Tuesday, October 7, 2008
The most beautiful in the world
Sekai de ichiban kirei
In Japan, the reception is the main event of the wedding. For Shinto weddings, traditionally, no one outside family is allowed in the shrine during the wedding ceremony, and even for Christian weddings, it's common for many guests to skip the wedding and just show up for the reception. Receptions are usually carefully planned, starting with the couple making an entrance into the banquet hall. Then the guests of honor (usually a workplace boss or former teacher) make speeches and propose toasts, and the multi-course meal begins. While the meal is served, there may or may not be one or more of the following, with a costume change (oironaoshi) or two somewhere in between.
1. Kagami biraki, which is breaking open of a barrel of sake (rice wine)
2. Speeches by friends of the bride and groom
3. Cutting of the wedding cake (no face smashing, thank you)
4. Performances by friends of the bride and groom (usually a song and/or dance of highly variable degrees of skill)
5. Letter from the bride to her family read out loud (usually a very emotional, teary event)
6. Speech by the groom thanking the guests for coming
7. Speech by the groom's father thanking the guests for coming
(btw, the Pumpkin Mommy and Daddy's wedding had 2, 3, 4 and 6.)
There is usually no dancing unless it happens during 4.
Of course, no one actually cares about anything except the food and alcohol and checking out what the half of the couple they don't know looks like.
Today's phrase was spoken by the groom in reference to his bride. It is rare for a Japanese man to say something like that about his wife in public, and I thought it was sweet.