Monday, May 11, 2009

So, thinking of getting married in Japan...?

So, perhaps you came here to the land of the rising sun, as a lad and/or lass with a song in your heart and cheeks red as red apples, and without you really realizing it, you have hooked up with the girl/guy of your dreams. You are enjoying the company of your partner (ok, "partner" is a stupid word for lover, but it saves me the time and effort in typing out "boyfriend or girlfriend") and after a while you start to realize that it's getting time to settle down and think about the future.

So you propose and if you're lucky you might even get a "yes" of varying degrees of enthusiasm back. At this stage you are probably happy, which you should, since you are still unaware of the horrors that lie await in front of you; a wedding in Japan...

Unless your partner (again, it's just to save me the time and effort in typing out "boyfriend or girlfriend") happens to be an orphan without any living relatives you are in for quite a ride... You might think that you can take the easy way out and just get married overseas and then come back to Japan married and avoid all the Japanese wedding fuss, but believe me, if your partners' (again, it's just to save me the time and effort in typing out "boyfriend or girlfriend") group of family and friends is of a reasonable size, you will still be required to hold a "second wedding" like party in any case, making it easier to just get it done with here in Japan.

So, it's been decided that you will be having a wedding in Japan. You now have to make a choice:

1. Leave all pretense of pride and good sense aside

...or...

2. Trying to manouver through the whole planning with at least a trace of dignity.

As you might have figured out, I am in this process and I did chose the second option, even though the first might provide more entertainment for you readers, my apologies but I put my own well-being ahead of this blog...

If you decide to go ahead with option "1" above, there is an assortment of things to chose from, doing a traditional "shinto" wedding is one, where you have to get decked out in a kimono, drink alcohol from the same cups and have some general chanting going on.
The second one is going to a crappy made-up chapel pretending to be vaguely Christian and having a fake priest (a foreign English teacher or "model" trying to make some extra money on the side) and go through something akin to a Christian wedding ceremony singing hymns that no Japanese guests obviously knows how to sing (unless there happens to be one or two actual Christians among the guest fluent in Japanese).

But no, me and Ms. Sunshine decided to take option "2", but believe me when I say that there are plenty of hurdles to navigate through there as well. Rest assured that I will guide you through the process here! To be continued...

(I actually did not intend to blog about this topic, but there just has been too many good stories so I can't restrain myself here really...)

12 comments:

john turningpin said...

Hey congratulations on getting married to your partner!

And look, "partner" saved me the trouble of typing "boyfriend or girlfriend"!

ThePenguin said...

The penguiniest of congratulations to you and your spouse-to-be, a linguistic construction which neatly avoids the whole tricky business of writing and correctly declining the accented word "fiancé", or in this case "fiancée".

Anyway, sounds like there will be plenty of potential for good blogging material, which is the main thing of course.

LadyAislin said...

Congrats! You must keep us up to date with all the stuff you both have to go through.

Kevin said...

Congratulations. Always enjoy your site and the unique perspective of foreign-salaryman life in Japan.
There is an option 1.5. Get married overseas, inviting those close family/friends (on their own Yen) following up with a reception party in Japan.
Much cheaper - includes the honeymoon and you can still drink sake from the same cups when you get back.
Again, congrats to you and your partner (I won't say what I was saved from typing)

Mr. Salaryman said...

Thank you thank you all around.

I should probably say clearly that this is not real time events since I've been holding off blogging about this for quite some time (Ms. Sunshine already is Mrs. Salaryman-Sunshine) but I will portion out the stories over time here since there were a number of memorable events!

Stay tuned, the hilarity is just getting started!

Karen said...

Congrats! I'm sure Miss Sunshine gained a partner (let's see... is that less letters than typing the word husband?) who will always make her laugh!

sixmats said...

I hope your wedding was as memorable as mine and less stressful.

Mr. Salaryman said...

Well Karen, she laughs a lot, but I'm not yet completely sure on whether she's laughing with me or at me, but as long as she's laughing I guess things are fine.

Thank you Sixmats!

HABIRU Edo said...

Congratulations. I attempted to elope, but my parents "corrected" the problem the minute me and my spouse dropped into my home country for more than two days.

I have to admit, though, the chapel overlooking the sea at Prince Hotel Kamakura (Golden Week) looked very nice. With or without cheasy part-time English teacher/priest.

The hard part about getting married in Japan, btw, is not the use of the word "partner," but rather the use of your foreign name.

Mr. Salaryman said...

Yeah, I had some name issues too (not the same as you though), that'll come later on!

Eric said...

Congratulations on your marriage!

"Christian" weddings are a great source of pocket money for foreign exchange students... :)

Anonymous said...

I stopped reading after the third explanation of partner. Only one was necessary.

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