Anthony a “Ring Boy” at Fumie’s Friend’s Wedding

Anthony preparing to be the “Ring Boy”

They say that the quality of the photographer is much more important than the quality of the camera, and while I'm sure that's true, I felt very limited by the quality of the camera I had with me at Fumie's friend's wedding on Saturday. (Fumie's friend, Machiko or Ma-chan for short, is featured in my previous post.)

Because the wedding was for Fumie's friend, and she'd have various tasks throughout the day, I was on Anthony duty, so I left my semi-pro SLR at home. Still, I couldn't resist bringing something, so I pocketed a small Canon point-n-shoot. It can take some nice photos if there's enough light, but there's nothing about a wedding or reception that has enough light, so all the pictures came out horrible. The few I'm showing in this post have undergone heavy post processing, including treatment with Noise Ninja.

Bride being given away by her father

The wedding was between Fumie's friend Machiko and her fianceé Masaya, and was held at the Hotel Okura in Kobe, Japan. It consisted of a 10-minute ceremony in the hotel chapel (bride given away by her father, exchange of rings, signing some documents) followed by a reception elsewhere in the hotel.

Despite some initial apprehension, Anthony performed his ring-boy duties perfectly. Perhaps he remembered from having done in four months ago at his uncle's wedding.

The budding photographer in me can't help but to criticize the hotel on the lighting in their chapel. They do a brisk business in weddings (there were 11 other weddings on Saturday) so they should know that a mix of fluorescent and incandescent lighting makes for very difficult color balance.

After the wedding was the reception, which is not a place you want to bring a four-year-old because it's deathly boring for them. Boring means fussy. But Fumie planned well and brought the toys that would keep Anthony occupied, and so he was wonderful the whole day.

Anthony at the reception

High-school friends of the bride: Fumie, Uma-chan, and Kei-chan
Kei-chan was with Fumie on the night Fumie and I met. She got married herself earlier this year.

They had a very nice little slide show showing the couple as kids, growing up, and then as a dating pair. It included the following picture of the bride and the three ladies shown in the picture above, at age 16.

Ma-chan (bride), Uma-chan, Kei-chan, Fumie
16 years old

It was a very long day for Anthony, but even late, he was filled with energy. This is how he killed some time after the reception, as Fumie chats with the mother of the bride, and Uma-chan, Kei-chan, and Kei-chan's husband look on...

A few more pictures of the happy couple..

That last picture (lower-right) is of an event common at Japanese wedding receptions: the couple light a candle on each table. The house lights were dim and the couple was awash in a brilliant spotlight as they moved from table to table. (The bright light accounts for that picture having the best quality of any of them.) It was dramatic; Anthony joined everyone in clapping.

The high-school friends ended up being the last ones remaining after everyone else had gone home, so we got a bonus group shot. I handed my tiny Canon point-n-shoot camera to the pro cameraman (who had at least $13,000 worth of Canon professional equipment around his own neck) and he took this shot for me:

Me, Anthony, Fumie, Masaya, Ma-chan, Uma-chan, Kei-chan, Kei-Chan's Husband

The groom was still quite nervous when that picture was taken, but eventually relaxed a bit. We all went up to a rooftop garden and got a wonderful view of the port of Kobe. It was all quite nice.

One other comment about that last picture: I'm not wearing shoes. We'd driven down from Kyoto with our nice clothes in the trunk, but it turns out that I'd forgotten my shoes. Oops. There's no way I'd ever find my size (Japanese size 32, for the record), so I had to wing it. There was a department store nearby, so I ran over and bought a pair of black household slippers. That's what you see there.

At least it's not as bad as when I went to India for my best friend's wedding. I'd talked to his father before going to ask about what to wear, and he told me quite strongly that it would be brutally hot, and that I should wear shorts. So I did. And I ended up being horribly underdressed. I should have asked his mom, not his dad.

All 3 comments so far, oldest first...

Good job on the pictures under the circumstances. Anthony looks adorable and the bride looked radient. What more could you want from a wedding? 🙂

Now, what’s with the golden looking sword? Is it a katana?

— comment by Simon P. Chappell on November 13th, 2006 at 11:09pm JST (17 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

I agree with Simon. Very nice indeed; ditto on adorable Anthony. Actually, I found both you and Fumie adorable also,despite the slippers. Frankly, they looked fine and I doubt anyone noticed unless you mentioned it.
But did the bride have two different gowns on? Both were lovely.

— comment by Grandma Friedl on November 14th, 2006 at 12:47am JST (17 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

The golden-looking thing is more or less a lighter. A small flame comes out the top and with it they light the candle. Like when they cut the cake for the first time (with a knife, not the lighter), they hold it together.

Halfway through the reception, the bride and groom step out for a change of clothes. Perhpas it represents that they are no longer “getting married”, but now “are married” starting a new life afresh.

— comment by Jeffrey Friedl on November 14th, 2006 at 10:28am JST (17 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink
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