David & Stephanie's kawaii anime childhood-inspired wedding

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David, our Offbeat Groom, wrote the profile this time! We love when grooms get in the saddle.

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Photos by Yoji Abe

The offbeat groom: David, Records Management Associate

His offbeat bride: Stephanie, Preschool Teacher/Singer

Date and location of wedding: Japanese Garden in Long Beach, CA and Los Alamitos Community Center, Los Alamitos, CA — May 19, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Stephanie had a custom-made Hello Kitty bouquet. Her bridal party all wore 8-bit Hello Kitty bows and the groom's party had on Zelda heart meter pins.

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The ceremony's soundtrack consisted of songs from favorite anime and movies of ours. The prelude included songs from the Secret World of Arrietty and J-Pop artists we like. The processional for the wedding party was "The Wind Forest" from the movie My Neighbor Totoro.

Stephanie walked in to "The Moon, The Sky, Forever" from Sailor Moon. And the recessional was "The Power of Love" by Huey Lewis and The News from one of our favorite movie trilogies, Back to the Future.

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The walk-in song for the bridal party during the reception was the Kill Bill theme. The bridal party each had a weapon in hand as they walked through. The groom's party walked in to Lupe Fiasco's "The Show Goes On." Stephanie and I walked in to Queen's "I Was Born to Love You," which was punctuated by me doing LeBron James' chalk toss.

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Each dining table had a theme from our childhood. There were figurines as centerpieces representing movies, cartoons, and characters we grew up admiring. Among them were Bruce Lee, Mr. T, Sailor Moon, Hello Kitty, Mickey and Minnie, basketball, Donald and Daisy, Gizmo, etc. There was a motto for each table as it related to said figurine.

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We held our ceremony at the beautiful Japanese Garden, but ended up switching the reception from the Japanese Garden to the Community Center with only a few months left before the wedding. Not only did it end up saving us quite a bit of money, but also allowed for us to cater our own Vietnamese/Asian food buffet, bar, dance floor, and DJs.

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Tell us about the ceremony: Our ceremony was non-denominational in the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden at Cal State Long Beach, where I went to college. Our officiant, Alan Katz, was funny, making the ceremony itself very lighthearted. A cultural tradition involved was a tea ceremony where I would pour tea and give it to Stephanie's parents and she would then pour tea and give it to my parents.

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My funniest moment: It had to be when we were exchanging our rings. The ringbearer handed the rings to the officiant in a Pokeball! I couldn't help but crack a big smile when I saw the officiant open the Pokeball with our rings inside. Our officiant was quite witty, and while holding the Pokeball remarked, "You don't have to worry about catching them all because she's the one."

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Steph-david_2012May19_760Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? I had forgot the cake topper. Rebecca, one of the bridesmaids, suggested using the Mickey and Minnie wedding centerpiece as a replacement. We placed it on the cake and it fit perfectly. Disaster averted!

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? How much planning is involved in such a big and monumental event. It was one of those things that you can't take for granted and procrastinate. Luckily, with the help of such loving family and friends, we were able to get it done.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!