So you want to get married in Japan, or even just renew your vows, great! But how can you be sure you will have an English speaking celebrant in Japan?
All of our celebrants speak English. I say all, I mean me – Ross Harrison – a native English speaker! However, on the odd occasion I am unavailable, we hire Japanese English speakers who are also experienced celebrants.
Whether you are looking for an officiant/celebrant for a small elopement, full-scale wedding or a simple vow renewal ceremony, this information is for you.
How does it work?
We have templates for use in our weddings and vow renewals, in which we have managed to give a nod both western and Japanese wedding traditions and beliefs.
We feel our script is somewhat unique in this respect. However, we encourage couples to make the script even more personal by adding their own touches and flourishes. Many couples choose to simply leave it up to us to make the script, and that is cool too.
However, we are more than happy to work with our couples ahead of the big day to ensure that they include all the elements that will make their special moment, you know… well, special!
Are you ordained?
No. I am not ordained, nor am I affiliated with any religion or sect. While the words celebrant and officiant typically refer to someone who performs a religious ceremony, our ceremonies are typically not religious.
The wedding scripts are non-religious. They are designed to allow the couple to reflect on the solemn promise they are making to each other. That said, if the couple want to include elements of their own personal beliefs, I whole heartedly support it.
Your special day is about you; it is about embracing who you are as individuals and as a couple, and therefore the script should reflect that. As a celebrant, I am merely there to help you reflect on yourselves and each other as you embark on your new lives together.
How long does a typical ceremony take?
This is really dependent on the couple. If using the base script, it will take anything from 10 to 15 minutes. However, it can be as long or as short as you want!
A typical ceremony includes the following:
- Welcome and introduction
- Short reading/poem about marriage
- Personal vows – an opportunity for the bride and groom to speak
- Declaration of the wedding vows
- Ring exchange
- Ceremonial certificate signing
- A short reference to an old Japanese belief about marriage – this is sometimes combined with a reading or poem
- Closing remarks
These items do not necessarily appear in the same order every time. Furthermore, couples are invited to add or subtract any items they desire.
Are you available for hire?
While I primarily work for couples who have signed up with Serendipity Flower and Wedding. If you have already planned your wedding or vow renewal and are simply in need of an officiant/celebrant, I will be happy to help you out, schedule permitting, of course!
How much do you charge?
If you sign up through Serendipity Flower and Wedding, the officiation is part and part of the package, and will not cost anything extra.
However, if you need a celebrant for an already planned wedding/vow renewal, the fee is ¥38,500 + travel.
What does the fee include?
This will include multiple Skype calls to:
- Get to know each other – being comfortable with the officiant before the big day will help control nerves and stress levels on the day
- discuss who you are as a couple,
- go over and discuss personal beliefs and creeds that you may wish to include in the ceremony,
- talk about personalization of the script,
- If desired, discuss your own personal vows
Are you available to travel?
Yes, but this is entirely schedule dependent. Please note, should the travel require accommodation, this will need to be covered.
How do we pay?
There are two ways to pay:
- PayPal (with transaction and handling fees this comes to ¥40,188)
- TrsansferWise (this incurs no transaction or handling costs)