved daughters. Miho's cousin and some of her friends were there too.
As the church organist wound down her spiffy version of "Louie Louie", the minister took to the front and addressed the dearly beloved who had gathered here today. He told us how it was gonna all go down, when to sit, when to stand, and when to take pictures. He did so in English and then again in Japanese, which surprised me because he was a white dude. I would later find out that according to some of Japanese people, his Japanese wasn't so great. Shhhh... don't tell him that.
Then John and Ron emerged from their waiting room to take their place at the front. Also waiting at the front was Miho's maid of honour. Then the familar wedding march started. I looked back to see a flower girl. Behind her was Miho, looking lovely in her wedding dress, flanked by her father. As they made their way down the aisle I thought, "How is it that this is the first time I'm seeing Ron's soon-to-be wife?" The thought passed as I could see Miho weeping slightly.
When Miho joined Ron at the front, it became a pretty much standard ceremony at that point. The vows were not weird like you hear at some weddings. Though afterwards I did find out that the minister snuck in several religious references during the ceremony, even though Ron and Miho had specifically asked him not to do that.
The end of the ceremony was signalled by a kiss between the two newlyweds which was also the first time I've ever seen Ron kiss a girl. Deep within my mind I heard, "Ewww! Cooties!" Brushing aside the thought, I saw the lovely couple turn to us with a big smile.
After this, it was pictures galore. The wedding photographer that Ron and Miho hired seemed like a super cool guy. He was Japanese, a bit older and he had a pretty cool ponytail (as far as ponytails go). He appeared to be very good at his job and quite personable. I'm betting he has no trouble convincing young women to let him take naked photos of them.
By this time, the blazing heat of the beautiful day was taking a toll on everyone. Even though I looked completely awesome in my suit and newly purchased shirt and tie, it was quite uncomfortable to be in so much clothing. After a million pictures were taken, Ron and Miho took off in a limo took to get more pics take on the north shore. John then graciously called cabs to ferry everyone back to their hotels. Of course, our cab, the one that would take John and I back to our hotel, came 10 to 15 minutes after the last one left. By that time, I'd loosened my tie and unbuttoned a few buttons of my shirt which really made a difference.
The reception was fabulous but that'll have to wait for another post as it's getting late and I kinda want to watch another episode of Beauty and the Geek I downloaded.
I'd like to publicly thank Ron and Miho for inviting me to be a part of their wedding ceremony. I shall enjoy every single time that I tell your kids about it.
posted by Erwin |