Tuesday, June 13, 2006

the wedding on the bridge

I am back from my weekend away at the hotsprings resort town of Nasu Shiobara, about an hour north of Tokyo by bullet train. This was the fourth year I participated in the "Flower wedding" that my friend's event company puts on. It is sponsored by the tourism bureau of the town and it consists of five (!) couples walking across the longest suspension bridge in Japan (billed as the "longest virgin road" in Japan... trust me, there were no virgins anywhere near the bridge on Sunday, let alone on it) and then get married.

My job was to go up on Saturday night, soak in the hotsprings (onsen), drink a ton of beer and watch Pay Per View. Oh no, that was the perk. My job started on Sunday were I donned a tuxedo and led the couples from the hotel to the bridge. Then I lead them across the bridge. Then I went home.

Yeah, it's a bit anticlimactic- like it is every year. The difference was that this year we had the good fortune to be doing this outdoor event in the middle of a downpour. With no umbrellas. Everyone got soaked. Think cold, shivering ringboys (one of whom dropped a ring into the mud) and wet, crying flower girls trying to scatter soggy flower petals that just stick to their tiny, numb fingers.

After the wedding, their was a reception in a tent in the flower garden where the bride's dresses got so muddy that after a few glasses of champagne they just didn't care anymore and started to run around in the sludge chasing little ring boys and flower girls.

I made the mistake of giving my card to the MC when she asked for it; she keeps texting me with messages that have little hearts in them. I guess love was in the air.

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