What was it that made Dew's wedding so special?
Certainly the location helped. It was like Japanese Switzerland set on a hillside leading down to a forrest with snow-dotted mountain peaks in the distance. The weather was warm but breezy and brilliantly sunny, but no one can help the weather, apart from picking the best time of the year for a given location.
So the lesson here is: for an outdoor wedding, someplace beautiful, and time the weather for warm (but not too warm).
I liked the amount of structure to the event- there was a time to greet the wedding couple, there was a time for the wedding ceremony itself. Those were really the two "mandatory" events. Additionally, there was a time where Dew and Yoshimi cut the cake, er, roast beef, a time where they were toasted by their families, and a time where Yoshimi came out in her second wedding dress (not the Kimono) and they had a little procession a few times with the families and with Dew's coworkers, but these were really "just pay attention if you are interested" kind of moments. The ending of the event was actually around midnight, when they told the remaining people that we had to go to our little guesthouses. It was all remarkably casual structure, especially for Japanese.
After this wedding, I am convinved that a sit down dinner is not what I want to do. I don't need big round tables where you are basically stuck for service and rounds of speeches and watching people dance. A buffet and a variety of seating options worked really well.
Speaking of food and drinks. I love love love the fact that this wedding and the Tojo's wedding had an open bar. Limited selection, sometimes limited supply, but free. I really want people to not have to pull out their wallets and pay as they go for a drink. This is not a high school reunion.
The food was spectular. Not fancy- grilled vegetables and local cheeses set out early as appetisers, and then a big slab of meat and grilled sausages and meats later on for a heartier fare. The only problem was that at least as far as the roast beef was concerned, there was only enough for everyone to have a taste and then regret not having more.
I missed the dancing at this wedding. At all of the weddings I have been to, dancing and music have been a key part of the wedding festivities. People drink and dance or simply enjoy watching the dancers. I like the idea of having a dance floor area, but then it requires lots of people to dance, musicians and/or a DJ and a soundsystem etc. Can be tricky for an outdoor wedding unless you rig something up. I love live music more, I would be content to have good live music over a dance floor and a DJ.
Other things I liked about the wedding- tons of candles and lanterns. The pavillion they made was draped with tul, which caught the strung lights and the entire thing glowed in the darkness like a giant lantern.
Saori loved all the flower arrangments everywhere. We need to have lots of flowers at our wedding.
They also had lots of photos on sticks. It was a small detail, but you would come across a quiet moment and stumble across a cute photo of the couple.
I also liked the age range. There was Dew's grandmother whom everyone ported around in a plastic lawn chair, and Mark D's kid who ran around. It feels more right to have have older as well as much younger people there, that the wedding is a moment in a continuum, part of a bigger spectrum of life.
I liked not having to worry about driving afterwards.