Where I First Met My Japanese Wife
Hi! It’s Derek from Smith’s School of English Tsukaguchi. Sometimes my English students ask me where I first met my Japanese wife. They are surprised when I tell them it was at Smith’s School of English Tsukaguchi! It happened in 2002 when I had just taken over teaching English lessons there. An English student called Akemi arrived holding a plate with food for the English teacher I had replaced. The departing teacher had treated her to a meal at a restaurant and she wanted to thank him by giving him a home-cooked meal. She didn’t know he had already finished teaching English there. Finding out he had already left, she decided to give the food to me instead. Little did I know that this kind, cute and sweet new English student of mine would become my wife 3 years later in an international marriage!
Our International Marriage
My wife Akemi and had our international marriage on July 18, 2005 in Higobashi, Osaka, Japan. I decided it would be good to invite a lot of Japanese people from Akemi’s side to the wedding so that they could all get a chance to meet me. So there ended up being about 60 people at our wedding. Most of the guests were family, relatives and coworkers of my wife’s in Japan. On my side, there were only four: my mother and father from Canada and Smith’s School of English founder Mark Smith and his wife. We held a so-called Japanese Western-style wedding in facilities of a wedding company in Higohashi, Osaka.
The Wedding Ceremony
Our wedding ceremony for our international marriage was held in lovely chapel. There was a red carpet, making it look like the setting of a fairy tale! When Akemi walked down the aisle towards me wearing the white wedding dress with her father, we did not have the usual famous wedding music but instead, singers sung a beautiful, mesmerizing tune. The priest was a foreigner and he spoke in English as we had requested. We also made our vows in English. Family, relatives and close guests attended the wedding ceremony.
The First Wedding Party
After the wedding ceremony, we walked to a nearby room where we had the first wedding party with all guests. We had a nice buffet-style lunch. There were several speeches. I gave a short speech in Japanese that I had written down in advance and so did my father. Akemi, her father and a relative of hers also gave speeches. Mark Smith and his Japanese wife gave a unique speech together. Although Mark was fluent in Japanese, he gave his speech in English so that my parents and I could understand it, and his Japanese wife Yuka translated it into Japanese for the rest of the guests as he gave it. What a great idea and how thoughtful of them! Thank you again, Mark and Yuka! All guests congratulated us and I got to meet everyone. I also played some classical guitar for everybody. It was a nice first wedding party.
The Second Wedding Party
Akemi and I had a second wedding party after the first one at a bar in Osaka that was owned by Dan, the owner and English teacher of Smith’s School of English Miyakojima. Only some of the younger guests attended. We had a good time! Thank you again, Dan!
Marrying Akemi eventually led to us raising bilingual children here in Japan. You can read about that by clicking here. We are now enjoying our life here together as an international family. And it all started by being given the chance to meet Akemi at Smith’s School of English Tsukaguchi! So thank you so much for that, Smith’s Head Office! (^.^)