There’s so much wedding stuff to do! Since Miu and I decided on having a wedding I’ve learned about a lot of it. Just like in America, the wedding industry in Japan is huge!
Costs for ceremonies range from 5000 to 50000 dollars easily, and as I’m sure anyone who has looked into whats possible with weddings knows, the sky is the limit.
So far as I can tell we’re planning a ceremony something along the following lines:
- Civil Ceremony, we give vows before each other and some witnesses, no priest or religion. In Japanese this is called 人前式 (jinzenshiki) and is contrasted with the uber traditional 神前式 (shinzenshiki) and traditional western style with the priest.
- Wearing a white dress and tuxedo. In Japan changing into different outfits throughout the ceremony has become the norm, but it’s also very money and time consuming, and neither of us are particularly excited by that. If we can drop off 1000 dollars from the price tag, we will.
- Having a big reception at the same place as the ceremony. Wedding reception in Japanese is referred to as 披露宴 (hirouen) and it means roughly “The reveal and banquet”.
- We’re going to have some pretty flowers and a wedding cake, as well as a pretty meal, and while people are eating we’ll probably have a few other things going on too.
- Other things might include: speeches, a home-made video, slideshow, funny/amusing activities, mochi-throwing, and who knows what else.
There’s also a Japanese custom called お祝儀 (oshuugi) which is a very formalized wedding gift practice. Guests typically bring a certain amount of money dependent upon their financial means as well as their relationship to the married couple, they put it in a special envelope and drop it off at the door to the wedding place. In return the guests get what’s called 引き出物 (hikidemono) which is a “gift” in return for their “gift”. It may seem weird, but it’s all very carefully calculated, and the お祝儀 will definitely be greater in value (though sometimes marginally) than the 引き出物. The お祝儀 also goes to cover the cost of the meal and drinks that each person gets at the reception, which can run as much as 200 dollars at the more expensive places.
While most of our Japanese friends coming will probably participate in this custom, we’re not expecting any of the American guests to do so, part of the fun of an international marriage is to have a mixing and exchange of customs.
We’ve pretty much got our hearts set on one site, and one date, so hopefully we’ll have a blast prepping everything up until that.