Q Why does it cost so much to hold a wedding?

A There are many Japanese who regard marriage as an alliance between two families and they feel that they cannot be too stingy about the cost of the wedding to make an impression on the other family. From long ago it was said in Japan that holding a wedding required spending much money. According to the Haifii-yanagidaru-shiii, a book of senryii (a comic haiku poem), a woman's wedding day is a once-in-a-lifetime day when she is most brilliantly colored.

The time-honored practice of holding the wedding ceremony at the bridegroom's house was very rarely carried out after the war. Hotels and weddings halls were utilized instead which resulted in having to spend more money. Weddings became more and more gaudy as wedding halls took to advertising their selection of a variety of elaborate receptions as well as having the bride change to a different outfit two or three times during the reception. The 1960s to the 1980s was a period of high economic growth which saw a rise in the national income that enabled the Japanese to become a little extravagant and to take overseas trips. According to a 1995 survey, the average amount spent for holding a wedding came out to be about 3.35 million yen (US $30,000).

However, according to a bank survey, 30% of couples after their wedding regretted spending too much on their wedding. The 1990s marked a trend where more and more young people are opting for an original wedding that does not require spending money unnecessarily.