This wedding was very special for me, as it was my little brother’s wedding. It was a small intimate wedding for close friends and family only. It took place in Fukuoka, Japan, where our mother lives, and it was held in Hotel Hilton Fukuoka Sea Hawk.
I have worked in various kinds of weddings internationally, but this was something totally different, as Japanese customs are not what I’m used to. In Japan, the average wedding budget is over 30,000e (for comparison, in Finland it’s ~7,500e) and there are around 70 guests, but the catch is that participants give money for the couple as a gift. The ones closer to the couple (family members and business partners) will pay more, and actually in big weddings it’s not unheard of that in the end the couple actually make money instead of losing it.
Many are used to the freedom of choosing the venue, catering and photographer for their wedding, but in Japan all that is controlled by the venue, and you have to buy everything as a “package”. This also means that outsiders are normally not allowed to photograph the wedding, and my brother had to ask for a special permission for me. The hotel didn’t exactly say “yes”, but they didn’t say “no” either (meaning that they don’t like the idea but accept this special arrangement).
The actual weddings are also quite different, as there is a lot of special program, and often couples change their outfits, sometimes even 4 times during the reception. Also, the length of the wedding is much shorter, around 4 hours, and in that time they have both the ceremony and reception, so with a lot of program, these weddings are quite hectic to work with.
Thanks little bro and Kaori for a great wedding (and afterparty)!