tomo and mariko get married!


On April the first — that would be April Fool’s Day (very appropriate, Tomo) — my friend Tomo and his fiancée, Mariko, got married at the Hotel Okura in Tokyo. Tomo is a longtime friend — in fact, we’ve been friends since high school when he arrived in his junior year as a foreign exchange student. He managed to parlay his year in Petaluma into a six-year stay in the States, eventually graduating from NYU before heading back to Japan. Tomo works for the company that distributes Guinness in Japan, and he used to work for Coors Japan, which is where his wife Mariko currently works. In short, it was a beer wedding. Of course, there was champagne and wine during the reception, but for the afterparty it was all Coors and Zima. I ended up sitting at the Coors Japan table (except for one representative from Guinness) and they turned out to be a really fun group to hang out with. My favorite touch of the evening was the two enormous Coors vending machines on the main floor of Club Xanadu, where the afterparty was held.

The glorious entry of the bride!

The triumphant return of the wedding couple after taking their vows at the altar! Of course, this was a Western-style wedding, with Christian songs in Japanese and everything, but I’m pretty sure that there wasn’t a Christian in the house. Everyone knew the hymns though.

After the wedding there’s always that gap before the reception begins. That’s when I met this kid. He was wearing a cool suit with skull buttons. I think he had a pretty good idea of how cool he was.

I finally got a chance to meet Tomo’s dad. They look alike.

Unlike a wedding in the States where there’s a main table for the wedding party, here the main table was reserved entirely for Tomo and Mariko. As Tomo put it, “It’s all about being on display.” In this scene, Tomo and Mariko are listening intently to a touching and moving wedding toast.

Though there was cutting of the wedding cake, there was no feeding of the wedding cake. Why not?

After cutting the cake, Tomo and Mariko disappeared for a good half-hour or so, before reappearing in the splendid glory of traditional wear.

This is my favorite photo from the wedding.

After the wedding we went to Club Xanadu where Tomo emceed a wicked round of Bingo in which, in fact, an iPod Nano was given away. As usual at these sorts of things, I didn’t win a thing. Of course, I should count myself lucky — I could have ended up walking away with the case of Keystone lager.

Mariko, all aglow in post-wedding bliss.


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