Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Have a safe trip home.

Ki wo tsukete okaerikudasai.



At Japanese weddings, you usually take stuff home. Make that you always take stuff home. Here's what I brought home this wedding. Clockwise from the upper left:

1. This big box contained a serving plate and four smaller plates. They were white and an interesting squiggly square shape. China is a common gift for wedding guests. Another common gift is pots or pans.

2. Small bottle of champagne. Contained gold flakes. The label was custom printed with each guest's name and during the reception, the bottle acted as a place card.


3. This box, wrapped in a red cloth, contained katsuobushi, or fish flakes. It's a traditional wedding gift, because "katsuo" can mean "the man is a winner".

4. The flat box on the far right contained rice cooked with red azuki beans, or "sekihan". It's a traditional food served on merry occasions.

5. This box on the front right contained pound cake.

6. This cute little box was given to me by the bride as I left the reception (she had a great big basket of them and passed them out to everyone in a "receiving line" fashion). It contained sugar coated almonds.

5 comments:

angelena99 said...

How do people afford to get married in Japan?

I was just trying to think of party favors for my birthday party that wouldn't cost an arm and a leg, and this puts my ideas to shame!!

pumpkinmommy said...

After the pretty wrapping comes off, the $300 (at today's wonky exchange rate) cash wedding gift goes to pay for the cost of the wedding. The average cost of a Japanese wedding is about three times that of the average wedding in the US, but after everyone's gifts have been tallied, you're set back much, much less.

sheri said...

I'm loving all of these descriptions, pumpkinmommy -- thanks!

We studied Japan extensively in fourth grade (my teacher had been there several times and was a "Japanophile" I guess you'd say), but I don't remember hearing about weddings. Of course, that was (mumblemumble) years ago, so I may have just forgotten.

deeje said...

Yow. I don't know what I'm more floored by; the cost of the Japanese wedding, or the planning and effort involved! I just cannot fathom how much work you must do in preparation.

But what beautiful and thoughtful gifts! So pretty.

pumpkinmommy said...

Sheri, not all of this is traditional. I am sure my parents did not do all of these things when they got married, just as I am sure we are missing out on stuff that they did. It's just what's been done at weddings I personally have been to.

Deeje, it's a lot of trouble and a lot of money. Some reception venues ask for the money up front, and others will wait a few days after your wedding. Some banks offer "bridal loans", or short term loans to pay for weddings, rationalizing that they should get most of the money back through the wedding gift money. Of course, there's always the "submit paperwork to city hall and call it a day" method, which is what some people do (and hence doom themselves to a lifetime of "why didn't you have a wedding reception?" from annoying older female members of the extended family).