We didn’t quite know what to expect when Christy and Yohei told us they’d be having karaoke at their wedding reception but, judging by their colorful rainy-day engagement session earlier this year, we had a feeling it would be a blast. And they totally delivered!
On their special day, Christy slipped into a gorgeous mermaid-style gown at Le Meridien, in a room that boasted sweeping views of San Francisco and the bay. Meanwhile, Yohei got ready in their SF home, where he, his brother, and friend watched ridiculous music videos for karaoke inspiration. In a spiffy, off-white striped suit, Yohei made his way to The Vista, a sleek event space on Treasure Island.
Amid flocks of pelicans, seagulls, and tourists, Christy and Yohei saw each other for the first time that day on the blustery waterfront. Huge gusts of wind whipped around them and we feared they’d whisk Christy and her long veil into the bay. Happily, that didn’t happen, but Christy did end up spinning 360 degrees in order to unwind the veil from around her head (see animated GIF below)! She also needed to recurl her hair once she returned to the venue, but the rest of the day proceeded swimmingly.
Their humorous but touching ceremony paved the way for their first dance, which started off in swaying fashion to Tamio Okuda’s “Skywalker” before transitioning to Hall and Oates’ “You Make My Dreams Come True.” Our newlyweds energetically bounded and twirled around the dancefloor, much to the delight of their guests. The rest of the night was filled with hilarious, almost TMI toasts at the reception, a family-style dinner of ribs and all the fixins, and a cake cutting (using the same kitchen knife that Yohei’s parents used to cut their own wedding cake 30+ years ago!). The donut and cupcake bar was a hit (but, honestly, how could it not be?). Among the decadent cupcake choices were samoa (coconut cake with chocolate ganache filling and caramel frosting, topped with toasted coconut) and stud muffin (brown sugar beer cake with salted caramel frosting and cayenne-dusted bacon). The donuts were equally exotic: apricot cardamom, ginger orange, passionfruit.
The fishbowl terrarium centerpieces and the working typewriter at the guestbook table added a touch of whimsy to the occasion. We also loved all of Christy and Yohei’s handicrafts, including the salt favors, the Love Is Sweet banner, and the heart and CY signs they painstakingly assembled out of wine corks. (We were mesmerized by the maid of honor’s sparkly shoes, too, but don’t think our newlyweds really had a say in their appearance.)
And then came time for the karaoke party! Says Christy, “We chose karaoke because karaoke is the funnest thing ever and we only wanted to have fun things at our wedding. Yohei is part Japanese, so it’s in his blood.”
Our newlyweds kicked things off with a heartfelt duet of Len’s “Steal My Sunshine.” Before long, their guests were lining up to croon pop standards, screech rock classics, and belt out Top 40 hits. The inflatable guitars were a fun addition, and video screens around the room displayed lyrics so that everyone could get in on the action. Those who didn’t sing made good use of the dancefloor. DJ Purple was pretty incredible, too. For one, he rocked a gold lamé jumpsuit. And played saxophone!
“During planning, when we mentioned we’d be having karaoke, guests insisted that they would not sing and could not sing in public,” says Christy. “Lo and behold on the day of, everyone was singing and let us know afterwards that they loved our DJ and would do it again. It probably helped having an open bar!”
We had such a good time with Christy and Yohei that we met with them again a few weeks later for a post-wedding session. Please enjoy some of our favorite moments from both days!
Bride’s dress: Wtoo
Make-up: Julie Dy
Groom’s & groomsman’s suits: Indochino
Groom’s shoes: Magnanni
Groom’s tie: Amazon.com
Bridesmaid’s dress: Nordstrom
Flowers/terrariums: Yuko Nagata
Caterer: Winery SF
Dessert: Sift Dessert Bar, Dynamo Donuts
Karaoke DJ: DJ Purple
Coordinator: Milly Shiu/Tickled Events
Videography: Blue Dolphin Productions