Monday, February 8, 2010
Getting married in Japan Part 10: The REAL wedding
Please let me start this post with a stunning revelation; all my previous posts about the wedding and the preparations has been blatant lies!
Ok, I admit I just wrote that to shock a bit; we actually did have a wedding ceremony, reception and so as I've laid out in my posts, so it's not a lie in that sense. But the real formal legal wedding actually took place a few months before the ceremony... You see, in Japan there is a complete separation between the legal wedding and any ceremony; the wedding is registered in the city office and if you have any image of this carrying with it some form of ceremony or flair, think again. In Japan, it is a pure bureaucratic form filling exercise.
Me and Ms. Sunshine went on a Saturday to the Itabashi city office to register our wedding. On weekends the "office" consists of a small reception behind a heavy metal door in a gray corridor. Looking very much like a small janitor office than anything else. The person manning the desk also doesn't seem particularly excited about being there working on a weekend and is even less excited when people show up and he actually has to do any work. Ok, to be fair, the guy was nice enough but the utter lack of enthusiasm for his work kinda oozed out of him.
So, we filled in a few forms, the gray dude pointed to where and what we should fill in, looked over the papers and finally at the end he said, very unenthusiastically "congratulations" and reluctantly agreed to take a picture of us in the gray corridor holding up the document.
The formal wedding reception was held with only me and Mrs. Sunshine-Salaryman in attendance sharing a small bottle of champagne and some cheese standing outside the office in the subway entrance since it was raining a bit outside. No speeches were held and no relatives sang for us at that day... The picture is an actual picture of the corridor where we legally tied the knot.
We did have a small debate later on which date to celebrate as our real wedding anniversary but we both pretty quickly agreed that compared to the wedding ceremony and reception with family and friends, the form filling exercise in the gray corridor paled in comparison... I know some people make quite an effort to have both the legal wedding registration and the ceremony at the same date but we didn't really want to have to stress with that running around the place.
With this, this exciting series is now drawing to an end, the next post will be some closing thoughts on how everything went, but if anyone has any questions or stuff they want me to mention feel free to leave a comment and I'll do my best to answer that.