Something Old, Something New


For 24-year-old Yuko Terayama of Sendai, Japan, there was only one place in the world--literally--where she wanted to get married: in a small church in a residential Camarillo neighborhood.

So, defying family traditions, the former exchange student persuaded her parents, fiance and future in-laws to fly 5,300 miles to Camarillo for the ceremony.

On Tuesday afternoon, Terayama, now an advertising agent for Nissan, fulfilled her dream.

Clad in a white chiffon and lace gown, and carrying a bouquet of red and white roses, Terayama walked down the aisle holding on to her father’s arm--something that never would have happened in Japan.


“I’m having a very different wedding from what any woman in my family has had,” Terayama said. “But this was my dream. To come back to Camarillo and get married. I have beautiful memories from here and I wanted to share them with my husband.”

With her long black hair piled on top of her head and her face partially hidden beneath a veil, Terayama said she chose the Church of Christ in Camarillo to be the place to say her vows after a brief stay as an exchange student four years ago.

In February 1992, she came to Camarillo for four weeks as an exchange student through the Cultural Homestay International program. During that time, she took courses in English and American culture. Part of the American culture program was a mock wedding at the Church of Christ, celebrated by Tim Kelley, the minister who performed Terayama’s marriage Tuesday.

“I had never imagined a wedding could be that beautiful, and I thought to myself, ‘This is what I want to do for my wedding,’ ” she said.

Had Terayama and her husband, Masahiko Iimura, married in Japan, Terayama would have worn a white kimono, walked into a shrine and been married by a Buddhist monk.

“We have a lot of wedding traditions, but none are as touching for me as the American traditions,” she said. “It was very important to me to have a Western-style wedding.”