Sunday, March 22, 2009

While the cat's away.....

Again two posts in one night.... having had no coffee for three days (see post below for reason) that one cup I had earlier tonight has worked miracles!
While I was working hard at camp my husband was "playing" hard. Unfortunately the kind of play he was doing was not cheap play. He had to go to a Japanese wedding for a co-worker. For anyone that is not familiar with the Japanese wedding custom here it is not a cheap experience! As an invited guest you are expected to bring along a pretty envelope - like the one pictured here which is stuffed with cash. As a co-worker my husband was obliged to pay 30,000 yen (approx. $NZ 560). Family members pay two to three times this (or more....). For this he got a nice meal and ample alcohol, got to watch the bride and groom change outfits 3 times (well not literally watch them getting changed, but you know what I mean!) - making a grand entrance each time, and then when the set 2 hours was up was given his bag of goodies and sent home. In general the guests are given gifts worth about half the amount of money you originally give, but I have the feeling he was ripped off this time! The second picture is what he received - a box of small cakes, a box of special red-bean rice, and a photo album which was filled with cards which formed a catalogue from which he could choose his own gift - all of them looking like the 3,000 yen range gift. Both of us looked right through the catalogue and were unable to find even one thing that vaguely interested us!
I know that by stopping this gift giving tradition the economy would probably dive even further, but I really wish you could just pay half the money from the start and then use the other half to buy yourself something that you really, really want - or better still, use it to buy that week's groceries! I think this week we might be in for vegetables from the garden, rice from the parents-in-law and not a lot else - all because my husband was invited to a wedding!
Oh - another interesting piece of information - although there were close to one hundred guests at the wedding (you can work out the profit that someone is making from this!) there were only 6 friends of the groom and 2 friends of the bride.... all the rest were co-workers (okay so some of these may have been friends too), friends of the parents and close family members. I am so happy we didn't bother to have a Japanese wedding!


  1. i'm glad we didn't have a full-on japanese wedding either, but the profit some of these couples make. even when you factor in the humongous deposit they make in the beginning, they usually have a lot left over!! but it's not all about money, is it? ;)

  2. I don't think we could afford to accept a wedding invitation! K's already said that if any of his colleagues get married, we will be 'busy' that day! Heck, if I can't afford to visit my family in the UK, why should I give a complete stranger 30,000 yen?

  3. Illahee: If I knew a fair proportion of the money was actually going to the newly weds I wouldn't mind paying at all. There is just so much that is used in the ceremony etc. that it seems like such a waste. I would rather give the money to the newly weds than receive the silly presents!
    Anchan: we definately don't want to be invited to any more weddings in the near future! Well of course if it was my NZ family I would jump on a plane as soon as the invitation arrived, but.... Fortunately couples are very rarely invited to weddings as if I was invited too I would also have to pay the 30,000 yen. No family discount!