Different countries have a different approach to weddings. Such a sacred event can be carried in various ways, depending on the culture we are talking about. When it comes to Japan, a wedding is a true bonding experience, since a kiss is the most precious act between two lovers. It is tender and symbolic, and the means of obtaining a good image are rather complicated. Sure, they changed a lot throughout the decades, but some things remained the same, so we are very glad to share that tad bit of information with you.
1. In Japan, it is completely okay to hire an actor as your family member to be present at the ceremony. Image is very important for Japanese people, so if you don’t have a lot of family members and your side will look kind of… empty, well, you can always visit a special service and hire a mom, two sisters and whoever you want. Those actors will act like your usual family, cheering and greeting you. All of it is done in order to impress the family of your spouse. How you look on the outside is very important for Japanese people.
2. In Japan, you can marry a virtual program. Japan is the most forward country in the sense of freedom. Here, you can be married to an anime pillow, a stuffed toy, or a hologram. For instance, a guy recently married a hologram of Hatsune Miku- a worldwide-known Japanese singer. He had a huge celebration with friends and family (well, there sure were no relatives on her side). And yes, broom’s mother was against this marriage, but hey, whatever makes you happy. Sure, those cases are not that widespread, but people actually perceive it normally.
3. There still are arranged marriages. Which means that your first date may happen because hers and your parents recommended you to meet in the first place. Sure, it’s not as cruel as in some other religions where girls can’t choose a man. But your parents can surely pick a fitting wife for you (if you like her too, of course). Even if guys do find a wife themselves, they want to find what’s best on the market. Girls are preferred to be good housekeepers and willing to build a strong family, and they seek for financial stability in their future husbands.
4. Modern couples buy wedding rings for each other, but the bride-to-be usually has to spend less money on her ring, while the man is expected to search for a better ring for his future wife.
5. Traditionally, the groom is usually dressed in a black kimono and wide pleated hakama trousers, and the upper haori jacket which is decorated with family crests. Sometimes his costume is complemented by a fan or umbrella. The bride dresses up in a dazzling white kimono with white (sometimes red-gold) accessories. As in the European tradition, white is a symbol of readiness to start life from scratch, entering a new home. A noticeable element of the bride’s vestment is a voluminous wig decorated with horns that are hidden by a white veil. Horns mean jealousy, so the bride promises that she will not be jealous with her outfit.
6. The bride gives an oath and leaves her husband for a minute to change and return in a colorful kimono – it’s a sign that she is a woman of a new status. This is for a very traditional and old-fashioned wedding.
7. In modern tradition, a groom changes into a black suit, and the bride wears a wedding gown. A ceremony of celebration is held at the restaurant or hotel where people sing karaoke and give presents to the newlyweds. Dancing is usually not a tradition.
8. The newlyweds give presents to their guests as well! They are unique and resemble every guest, showing them appreciation.
9. The main moment is when the newlyweds perform the san-san-kudo ceremony: as a sign of fidelity to each other, they should drink three sips of sake from three cups. It is believed that after the first sip, they officially become spouses.
10. After a ceremony, the groom’s father thanks everyone for such a good ceremony.