Japanese Tie the Knot Abroad

August 16, 2007 at 5:59 pm Leave a comment

If you’ve ever been to a Japanese wedding you’ll know that more money-exchange takes place than in a Colombian drug cartel. From the banquet hall and MC to three wardrobe changes for the bride, wedded bliss amounts to an average of $30,000. And then there’s money flowing in from guests, each who pay no less than $300 to attend. (And you thought Crate and Barrel cups were expensive!)


So it made sense when I read online that more couples are cutting the money hassle and traveling abroad to exchange their vowels. Hawaii has always been a popular destination but Europe seems to be picking up speed. In fact, about 20,000 couples opted for a European ceremony in the past year.

Yes, just like Tom Cruise, you too can kiss the bride in an Italian castle, or tie the knot in an English stone church. Either way, it’d cost no more than $10,000, mainly because going overseas means cutting your guest list in half.

Another reason why couples go abroad is to experience an authentically religious ceremony. Americans take for granted the backdrop of a decorated altar and stained-glass window. Typical Japanese weddings skip the formal ceremony entirely and start with the festivities. After all, it’s not a Christian-based society. So for many Japanese, standing before a minister is a rare treat.
But if your dear Aunt Hanako (the who’s afraid to fly) insists you have the ceremony at home then you really can’t do anything about it. In which case, some couples simply bring the West to them by hiring a Caucasian minister. It sounds silly, but the presence of one really does make feel like you’re in a foreign country. It’s downright exotic. The last wedding I attended in Japan, the minister was a longtime Japan resident but purposely spoke Japanese with a heavy British accent. I snickered through the entire ceremony. Sure, it’s all done for show, but a fun show it is.


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Entry filed under: Japanese Beauty, Japanese Culture.

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August 2007


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