Today’s wedding day! So excited for my Japanese sister and new brother-in-law on their wedding day. Since the day was going to be filled with the wedding, we decided we really didn’t want to do much in the morning so we weren’t tuckered out before we went. So, I let my husband sleep in and low behold I actually was able to sleep in until around 8AM. Total Shock!

For breakfast we found a restaurant that was close to our hotel, about ten minutes by car. Supposedly it’s a local café that sells freshly baked donuts right there on the premises. We couldn’t find anything else that was open offering vegan options exclusively but we tend to go towards donuts when we can’t find anything else. The New York Times had an article in it a few months back that mentioned most donuts are actually vegan today since it’s cheaper and tastier than non-vegan. Only problem is the restaurants do not list it since they fear people will not purchase it. Our favorites were coconut and guava filled – yum! We also purchased coffee from them too which ended up being a local roasting company called Hawaii Lion Coffee – my absolute favorite. I actually purchased a few for the house too since I know I will miss it. We took it all back to our hotel and sat on our balcony and enjoyed the ocean sounds and cool breeze.

My Japanese sister, Eri, called our room and asked for me to see her before she left in the limo for the wedding site. Her makeup/hair designer had been there for about two hours already and had just completed when I arrived. At this time the two professional photographers were already at it. It’s interesting that in Hawaii, since so many Japanese get married there, that all the photographers and wedding specialists are Japanese. Thankfully I speak Japanese so I got along with them without too much of an issue. My father used to do weddings, so it was fun to watch another professional at work.

Finally the happy couple left with many goodbyes (boy I forgot the goodbye fanfares Japanese people love) and my hubby and I were back up to our room to get dressed. Another Japanese tour bus came to pick us up and took us to the private property that the wedding was located. All the work staff was Japanese, ironically excluding the Episcopalian pastor. We were thrilled the wedding was going to be Episcopalian, since that’s our denomination. Hubby and I were the only Christians so it was meaningful to us to have the right denomination for us. Such a nice touch…

The wedding started out with some photos (nope it’s not a stereotype, they do love their photo opts). We were drug around following the couple to take photos after the photographers were finished with theirs. Then we were all ushered into a small building to watch a movie describing the entire process and then what “American” weddings were like – of course, all in Japanese. My poor hubby… There was a Hawaiian prayer outside the chapel and then an “American” wedding inside the chapel. Then there were tons of photos to be taken outside the chapel near the ocean. We could actually see the China Man’s Hat Island from the chapel. It was just a gorgeous location and definitely the best for photos. Personally I wouldn’t want to pay the money for the ceremony since it was missing the “feeling” of a wedding but it was a nice one for non-Christians.

On the ceremony grounds is a private covered shelter area for dinner and dancing. Again there were more photo opts for a fast cutting of the wedding cake and fast speech. It was almost as if the ceremony proceeded through a checklist and everything was rushed and there was no sentimental meaning behind the rituals. But again, to us it means more religiously so I guess we are used to that… An additional Hawaiian thing was a quick lesson on how to hula dance for all patrons – fun, fun, fun. Dinner was a little bit difficult and I have to admit, I filled up on champagne and wine instead of food. Each person received a prepared plate of lobster tail, steak and vegetables (which I’m pretty sure was in butter). But the alcoholic drinks were plentiful so I was a happy lady. Once dinner was over we had a quick Skype conversation to my parents who weren’t able to fly to the islands. Then off in the bus once again to the hotel.

Once we got to the hotel we were invited to go shopping to a local shopping mall. I think it was called Moana Shopping Mall or something like that… can’t really remember the name even though I drove there. Shopping really isn’t my thing so the hubby and I just sat around talking about our adventures, looked at photos on our cell phones, and drank this weird avocado bubble tea at a kiosk called Coconut Joe’s. Hubby enjoyed it but I didn’t care for a powder mix for a drink.

*Sorry I didn’t take post many photos from today out of respect for my Japanese family and their privacy.