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bride kisses bride at LGBT wedding ceremony

Machi & Theresa


Machi & Theresa

While Theresa grew up in Oregon, Machi was raised on the island of Shikoku in Western Japan. They met at a get-together Machi organized. Though they started off as friends, they “soon realized that, despite our completely different backgrounds, we shared a lot of values and interests.” For years they didn’t consider a wedding, since same-sex marriage wasn’t legal in Japan or the U.S. But when American laws changed, they knew it was “go” time. Kimpton RiverPlace Hotel appealed for countless reasons, among them, the hotel’s willingness to plan with a couple living halfway around the globe. (The couple resides in Kyoto.) The “wonderful Rev. Maureen Haley gave a beautiful ceremony” in the outdoor courtyard on a sunny, blue-skied day, and the reception happened in the Hawthorne Room. Overall, the day proved a roaring success. The couple spent the night in the bridal suite where, much to their delight, they found a bottle of Champagne and some chocolate waiting, compliments of the hotel.

“We wanted an intimate space that didn’t feel small, an outdoor venue that wouldn’t take forever to get to (and that had a back-up space in case of rain!) and a place that would be able to work on the planning with us long-distance.”

“The hotel was everything we wanted, and we never once felt like we were compromising.”

The couple got ready in the hotel’s bridal suite, and they loved relaxing in the courtyard a little before and after the event.

Machi: “Everyone was so warm and welcoming, especially to me and my family. It really meant a lot to me to be surrounded by people celebrating our relationship who were so genuinely supportive and happy for us.”

The cake from Pastrygirl proved better than imagined, two adorable nephews tore up the dance floor before the couple’s first dance (with permission), and some toasts were particularly memorable, thanks to the multilingual affair.

“The staff was all very professional and lovely to work with. Josh, the catering manager, was very accommodating, considering time differences, and he was happy to set up a tour of the facilities with my parents that I could join in on via Skype.”

“The Hawthorne room at the hotel is a great indoor reception space. The walls are beautifully painted, and the tall windows bring in so much light and warmth.”

“Now whenever we go back to visit, we’ll be able to point out the hotel as we drive across the bridge and remember how wonderful our wedding day was.”