So I was married in August of 2012. It is a short tale of very speedy romance and a hastily prepared wedding, but boy–was it a wedding. Also, I knew I would marry this man because he also adored my favorite anime, and NO ONE in Japan has. Also, I did not scare him and we are the same height (quite an achievement).
We were engaged Christmas Day 2011 and then the preparations began. We would have a wedding party in Japan, but the first ceremony was to be in the USA (I hadn’t seen my friends in five years at this point and very much wanted the wedding I had imagined roughly twice in my life, as–until meeting husband– I was vehemently anti-marriage. But, those two times I let myself think of the concept, I knew I wanted it weird and unapologetically me.
And that is what I did.
First the theme: Wonderland of course! I mean, Alice in Wonderland mirrored a lot of my life oddly well, and I had so loved it as a child (and still do, owning at least three copies). But, ugh, wedding clothes are soooo not where I needed them to be. So, being the once-great-cosplayer and Halloween-costumer I had been I set out to design the dress and suit we would wear, all with husband’s blessings.
The final image. Taking heavy inspiration from the movie adaptation of The Little White Horse (Princess of Moonacre). I even designed the checked fabric myself and ordered it from Spoonflower, this was the most expensive part of the wear actually. I was ecstatic my years of fashion design obsession actually let me make a repeating pattern. So much fun~ I still have yards of this left over for tiny projects.
I had designs, and the checked fabric, and for the rest I used three Japanese kimono. That’s right! I butchered three very expensive silk kimono. A real wedding kimono gifted to me years earlier by my high school Japanese teacher before I left for Japan (its price made cutting it apart very difficult); it was embroidered with cranes and gorgeous silk scenery, just utterly breathtaking. This first kimono I purchased in university, which was an early Showa period piece (me, being a late Showa period child) of teal and fun drums and paper balls. And a pink and silver cherry blossom and crane kimono my younger brother purchased for me as an engagement present. Snip, snip! It is, by the way, a torturous process to take apart kimono. There are so many seams and layers and it’s a mess. But I had the bulk of my fabrics! I also tweaked the design and did disembowel a plum colored gold embroidered obi which became my neck piece and his cravat.
Husband bought me an absolutely gorgeous sewing machine, the 50th anniversary Singer sewing machine.
Just look at that beautiful piece of machinery~ Oh, baby~ I named him Cinna (any Hunger Games fans out there?).
My work began! I had six months to create:
the layered bustle skirt, corsette-style over top, petticoat, shoes, two crowns, cravat, pants (I had never made pants…), jacket, and vest. It was a grueling six months, all the while corset training my body which a steel lined corset I’d be wearing under the top. (An aside, I have actually made one corset in my life and I vowed never to do it again. I stand by my decision to make a top that merely zippered up OVER the corset. Corsets are best left to corset professionals as they are finicky and awful.)
And then the wedding, which everyone attending was invited to dress up however they please. Our officiator, my dear, dear friend (whom I call my brother, it’s amazing what bonds we can form without ever actually meeting a person… nine years I had known this person and in my mind he was family, and yet the first time we met in real life he was coming to officiate my wedding) from online gaming got certified online and came from Boston to teeny-tiny Sautee, Georgia dressed as a samurai. My bridemaids were all gifted with a flower hair clip while the groomsmen were all gifted card boutineers; my younger brother also wore white rabbit ears (although begrudgingly).
The results were perfect.
But I may be biased. We had a hand-fasting, our own vows (in Japanese and English), and my high school Japanese teacher was our speaker; followed by dancing on a wooden deck and cake and finger sandwiches inside a playing cards dangling from the ceiling, Pocky in the table vases, chessboards everywhere decorated interior. And I am still damn proud of the wedding clothes I was able to make. (Other guests not pictured in clear detail because permissions…ugh.)
Also, best boob day of my life! Damn girls, work!
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