A Tokyo Wedding Under ¥50,000

you may kiss the bride I got married recently. Now, we all know that marriage doesn’t matter, but weddings can. Naturally I shun social obligations of any kind and am partial to the Money Mustache approach. But MasterDebator and other friends have persuaded me of the potential merit of the public ceremony of a committed relationship.

Here are some of the worthwhile aspects of wedding ceremonies:
– growing filial love with close friends and family
– proclaiming your vows publicly for the universal record
speeches – doing things that scare us

And here are some of the aspects better left out:
– writing invitations or thank you letters
– long drawn-out religious proceedings or dinners
– hiring strangers to do anything for you (photography, flowers, food, cake, lodging, transportation, etc.)
– telling second cousin Dave about where you live and what you’re doing
– repeating same conversation with other hundred second cousins and friends of parents whilst real friends attempt survival at the open bar
– real friends too drunk and bride and groom too tired to hang out properly by the time second cousins depart to their subsidized hotel rooms

As far as the above lists go, for our Tokyo wedding I’m proud to say we nailed it. Here’s how it went down:

fb inviteTuesday, Feb 3
3pm: start thinking maybe I should plan some kind of celebration for my legal marriage scheduled for Friday
6pm: reserve our regular restaurant, August Beer Club, just in case
10pm: craft Facebook invite for a surprise shotgun wedding dinner and decide to sleep on whether I should go through the extra effort and monetary expenditure to make it happen

Wednesday, Feb 4
8am: slept on it, yep, gonna do it. Pull the trigger on Facebook invite to 20 close friends in Tokyo – ask for a cash contribution to cover part of the dinner cost
6pm: obtain generous offer for cake and decorations from our friends at honeywedding.jp

Thursday, Feb 5
6pm: replies are rolling in – shaping up to be a nice event; increase August reservation to 20 people and request a private area
9pm: tell my one and only I’ve planned an intimate dinner with her and her family

Friday, Feb 6
1pm: write vows
3pm: head to Shibaura ward office to see our friend Toyoda-san, who loves us and wants to enact our marriage
4pm: officially married! Take photos and celebrate with train station egg tarts
6pm: write opening speech and wedding rap
7pm: meet family and head over to “intimate dinner”
7:30: joyous shock and awe descend on my one and only as we enter to white ribbon decorations and a table full of friends at August
7:45: August offers a generous gift of a magnum bottle of champagne for toasting
8pm: I give opening words and statements of gratitude
8:05: declare vows; my one and only blows me out of the water with her heartfelt and thoughtful message
8:10: commence eating delicious tastelets of August – french fries, salads, our favorite pizzas, legendary stew; laugh and hang out with good friends for entire dinner
9:45: cake feeding
10pm: first dance to emotional strains of August music
10:10: wedding pictures by best group of photographers imaginable (our friends)
10:15: receive best wedding pie ever from August
10:30: finished, everyone heads out after minimal listless waiting

For value and impact, it was a high success. And the total cost: with the generous help of August, honeywedding.jp, and our friends here – about 10 hours of planning and 46,000 yen ($380).

August Love Pie #2

My one and only says I can’t tell people to go out and plan a wedding with two days notice, as it’s 邪魔, or an inconvenience for the invitees. To which I reply, why not? Asking on short notice helps to keep numbers manageable and costs down. Those who could make it were happy with the process, slightly rushed though it may have been. And those who couldn’t make it caught up with us at a later time, no harm done.

Ultimately though, my story is less a recommendation than proof that a cheap Tokyo (or any big city, or anywhere for that matter) wedding that checks all the major boxes of wedding celebrations can be done. Give it a shot – and if you are in Tokyo reach out to August and tell them Chris from bluebeltlife sent you – they will accommodate an evening to remember. And if you want to do better than a Facebook invite, be sure to check out honeywedding.jp, the premier Japanese site to handle all of your web hosting needs for your big event (invitations, pictures, logistics, and much more).

Now let’s hear from you. Is my two-day notice for a wedding totally out of line? Did my wedding miss out on anything a bigger celebration could have achieved? Have you planned and executed a wedding at even less cost (it’s highly doable)? Leave your wedding experiences, thoughts, and questions in the comments section. Productive week ahead!

Tags: Love, frugal, Tokyo wedding on a budget, honeywedding.jp, August Beer Club, Penis Pizza, Blue Belt Weekly

4 thoughts on “A Tokyo Wedding Under ¥50,000

    1. bluebeltlife Post author

      Thanks Brad. Now if I can only figure out how to frugalize having a child..

  1. brownbeltlife

    Bravo, Chris… and congrats you crazy kids. Wish I could have been there, but I was in spirit.