Watabe Guam Inc. a division of Watabe Wedding is going down the wedding aisle and marrying a reception offering to its thriving ceremony sector.

Watabe arranges about 500 ceremonies a month.

A $2.3 million facility on Tumon Bay will house up-market receptions.

Watabe Guam Inc. is a full-service wedding company that caters to Japanese couples wanting an American-style wedding in a tropical setting.

The former Sea Horse Restaurant parking lot is where Watabe Wedding’s new Te Quiero facility now stands. The Spanish name means “I like you” .

Akira Matsumoto manager of Te Quiero said “In the past if Watabe customers wanted to have a wedding party we would offer our customers restaurants on Guam but now we could host them here.”

The facility boasts three banquet rooms. The largest can accommodate 40 people. The two smaller rooms can each host 20 people. The rooms are not adjoining. Matsumoto said Watabe wanted to ensure the privacy of its guests. According to Matsumoto the rooms can accommodate a large Japanese wedding party with both the bride and groom’s entourage. “The typical size of a Japanese wedding group is 14.” The facility would also welcome local business he said. “We cannot accommodate a large Guam party with 200 people or more.” However he said all three rooms could be utilized to accommodate 80 people.

Other features include a kitchen lobby office balcony an inside patio three patios attached to the reception rooms a fitting room and separate bathroom facilities for men and women. The façade offers a contemporary design with stained glass and stairs leading to the balcony with a view facing Tumon Bay. Parallel to the stairs is a tiered cascade of water. The reception rooms reflect a European/Spanish design with faux wooden beams on the ceiling and a view of Tumon Bay. Matsumoto said “Since Guam has some Spanish culture it is part of the design. The same designer that created the Hilton chapel Sawamura designed Te Quiero.”

Matsumoto said WDI Corp. which does business as Capricciosa Italian restaurants and Tony Roma’s is a partner in the operation of the facility. “WDI will provide six employees to staff the kitchen and six employees for service. Watabe will have four employees … wedding party coordinators ” he said. Matsumoto said customers would be treated to a fine mix of French and Italian cuisine. A customer can expect to pay $100 $120 or $150 per guest for different menus or services.

Watabe projects a return on the $2.3 million investment in about five years.

Te Quiero services are not being offered as part of a wedding package. Matsumoto said “This is separate. We give the customer options. If they want Chinese food we will show them a Chinese restaurant. If they want Chamorro food we will offer them a place. We want to promote Guam … introduce Guam to our customers.”

After the wedding Watabe provides direct transfer from the chapel to Te Quiero and after the party customers will be taken to their hotel. Customers can also look forward to a strawberry and fruit cake floral options high chairs and cribs for children personalized background music Japanese-speaking staff name cards and special menus such as vegetarian meals.

While the bulk of the Te Quiero’s business would be to service Watabe wedding guests Matsumoto looks forward to attracting local clientele. “This place is isolated and good for VIP guests. It is easy for security. They can have the privacy they need to hold special meetings.” He stressed the importance to Watabe of being a good corporate citizen “This is a special place. We want to provide good service for our customers and contribute to Guam.”

The Japan-based company Watabe Wedding also has offices and operations in Hawaii Los Angeles Las Vegas Canada Australia New Zealand Europe and China.

To the Southern beachside of the property where the Sea Horse Restaurant used to sit is the home of Michael Z. Ysrael of Tanota Partners and to the North side is the Fiesta Resort Guam.

Ysrael said he acquired the leasehold to the property and in turn sold a portion of the original 2 500 square meter lot to Watabe. Ysrael did not wish to give the amount of the sale. MBJ