Cost of Wedding in Japan

By on May 1, 2013

The average spending in 2012 for a wedding ceremony in Japan according to an annual survey by Zekshi, Recruit Marketing Partners, was ¥34,380,000 with 73 as the average number of invited guests. Compared to the result of survey last year, there has been an increase by ¥180,000, the highest ever despite the current economic recession and the growing number of Japanese people choosing to remain single. Japan’s increasing spending on wedding ceremonies as reported by Diamond Online, a Japanese business news website, was attributed to the uncertainty felt by people after the March 11 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Here’s the average spending recorded by region

Tokyo Metropolitan area ¥3.5 million
Hokkaido ¥1.7 million
Niigata ¥3.4 million
Nagano ¥3.5 million
Fukui, Ishikawa, Toyama ¥3.3 million
Shizuoka ¥3.3 million
Tokai ¥3.3 million
Kansai ¥3 million
Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi ¥3.2 million
Shikoku ¥3.5 million
Kyushi ¥3.5 million

Cash gift, a Japanese wedding custom
If you are invited to a wedding in Japan, know that guests customarily give money as a gift to the couple. How much to give is usually indicated in the wedding invitation and are collected at the entrance by a wedding reception committee.

In some situations where amount is discretionary, know that there are many unwritten rules concerning cash gifts. The bills must be new, crisp and neatly enclosed (not folded) in a traditional “goshugi” envelope. Some people say an average amount is ¥30,000 if the couple is a friend or a work colleague. The closer your relation to the bride or groom is, the higher the amount suggested. For example, if you happen to be the direct relative or employer/boss of either one of the couple, the appropriate amount may be ¥50,000 to ¥100,000.

The generally accepted rule when deciding on an amount is keeping the numbers odd and not divisible by two to ward off a “split”.

Superstitious beliefs are rooted in the culture and history of Japan. Number four as an example, is “shi” in Japanese which represents the kanji of “shinu” in English and associated with unluckiness. Similarly, other cultures regard the number thirteen as an unlucky number.

Changing trend in Japan
Following the Tohoku devastation, there has been a sea-change among the Japanese people notably, the younger generation. Their sense of community has all the more strengthened, with priorities and values changed. Bookstores in Japan reported that books about family life and Buddhism are selling well. Visits to shrines has increased and so too has the number of members at match-making agencies. People tying the knots continues to surge as a result of a sense of making the best out of life and time.

About K. Suzuki