Clash of East and West
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Clash of East and West

Kōbe : Japan | Mar 14, 2012 at 10:57 PM PDT
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Japanese Wedding Ceremony

Marriage is a holy and sacred thing that many of us go through sometime in our lives. Nearly 70 to 80 percent of those who are married also have a wedding. The wedding can bring many couples to their knees, most through the planning and preparation but there is one other element that may need some consideration. That element being of culture. It is not widely known among foreigners living in and getting married to Japanese that it is customary for the groom to flip the wedding ceremony and reception bill, in full. That doesn't sound too bad, think twice.

Japan is and has been going through an economic slump since the burst of their economic bubble. There is nearly a 25 percent unemployment rate, the birthrate is declining, and the income of full-time workers is falling yearly. The amazing thing the cost of thing is remaining the same as it was 30 years ago. A great example is that of wedding cost. With a culture that nearly forces the groom to pay in full we can start to see one reason for the fall in Japan's population.

The common worker whether business or laborer makes around $2820USD per month before taxes. Then we reduce the common needs for everyday life and we can start to see why many Japanese don't marry until they are in their 30's or 40's. Living cost will usually run a person somewhere between $1,400 to $1,800USD per month, now this includes phone, electricity, gas, water, rent and possibly a month of food if you are a light eater. This means if you don't gamble, party, buy very many new clothes, drink or play with new gadgets you could possibly pay for a wedding and party that cost $10,000 to $20,000 for three hours and a total of 20 to 50 people in 1 to 2 years.

It could be said that the parents of the bride would be relieved to know that they don't live in many western countries where it is the bride’s family that pays the cost. In my personal opinion I think it should go both ways. I mean marriage is the symbol of becoming one and equal, a family of its own.

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Three grooms attend their wedding ceremony in Sanaa
Three grooms attend their wedding ceremony in Sanaa
UnderHunter is based in Kōbe, Hyōgo, Japan, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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