Aoki/Takahashi Wedding Reception
On October 9, 2004, I attended the wedding reception for the daughter of my friends, Etsuo and Eiko Takahashi.
The Bride Takahashi Family
Here at the reception are my friends, the Takahashi's, with their younger son, Sei (in back), their older son, Dai (in front), Dai's wife, and his 6-year-old son.  (His 3-month-old twins, born in June, attended only part of the reception.)  After living in the Boston area for 3 years, the Takahashi's moved back to Otaru in Hokkaido shorly before I came back to Sapporo.  We have gotten together frequently, especially to go to onsens or hot spring baths.
The bride, Yuu, is an English teacher.  I first met her when her father was the principal of the Japanese school in the Boston area.  She graduated from Belmont High School, which happens to be the same high school attended by Princess Masako about 10 years before.
Reception Desk
Most Japanese wedding receptions are held at hotels.  (The wedding ceremony, which generally used to be Shinto but is often Christian these days, is attended only by friends and relatives.)  The guests sign in at the reception desk where they pay the fee (in this case 13,000 yen or around $120.00) and receive the program and a ticket with the name of their assigned table (see my table in the photo below).
Guests at CA's Table
I was seated at a table with Yuu's  university and junior high school friends.
Entrance of the Bride and Groom
In the traditional Japanese wedding reception, after all the guests are seated, the bride and groom make a grand entrance with a spotlight on them and their favorite music playing.  (In this case, they had chosen "Beauty and the Beast," perhaps reflecting Yuu's humor.)  They parade around the room so all the guests have a chance to gaze at the newlyweds.  Yuu confessed to me that she was very nervous, but she didn't appear that way at all.

See more photos from the wedding reception.