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Creative ideas simple/budget-friendly wedding 2019/1/21 05:28
Hello everyone,

My fiancée and I are currently considering getting married in Japan. She lives in the Philippines, and I live in Canada. Most specifically, we are targeting (ideally) Kansai region. Kyoto is the closest to our hearts, but we are very much open to Nara and Osaka as well, or somewhere near Himeji castle. That said, we are open to other alternatives !

The challenge is to find something to fit our specific needs, and that's where we need some help from more experienced people with some creative thinking.

As far as I understand it, a wedding in Japan is made official solely through the registration at a municipal office, which in theory should be the only necessary step. On top of that, however, we were also hoping for a simple and relatively intimate ceremony (between 10-20 guests) to make things a bit more special. Everything else we are very flexible with, and we could deal with separately (for example by having a standard meal with loved ones inside a restaurant instead of hosting a reception).

Our two main challenges are :

1 - Finding a venue for a simple ceremony within our budget. So far all options we found for a venue include everything inside one package instead of just the ceremony, which makes it a bit too expensive for our budget (options so far were around \400,000 minimum). Another option would be to improvise our own venue outside, but we think that the weather might be an issue if raining, especially with some of our elderly relatives.

2 - Finding someone to help assist us and/or translate documents at the municipal office. Again, most of the options we've seen for this come with a full wedding package. My question is, do we truly need assistance from someone for this step, and if so, is it possible to find this help outside of a full wedding package ?

We are currently spending most of our free time looking online for ideas and alternatives, but I think we've come to a point where we need help from people to approach this by thinking outside the box. We are open to any type of idea for any type of wedding (western or Japanese) and we can be quite flexible as we don't have any preconceived idea in mind.

Any help, random ideas and new perspectives would be deeply appreciated. Thank you !
by jockeii  

Re: Creative ideas simple/budget-friendly wedding 2019/1/21 13:38
For your ceremony you could consider renting a tea house in a traditional garden. I dont know about Kansai, but I know that in Tokyo this is a possiblity.

E.g. in Hamarikyu garden in Tokyo there is 1 or 2 tea houses that are open for rent for hours. E.g. this one is for a max of 25 people. Reservation is required and starts 6 months before the day.


There might be similar tea houses in Kansai as well. But Hamarikyu is actually a very nice place and very popular for wedding pictures. If you want and have the budget you could hire wedding ceremonies for the day and get your pictures taking professionally. There must be packs that include everything from make-up, dressing to photos.

I obviously assume that you somehow bring the person who will perform the ceremony along. I think you would also need someone to help you with this kind of reservations. Maybe you can hire a planner for that? I know there is a guy on this forum who organizes specialized trips, maybe he has something to offer.

Best wishes for your wedding!
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Creative ideas simple/budget-friendly wedding 2019/1/21 17:11
I wonder what you have in mind when you say a ceremony at a venue. Are you going to bring with you a marriage superintendent, a Christian priest, a Shinto priest, or any other master of ceremony who can lead you in saying the words of vow?

And are you going to do the legal marriage in Japan, meaning you want your marriage based on Japanese law? I don't know your nationalities - neither of you seem to be residing in Japan, so if you are going to do that, and if neither of you is Japanese, you need to decide which part of Japan you want to register your marriage at, ask them if they accept that two non-residents to register marriage, and ask them what documents you need. Also if you are doing that, you need to think about the sequence of events - you do the vow at the ceremony, then go to the city hall to register (you need two witnesses), what do you do with the guests? Do the guests need any translator/interpreter during the event, or are they ok with English?

Also if you just want to do the ceremony of vow, as I said you need to decide on the style, which pretty much determines the venue. Shinto ceremony requires a Shinto shrine/attached venue, or Christian ceremony requires a chapel.

Even with seeminlmgly simple thing as booking a venue like the one suggested (which I admit is a nice location) you need to book early, pay at latest 15 days in advance. Also it is a Japanese style location, where you sit on the floor. No chair and table. They will provide hot water and tea making equipment, but you need to bring the tea and other drinks (no alcoholic beverages allowed). If you are going to go there from your hotel, would you require makeup and dressing service? Any car to take you there?

I guess that is what a wedding planner is there for.

If neither of you have a strong connection/interest in Japanese culture, I might say Japan is not really an easy location as wedding destination.

One example inKamakura, Shinto style. The Japanese page mentions a fee of 200,000yen, which is just the fee to the shrine, so excludes the dresses and any extra.

by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Creative ideas simple/budget-friendly wedding 2019/1/21 23:37
Elope in Canada and honeymoon in Japan.
by .. (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Creative ideas simple/budget-friendly wedding 2019/1/22 09:13
Registering a marriage in Japan for foreigner (non-resident).
First, what nationality do both of you have?
Check with your respective country/embassy for steps/recognition of overseas marriage.
Next check with the municipal where you intend to register your marriage as different municipal has slightly different requirement. Triple check again all the required documents.
All non-Japanese documents need to be translated to Japanese.

Read this previous post on how 2 foreigners(non-resident) registered their marriage in Japan, to give yourself an idea how it work. Your nationalities and municipal may differ.
by @.. (guest) rate this post as useful

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