The wedding day is
an important day –
but too much at times!!
Interesting article in a British broadsheet the other day – a guy telling his story about being a `priest` in Japan. Just for weddings. An extra money-earner on the side. He was employed by an agency, learned the script by heart but then had to adopt a certain air about him as well so he thought of his local priest at home. He also thought of an episode of Father Ted with a fake priest visiting the parochial house and gave himself this great name that Mrs Doyle shouts out when trying to guess the visitors` name.
These wedding ceremonies, in Japan, are conducted in romaji – i.e. Japanese rendered into English language (ai dsu- is romaji, and アイ ヅー is katakana for `I do`). The venues are `fake` churches and chapels. The only real aspect of it is the marriage register which obviously has to be official, in order for the marriage to be recorded. Though Christianity got its claws into Japan as well at some point (Christian priests at one stage were expelled for a period of time, but were let back in again, and their converts were tortured and executed), it`s still not prominent in Japan and so these wedding arrangements are just for show and part of a wedding `package` for most. I thought part of the article was funny – especially the name the guy gave himself (as a priests name) – and I have to say I wasn`t surprised to hear of this kind of thing (remember Joey in Friends getting his licence over the internet to marry his two friends?), especially in Japan. As another guy who had been a `priest` at marriage ceremonies pointed out it shows an artificial and shallow side to an other-wise deep culture, such as Japan has had for centuries. It`s almost Disneyland-like and they like their kitsch in Japan. Of course, not all marriage ceremonies are like that in Japan. I love wedding photos where the couple are in traditional dress or at least the man is wearing the traditional kimono with a sword in his belt while the woman is wearing a western gown. I don`t know if Japan is like China where white actually represents death (as the two countries share a lot of traditions), but I suppose as it`s a western concept and not a Japanese one, a Japanese bride can get away with wearing white (or they could wear ivory, a much nicer option).
I immediately thought it sounded awful, but then I thought well anyone (anywhere) who forks out thousands of (whatever currency) for one day is also putting on a show and they may decide to get married in a church just because their parents want them to or because they believe it`s part of the package, regardless of what they may think of the church. Ok, they might get suspicious if their priest was called after a character from Father Ted but I digress. Also, in most countries now you have wedding planners who pretty much create a package for the engaged couple and hotels put on wedding fairs and so on (no doubt hoping the couples will choose their hotels while looking at dresses and suits and so on). So, it`s not that far off from what happens in that situation in Japan with the fake priests and their mad names (and that`s what made me cringe the most about the Japanese wedding situation, not their fault for not knowing about Father Ted I know but still….).
Oh for a simple wedding ceremony in a great location by a lay person who is licenced to officiate. That would suit me. I have thought about the whole role of the church and so on in my potential big day (meaning it would not have a role). I wouldn`t fancy getting married in a church, just a beautiful location with my groom (who I think I will meet one day, he might be Japanese too who knows), and a few witnesses. Each to their own I suppose.