Modern Japanese wedding ceremonies are celebrated in many different ways. Many of these have both traditional Japanese and Western norms side by side. In the past Japanese wedding ceremonies took place in Shinto Shrines. Many of the Japan’s wedding sites still provide shrines for couples who want to follow the traditional Japanese wedding theme. Many Japanese couples these days, want to amalgamate Christian, Buddhist and Shinto customs on their weddings.
Many Japanese couples get married by Shinto, Buddhist or Christian priest in a wedding hall. The couple usually choose to wear three different types of outfits- the traditional Japanese kimonos, Western bridal gowns and tuxedo and western style party apparel on their wedding day. the traditional Japanese bride’s wedding kimono has a white hood attached to it and the bride has to wear it like a veil in order to conceal her horns of jealousy from the mother of the groom.
Traditional grooms wear black Kimonos to the wedding ceremony. Most Japanese weddings take place in spring and fall as these seasons are seen as fortunate seasons to begin a union. Some wedding anniversaries are thought to be lucky and so many newly wed couples are seen going for their honeymoons on the same days.
Japanese bride is painted pure white from head to toe to declare her maiden standing to gods. To draw good luck the bride wears an intricate headpiece that is covered with a lot of ornaments.There are only a few guests present at the wedding ceremony. There are no bridesmaids or groomsmen at the traditional Japanese wedding ceremonies.
However the japanese traditions have a special place for the ‘Nakoudo’ couple. The couple make their first entrance along with the nakoudo couple. The nakoudo couple can be friends who introduced the couple or any other couple that is close with the wedding couple.
In arranged marriages the matchmakers are usually the nakodo couple. making entrance with the nakodo couple signifies that the marriage will prove to be a prosperous one as a couple outside the family supports it. After the announcements of the bride and groom the couple’s family, friends, colleagues give speeches. According to the Japanese custom one has to tell a moralistic tale or sing praises for the significance of marriage.
After the wedding ceremony the newly wed couple welcomes all the guests at the reception party that is held after the wedding ceremony. 20 to 200 guests are commonly present at the wedding reception, these include family, relatives, close friends and co workers of the bride and the groom.
The party usually starts with the bride and groom’s introduction. A meal is also served at the reception. The bride is initially dressed in a red kimono and then later changes to a western dress. At the end of the party a speech is made by the couple for all the guests who are present at their wedding.