We got married in Japan last year. It was a linguistic and bureaucratic epic to achieve. The transaction was performed in a government building reminiscent of any UK council dole office. We were queue place 124 and were dealt with before the old lady with hearing difficulties and after the mother with two children. So not a must do place for getting married.
Our personal ceremony the following day was much more the thing. Trekking to the top of Mt Misen on Miyajima just offshore from Hiroshima. Lighting candles with vows written on them from a 1200 year old flame in a Shinto shrine. Then placing those candles on the altar before going to a peaceful outcrop near the shrine that looked out over the Sea of Japan to say our private words.
So when our 1st anniversary came around in Xcalak we celebrated with love messages written in origami creations or on washed ashore booty such as driftwood, shells and bits of bamboo. Then, 5 days later, we renewed our vows on the beach.
What a great day! We had prepared some words about our feelings for one another. This in itself was a joy to do because for a couple of hours we both spent time just thinking about all the good things we have in our relationship and how the other person made us feel.
Our new friends Peter and Alexis were our rice throwers and photographers and lent us their garden and beach for the event. Polly, who is ordained, ran proceedings and did a bit of a ceremony with kind words and a sand ritual. Rachel looked absolutely stunning and held wild orchids that grow along the beach and I thanked my lucky stars for what had gone and what was still to come.
The sun shone, the trade winds blew and the sea twinkled behind us as we stood and spoke our vows. Words from our hearts spoken aloud. Our proclamations of love. We laughed, joked, bit back our tears and reveled in every minute.
Reception was in a nearby restaurant where we all had fish and chips and wine. So posh! And then after returning home with our wedding gifts – a tin of baked beans, three teabags and two dope laden brownies (which we ate straightaway) I started smiling and giggling whilst Rachel had a little lie down (for 11 hours). Ahh the joys of wedding nights??!!!
Here’s a little video of the ceremony. It ain’t much but it meant the world to both of us and we are looking forward to next year to do it all over again.