Japanese Wedding Traditions: The Things We’re Doing

I’ve talked about the things were skipping so let’s move on to the things we’re doing.

Expensive Favors
There are no wedding registries in Japan. Instead, the custom is that each guest brings either $100 or $300 as a gift to the bride and groom (never $200 as that can be evenly divided which is bad luck for weddings). Since the guests give the bride and groom such a generous gift, the bride and groom give everyone wedding favors that usually range from $30 to $80. This can include kitchenware, food, or pottery. We will be giving shopping catalogs which are by far my favorite favor to receive at a wedding!  The catalog is filled with a variety of gift choices. You choose your gift, send a postcard with your address and the gift number, and the gift is mailed to you free of charge.

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Here are a few pages from our gift catalog favors. Our guests will be able to choose gifts such as candy, lotion, diffusers, toys, and small appliances.

The Performances
Japanese wedding receptions have no dancing. It’s usually just a sit- down meal that has speeches from the bride or groom’s boss, and the bride and groom’s parents.  There are also, however,  performances that the friends of the bride and groom do. It’s usually something light and happy to add to the festive mood, often a song or dance. Mr G. and my friends will be doing  performances for us and we won’t find out what the performances will be until the wedding day!

A photo from a friend's wedding.  The guy's are dressed like anime nerds and sang about what a nerd the groom was.  Very funny!

A photo from a friend’s wedding. The guy’s are dressed like anime nerds and sang about what a nerd the groom was. Very funny!

The Letter
At the end of the reception, the bride reads a sentimental letter to her parents. It often thanks the parents for everything they have done, let’s the parents know that she will always be a part of the family even though she is starting a new one, and lets them know how much she loves them. There are always lots of tears from the bride and the parents. Since my parents only speak English and our reception will only be in Japanese we decided to have Mr. Gondola read a letter to his parents. I know this is weird, but I really want Mr. G to cry during the letter reading!

The After Party!
The  Japanese wedding after party is a casual sit -down meal that takes place about two or three hours after the wedding. The after party is completely the responsibility of the close friends of the bride and groom, and older relatives usually opt- out of going. The after party often  involves lots of games- bingo, rock /paper/ scissor tournaments, or trivia games. It may sound kind of lame, but all of the Japanese wedding after parties that I’ve been to have been tons of fun. There’s lots of alcohol and everyone just lets loose and has a good time. The prizes are also pretty amazing and range from $100 to $300 dollars. I can’t wait to see what my friends have planned!

Are there any wedding traditions that you are looking forward to doing?

Am I mean for wanting Mr. Gondola to cry?


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