Super simple steps to becoming a polite guest at a Japanese wedding - Waku Waku

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Super simple steps to becoming a polite guest at a Japanese wedding


Super simple steps to becoming a polite guest at a Japanese wedding

I have been living and working in Japan for 3 years, not a long time but not a short time either for me to be exposed to many characteristics of Japanese culture



Published on 29 Oct 2021, 12:00

Since Japan and Vietnam are both Asian countries, so generally speaking both share several similar customs. However, each country has its own characteristics which contribute to the world's diversity.

The first time I received an invitation from a Japanese, but I didn't know how to get back to them.

Every time there's a wedding, parents will accompany their child to each of their relatives' houses to give invitation cards in Vietnam. If you are the bride's relatives, besides cards, you may also receive Banh com (Green rice flake cake) and Banh xu xe (Husband and wife cake). Then just keep your invitation cards and get to the wedding on time.

Therefore, when I was invited to a wedding in Japan for the first time, I didn't know that I had to respond to the bride/groom after being invited. Fortunately, 1 week before the wedding, when my colleague asked vaguely if anyone in the department hadn't got back to the bride, I hurriedly asked everyone how to write a response.

Writing the response letter was very simple, I just needed to use a black pen and a ruler to cross out the word go-shusseki (absent) on the card and also the honorific words referring to me after that.

Super simple steps to becoming a polite guest at a Japanese wedding

The blank margin was used to write congratulations. Speaking of writing congratulations, it's true that everything needs to be learned. That day I wrote: おめでとうございます。どうぞお幸せに。 (Happy wedding to you two!)

At first glance, there was no problem, but it was not until I sent the card, I found out that the dot should not be used in the congratulations since it was reminiscent of the separation in Japanese culture.

Therefore, this congratulations should be written as: おめでとうございます ! どうぞお幸せに !

Select the appropriate envelope for the gift money

Selecting an envelope is not as simple as it is in Vietnam. Just inadvertently choosing the wrong one may lead to a huge embarrassment.

Basically, Japanese envelopes usually have a picture of mizuhiki knot printed on them. The knots are tied in various ways, referring to different meanings. For the wedding, we should buy an envelope with the meaning of "getting married once" by choosing one of these two knots, "musubi-kiri" and "awaji-musubi".

Suitable envelop for wedding
Suitable envelop for wedding

Please avoid buying the "cho-musubi" knot for the wedding since it implies the act of unfastening and re-tying over and over again, and who wants to get married many times?

A little note that I learned from many times participating in Japanese weddings: Keep the obverse side of the money paper facing the front side of the envelope for the wedding, and vice versa only for the funeral.

On the wedding day, what should the guest wear?

No matter what country the wedding is held in, it's the day of the bride and groom. As a guest, of course, we should not wear too splendid clothes, right?

For men, dark suits and black leather shoes are generally chosen. These are simple, polite items and do not overwhelm the prominence of the bridal couple.

Women should not dress in white - the color of the bride's outfit. When wearing high heels, try not to expose your toes and heels.

Before the wedding ceremony, the guests would arrive a little earlier to be more relax and have a broad smile on their faces while greeting the bride and groom with the congratulations of "omedeto gozaimasu".

This is the first wedding I had attended in Japan
This is the first wedding I had attended in Japan

Every country has its own rituals and customs. So, always remember to learn about them carefully to avoid embarrassing situations like mine!


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