Ever dreamt of having a traditional Japanese wedding and curse your parents for being foreign born?
Kyoto has you covered.
A growing number of international couples cherish the idea of traditional Japanese ceremonies: fully loaded with temples, Shinto priests, and sacred rituals. Apparently, Kyoto is the perfect destination – the embodiment of traditional Japanese culture, known for beautiful Shinto and Buddhist temples. Kamigamo shrine in the Kita Ward noticed an increase in requests for these weddings in 2009 and began accommodating. The local city government even began issuing wedding certificates back in 2015.
Richard Delange and Matt Molony from Australia recently wed in another Kyoto temple. Their reasoning – weddings in Australia are very expensive, huge ordeals (as they are in many places in the world). So they chose to have a small intimate ceremony at the charming little temple located in Kyoto’s Ukyo Ward.
So what does a traditional Japanese wedding look like? Time for some home movies:
Japanology.org explains Japanese weddings in further detail.
Brides wear a traditional white kimono, called a shiromuku, along with a elaborate headdress, called tsuno-kakushi and watabosh. She also wears white, kabuki-style makeup. The groom wears a traditional black kimono, called a montsuki, with kimono pants and jacket. He gets no fancy hat or makeup.
During the processions, the couple drinks 3 kinds of sake from ceremonial cups. Their parents get to drink too, and they deserve a drink for raising these damn kids.
The wedding party heads to a banquet hall where their friends and family are waiting for them for feasting, drinking, and toasting the couple. There is also gift giving, but unlike Western weddings, cash is the appropriate gift. I’m all for that.
Afterwards, folks are invited to a club or karaoke bar for dancing (and more drinking). This tradition is newer, adopted from Western-style receptions. My guess – they wanted to chicken-dance.