Road to marriage in Japan①


I talked about the Japanese wedding style in this blog. ↓

Today I want to talk about Japanese typical wedding and my own one. I got married a few years ago.  I will introduce the flow from the marriage proposal to the wedding ceremony. What kind of process do modern Japanese couples marry?

I will show my wedding flow in this table.

1 Propose

(1 and a half years before the wedding ceremony)

2 Start to choose a wedding hall

(1 and a half years before the wedding ceremony)

3 Meet each parent

(1 year and 3 months before the wedding ceremony)

4 Decide on a wedding hall

(1 year and 2 months before the wedding ceremony)

5 Choose wedding dresses

(1 year and 2 months before the wedding ceremony. Then I decided 10 months before the wedding ceremony. )

6 Looking for an engagement ring

(1 year and a month before the wedding ceremony)

7 Yuino (a traditional Japanese ceremony) & meeting dinner party

(1 year before the wedding ceremony)

8 Search for a new house

(8 months before the wedding ceremony. )

9 Entry in a family register

(6 months before the wedding ceremony. )

10 Start to have a wedding ceremony meeting

(4 months before the wedding ceremony. )

11 Wedding photos in advance

(3 months before the wedding ceremony. )

12 Looking for wedding rings

(1 month before the wedding ceremony. )

13 The wedding day
14 Honeymoon

(3 months after the ceremony. )

※ That is just in my case. Not in all Japanese cases.

Today I will talk the first step toward marriage (the table’s boldface). I talk about Japanese typical ①propose, ②start to choose a wedding hall and ③meet each parent.

1 Propose

After finishing the marriage proposal, we prepare for the marriage. It’s popular that men give an engagement ring at a restaurant where you can see a night view on a birthday or anniversary. Several of those conditions are applicable to my husband and me, too lol. Some women want to choose their favorite rings by themselves, so some couples will buy engagement rings together after a marriage proposal. My case is this one, too.

2 Start to choose a wedding hall

A couple who does not have a wedding ceremony is increasing recently, but I had because I wanted to wear a dress and show my parents me in a wedding dress. There are many styles of wedding ceremonies and receptions in Japan. Couples first must decide what kind of wedding do they want to have.

Whether do you want to have a wedding ceremony in Japanese style or Western-style? Whether do you invite a large number of people or only your family? And whether do you want to hold your ceremony in the country or overseas?

I wanted to have an orthodox wedding inviting not only my family but also friends and colleagues. Since popular wedding halls will be booked soon (you have to make a reservation a year in advance!), you have to find that earlier.
In that case, read “Zexy”!
“Zexy” is an information magazine about the arrangement of marriage and the introduction of ceremony halls. It is a popular wedding magazine in Japan. Of course, I bought that, too. That is issued monthly, but a very thick book…
I started to search for wedding halls, referring to Zexy.

↑”Zexy”.  If you click the picture, you will jump to website.)

There are also kinds of wedding ceremony halls.

Ceremony halls

・A Shinto shrine / a temple (Japanese style)

・A church (western style)

・anywhere (civil wedding)

Reception halls

A ceremony hall for a wedding: A traditional venue built to specialize in wedding ceremonies. There are many historical facilities and a Japanese garden.

A hotel
A restaurant
A guesthouse: European style houses made for wedding ceremonies. A new venue made since the 2000s.

These are popular reception halls.

The couples look for the wedding hall that fits their ideal. I want to have my wedding ceremony in a hotel, but there were many hotels in Tokyo and choosing one was hard.  And Popular hotels will be booked soon. Especially “a good day” would be filled with reservations quickly!

When is “a good day”?

There is a traditional Japanese idea that good days and bad days for celebrations depending on the day. This is old fortune-telling which is said to transmit from China, called “Rokuyo”(六曜). The Origin of that is unknown. It is used in Japan when deciding the date of the ceremonial occasion. Many parents still want the children to have a wedding ceremony on “a good day”.

3 Meet each parent

The couples go to each parent’s house and meet each family. Japanese old image of this situation is that a bride’s father doesn’t allow to get married to a bridegroom.

When a couple gets married, the relationship with each family is beginning. Some parents worry about how people see them, then they often don’t allow a marriage because of occupations or conditions of health. The bridegroom often gets nervous when he meets the bride’s father first.

In my case, not so! We enjoyed talking with each family. (*^^*)

The road to marriage is very long… I will write later.

Click here to read the next episode.

2nd episode ⇒ Road to marriage②

3rd episode ⇒ Road to marriage③

4th episode ⇒ Road to marriage④

Final episode ⇒ Road to marriage⑤


rice (Japanese OL)

Japanese OL. (OL means “office lady”. Women who work in offices.) I was born in a rural part of the Kanto area in the latter half of the 1980s. I  live and work in Tokyo now. I live with my husband. I study English by writing this blog!

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