Wedding Planning

January 23rd, 2021

There are so many parts to planning a wedding, we were quick to realise that. But that didn’t deter us, as we decided to do 2 weddings: 1 in Sydney and 1 in Nagoya. This way we can have my friends attend the Sydney one, and have us legally be married in Australia first, and then have a reception in Nagoya for Kotone’s family and friends to attend there.

We decided early on that the wedding ceremony and receptions we wanted to focus on our family. The priority was to get our family to both of them, as we are so far from both our families for long periods of time. Also since we are doing 2 receptions, we figured the one in Sydney would be the western style one and for the one in Nagoya we would go full out traditional Japanese style.

We through about when to have these 2 celebrations, and thought that spacing them out would be inconvenient for my parents who need to fly from Europe, so we went with both being on the same week. But then which week, we needed to pick one. Summer and Winter seasons were ruled out quite quickly, as going from a winter Latvia to a summer Sydney then to a winter Nagoya would not be pleasant at all (same for the inverse). So it was spring or autumn. Since we started planning in Summer 2020, doing it in autumn was impossible, and spring was quite hard, so we went with Autumn 2020. And the day we chose for the ceremony was 4/4/22 (yes I love my repeating dates). Which was a Monday. And the Japanese reception would be the same week on the Saturday, 9th of April 2022.

Focusing on the western | japanese style as a theme, we started looking at the Sydney venue first. The venue needed to be easy to get to for my Sydney friends, but intimate enough that we wouldn’t be on display for the world to see. It needed to be an older style building, more from the 1900s or 1800s with a space for a ceremony, and a large hall to fit our guests. We estimated that we would have around 50-60 guests at the wedding, cause if we went any larger, we wouldn’t have time to spend with everyone on our special day. It also needed to be uniquely Australian, be it with a view of the harbour, a winery, near a beach, something that both my European parents and Kotone’s Japanese parts would love and we could remember forever.

After a bit of research and visiting the place, we settled on the Gunners Barracks in Mosman. It was perfect. It met all of the conditions and the hiring price for the date we chose was very reasonable as well.

Then for Sydney we needed to decide on all the other things: flowers and decorations, photographer, cake, music, transport, etc. But for Japan, it was a little bit more simpler.

In Japan you don’t pick all the things separately from different vendors, you chose the venue and then the venue provides you will all the other vendors based on the package type you chose. There are different packages that suite different budgets, but all filled by folks who work in collaboration with the venue of chose. The venue also designates a wedding planner for our event specifically who would be our contact person for all the matters.

For the Nagoya venue we went with Gajouen Nagoya. It has a great vibe, is very traditional, a high quality venue, does traditional catering, has kimono rental, and is in a rather convenient location only 15 minute train trip from Nagoya Station.

So with the dates and venues decided, it was time to give all of our friends as “Save the Date” card for the date. And we came up with the best idea for that – a floppy disk. Its used as a “save” icon on a lot of modern day apps, and it’s a lot more unique than a simple card. It was a great idea and everyone loved it. We also hid a file on the floppy disk itself, for those of our friends who happen to have a floppy disk reader available to them.


UPDATE Oct 2021: Due to COVID restrictions on flying to Australia and Japan not lifting, and there being no plans in place to lift them by April 2022, Kotone and I have decided to postpone our wedding to 2023, so that our parents can come to celebrate with us. The new dates are 04/04/2023 and 08/04/2023. Hopefully we don’t need to postpone again!

The Proposal

November 11th, 2020

9 months we spent apart, and the whole time we were trying to figure out how to get you back to Sydney. But finally in October 2020 you made it back, and after 2 weeks in quarantine we were finally reunited on the 7th of November 2020.

With so much time spent apart, I knew we had to spend as much time together as possible, so I took 2 weeks off work and booked us a camping trip across the norther coast of NSW. But that was not the only thing I planned.

I was also ready to ask you to spend the rest of your life with them. I bought a ring, and thought of where and how I will propose. It was going to be on the 11th of November 2020 (11/11/2020) at sunrise at the national park we are camping in.

The stage was set the time was right and that is exactly what I did. We woke up at 5am to watch and take photos of the sunrise, but then when we got to the beach to see the sunrise, I started playing our song – Wherever you are by One Ok Rock. It was a special cut down version which plays for 1 minute or so, basically cutting off when the lead singer says: “I promise you forever right now”. So when that line of the song was sung, I bent down on one knee and asked you whether you would marry me.

I was extremely nervous these whole couple of weeks (or months) preparing for this one moment, and in the moment my knees were weak, arms were heavy, but I did it – I asked the question. And the answer you gave me was: “YES”. You said you knew it was coming, but didn’t expect it to happen at that time at that place. But you were overjoyed and crying, and so was I.

Well whats next?

We already told all of our family and friends, getting plenty of congratulations all around. So now it’s time to start planning our wedding!  Where will we have it? what will we do? what will your dress look like? Are all things I’m really looking forward to answering with you during 2021.


It’s more fun in the Philippines – 2020

March 14th, 2020

Another year, another family holiday. This time, amid the spreading health epidemic, we ended up traveling to the beautiful tropical islands of the Philippines. Like always the Brodsky family focused on 2 things, learning about the land and its the people, and relaxing on beautiful beaches of paradise. However, there was one thing that was very different from all of our past trips. A certain Japanese girl joined us on this trip! Thats right, my beautiful girlfriend Kotone came along for two weeks of fun in the Philippines.

While swimming in pools and the sea was a great way to spend the days, those the were not the only activities we took part in during our holiday. Kotone and I went snorkelling, and I also was able to fly my drone all over the place. The views of islands and the seas were absolutely breathtaking, and the fish in the sea we quite cute too. The people are kind, and the food was delicious. However it seems like the country is very divided between the rich and the poor, we saw brand new modern buildings being constructed next to slums and rubbish. The gab in wealth is very noticeable, so much so, that we occasionally refrained from venturing outside of our hotel, as we were worried about the area surrounding it.

Overall the Philippines was a great experience, and being together with my beloved made it ever more memorable. I hope the situation around the world improves, and we will be able to go to many more together.

As always, photos on my Flickr and Instagram stories

Japan 2019

November 19th, 2019

This trip was the most spontaneous thing trip I’ve ever planned, but it was definitely a very pleasant and memorable experience. I recently started dating a Japanese girl named Kotone, and this November was her brothers wedding party. She was planning on heading to Japan for a couple of days to attend the wedding party, and I decided to tag along. Her parents invited me to the party as well as an honorary guest, and even let me stay at their house for a few nights.

Our trip began by arriving to Central Japan International Airport (near Nagoya) and renting a car. Thats right, no bullet trains this time, just a car. We drove up to the town of Takayama, visited the old town, and bought some sake. Then we reached our first stop of the trip: Hirayuonsen hot-spring town. For 2 nights we stayed in the Sanganoyu Ryokan, where we got to experience the various onsens, and even rent a private one for a period of time. There isn’t much around the area aside from pristine forests and mountains, so it was the perfect place to relax and enjoy everything that mother nature has to show.

The second leg of our journey was spent in the big cities like Osaka and Nagoya. We went to Universal Studios Japan, the first “real” theme park I went to out of my own desire. I even challenged myself to ride one of the more thrilling rides in the park, and while it was terrifying, I can report that I am still alive and well.

Afterwards we headed to back to home base – Nagoya, more specifically Oguchi. Meeting the family was terrifying at first, but after the first dinner, it got a lot more comfortable. The Kamino family were very kind to me and treated me as if I was their own son. It was a pleasant experience, especially when my own home is 15,000km away. At the wedding party I was seated with the groom’s high school friends, so we had a lot of laughs and plenty to drink. The highlight of the wedding for me, aside from the obviously different wedding style in Japan (even though it was somewhat a western style wedding), was that the bride gave the bouquet of flowers to my girlfriend Kotone. Is this is a sign for the future? Who knows, but it was definitely a happy moment for both of us. On the last few days we visited Nagoya Castle, Legoland, and the Nagoya Train museum.

While this was a short trip, it was very eventful, and at the end of it neither of us wanted to head back to Sydney. But we have and now we need to build our future together!

A small number of photos available on my Flickr, the rest are hidden away on my iPhone.