wedding

It can be hard to make Japanese weddings unique or special, since so many of them are held in the same kind of reception rooms in hotels or typical wedding venues. It’s not uncommon for couples about to be married to flip through wedding magazines like Recruit’s Zexy agonizing over the details of their ceremony.

But recently we’re seeing newcomers who challenge the conventional ways of organizing weddings. Amazon just opened up its own sort of wedding store, which can be helpful for couples who might have little time to prepare for a wedding. Rakuten too has launched a wedding service called Rakukon, where couples can pay only 200,000 yen for their wedding in advance (about $1,957) and then pay the rest with congratulatory gift money (Goshuugi). This way, couples do not have to pay out of their own pocket. Rakukon’s pricing is unconventional considering that on average couples spend over 3 million yen on a wedding (about $29,355).

Making it affordable

Perhaps the biggest game changer in the wedding industry is Minna no Wedding (roughly translated as ‘Everyone’s Wedding’) which launched back in Feburary of 2008. The service was originally a DeNA offering, but it was split from that company in October of 2010. The site has about one million unique users and 10 million page views per month. This count is very impressive considering that visitors to the site are limited to couples planning to marry.

minna

Minna no Wedding’s killer content — and what differentiates it from competitors — are the wedding venue reviews posted by couples after they marry. Previously, all wedding-related information was pretty favorable when describing venues, since the venues were the ones paying to be published. People post reviews for many reasons, but many do so share the excitement (or disappointment in some cases) of their wedding. There is also an incentive system called Goshuugi points where posting three reviews can be rewarded with over 1,000 yen (about $10) worth of points.

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