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Wedding Gifts

June 18th, 2008

Sachi and I visited Subir (the wedding hall people who will be handling our wedding) to help develop the details of the affair. One thing they told me which kind of surprised me was that not only did they have an Internet connection in the hall, but they could allow to direct control over the hall’s projector and screen from the bride & groom’s dais table. I can have my Mac sitting there, and can control the show on my own–start the videos, engage the Skype calls, even control the music when I am not otherwise occupied. Pretty cool. Sachi was amused–she understands my inner geekness.

But something that surprised me more was a really great wedding gift system, different from what I thought was usual. In Japan, the married couple don’t receive gifts from the guests–they give gifts to the guests. The guests instead offer money–from maybe ¥10,000 ~ 20,000 for the acquaintances and friends to maybe ¥50,000 for the company bigwigs. The bride and groom supply everyone with a small set of presents. In my experience, this has always been in the form of a goodie bag–everyone finds it on or next to their seat, or is handed one as they leave; each bag has the same contents, which usually must be generalized in order to appeal to a broad range of tastes. Usually it’s stuff like cookies and cakes, or maybe the odd nicknack–a coffee mug or letter opener or the like.

WedalbumBut the system shown to us by Subir is far better. Instead of a goodie bag, everyone at the wedding gets a small photo album. The photo album is temporarily filled with a small catalog of gifts, almost like a wedding registry in reverse. Once home, the wedding guest decides which gift they’d like and orders it, then gets it by delivery. Then the guest can discard the contents of the album and use it as their own photo album; the married couple might even send everyone a starter set of photos taken at the wedding.

This strikes me as a great idea; usually the wedding goodie bags are nice, but relatively useless; the gifts are so generalized as to lose their appeal. Apparently this system has only taken off in the past few years.

Funny side point: the company that makes the album is named “My Precious.” Apparently they never read The Lord of the Rings. Or maybe they did but didn’t really get it.

Next task: write up, print out, and send out the wedding invitations. We’ve already bought the cards, that was the easy part. We also have to… well, almost everything. A long list. One day at a time.

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