Monday 10 September 2012

Weddings in Japan

All my years in Japan, I'd never been to a Japanese wedding, I've been invited to a few but have either been working, or too cheap to pay the gift money, that has definitely been the case since I've been married, Ryota hates paying the big chunk of cash you have to part with to be a guest at a Japanese wedding. But yesterday was Ryota's cousin getting married, so there really was no way to wriggle out of it, plus I kind of wanted to go to a wedding and see how it was different from a western wedding.

So I paid my $500 or so in wedding gift money and we all toddled off yesterday which was held at a swanky wedding restaurant in a rich area near us. The first thing I noticed, the fake gaijin priest hanging around waiting for his gig to start. It was a big white dude with a north American accent and I could tell my presence was making him uncomfortable, he kept giving me darting looks while I sat smirking at him and his fake sermon with big gestures and bad Japanese accent. Still, I shouldn't hate on him, we've all got to make our way here and if he can get the work then he should go for it, he kind of reminded me of a pro wrestler though, I kept imagining him taking down one of the well groomed guests.

All the guests were very reserved and quiet at the ceremony and after the formalities were over and lots of (I'm talking EVERY fucker there) photo taking, we were allowed upstairs to have lunch, and more importantly, booze. They cut the cake first, which is all arse backwards in my opinion, especially since they feed each other cake and take the stupid photos of the bride shoveling a huge amount of cake into the groom's mouth. The groom is Ryota's cousin and I really like him but his new bride didn't impress me much, she's about 3 feet tall and kept looking up to our cousin with bug cow eyes and batted her eyelashes, she seemed a bit fake to me but I'm a huge cynic as well so maybe she's a genuinely nice girl. They've only been together for 6 months so I think she's either got an illegitimate bun in her oven or wants a baby really badly (she's 35).

I felt kind of sorry for the wedding mc too, at home people actually listen to the mc but here everyone was talking and laughing over the mc as she rabbited on in the background, strange. As everyone got more and more sloshed people started to relax and I once again got reminded of that Japanese custom of filling up your glass. I swear to god I not once had a near empty glass, it was so dangerous because it felt like I just had one never-ending drink but I was still on my first. Luckily little Bailey had pumped breast milk because he would have been well and truly pissed if I hadn't! I wonder if it's worse because I'm a foreigner, people kept coming up to me to fill up my glass asking me all the usual fucking mundane questions and comments that I could respond to with my eyes closed...
"where are you from?" "you're Japanese is so good!" "heeeeeeeeeeee?!?!?" are the stock standard ones...

After much good food and booze various drunk uncles and the groom gave speeches, with the bride giving a thank you speech at the end to her mum. I was bawling my eyes out along with all the other obachans, the bride's father had died a few years ago and her speech was pretty sad. I think the fact that I'd had about a keg of beer by then that I was pretty emotional too... There was also bizarre karaoke performances from family members too, all drunken and red-faced.

Finally we all got shifted out and were given little gifts at the door by the bride and groom, which turned out to be blueberry fucking jam. Random much?! Of course this wasn't the only gifts we got, as we'd given a big wad of cash, we had to get gifts back. Fucking stupidness I tell you! I'd rather just give half the amount and get nothing back!!! And it wasn't even gifts we could choose out of a catalogue, it was a spoon and fork set, a roll cake and a plate. I seriously would have been happy with the cake, now I have fucking expensive spoons, forks and a massive expensive plate that I'll never use, hopefully I can re-gift them at Christmas to an auntie I don't really like, then at least they'll get some use!

I definitely prefer western weddings, they're way more relaxed and have way less bowing but all in all it was pretty fun. I think the only other weddings we'll be going to for a while are brother in law or dog fucker, but the chances of dog fucker ever getting married are very slim, I'd totally warn the poor bloke off before he made that mistake!

Yup, way too much bowing for my liking...

See her looking up at him like a big dope?!

Ash entertaining the rellos...

Ash getting in the way as was the norm on the day, at least he's cute...

Me and my boys! ♡


  1. Lovely photos Corinne. Take some comfort in the knowledge that you probably drank and ate your gift money. Those hotels charge a small fortune! Did you get a family photo of everyone dressed up? Deb

  2. My sister's friend had been in Japan about a month and got invited to a wedding. I was pretty pissy about that!

    That last photo is too cute.

  3. $500?!

    Hell no would I ever pay $500 to attend a wedding. If the Emperor of Japan and the Queen of England decided to get married and tried to extort me for $500, I'd still tell them to get knotted.

    Meh, seems as if you [had a good time/drank a lot of alcohol] (delete as appropriate), nice photos

  4. So does the bride have a wardrobe change somewhere in the mix? I really like the pink(?) dress the most. I got married wearing an off white dress I got a Sears, not much for weddings myself.

  5. So do you get thank you gifts for wedding gifts?

    Also, we north Americans are always wary of any person who may appear to be English speaking.

  6. omg, Ash is getting so big!

    interesting story, and glad you had a good time! most people i know who've been to j-weddings have all told me it was a boring waste of cash...

  7. Ah, the wedding industry. So glad we opted not to have a ceremony; the second time...maybe. If I ever get married again (still working on the first marriage, by the way).

    Nice to see you had a chance to have a few beers, unwind a little.