A Fairytale Japanese Wedding Tradition


However, many couples are now choosing to get married in a Buddhist temple or symbolically in a church. The ceremony may take place in a church, in either Japanese or English – sometimes both! – and, while there won’t be a truly religious connotation, there is a short prayer or message about the sanctity of the wedding vows. Most important, of course, is the kiss.

Either way, the celebrations are replete with tradition. One of the oldest ones is Sansankudo, and dates back to the 17th century. The couple (sometimes also the parents) takes 3 sips of sake from 3 ceremonial cups, which is particularly meaningful as 3 can’t be divided into 2, and so symbolizes a long-lasting marriage.


Ceremonies are usually reserved for families and close friends, but if you’re lucky enough to be invited to the reception, prepare to be amazed at the loveliness of the event.

Whatever the style, you can be sure that it will be on a day especially chosen for luck. Even the food will be auspiciously chosen for its symbolism, and will never be served in multiples of 4, which written in Japanese can also mean death.


In a typical Japanese Shinto reception, the bride will wear a traditional white kimono called Shiromuku, symbolizing purity.

She’ll then change into a dazzling and colourful Irouchikake kimono for the reception, with delicate embroidery and gold foil.

This beautiful kimono was originally the formal wear of the wives of samurai going back to the 14th century!

If the kimono has a colourful obi sash, it’s known as a Hikifurisode kimono, which many brides are choosing now as a more modern option for the reception.

Many fashion-conscious brides choose, instead, to wear a Western-style white wedding dress.


We could talk about the groom’s styling, but unfortunately, grooms don’t really get a wide range of options, and either wear a traditional Montsukihakama or a Western-style suit.

There’s no shortage of fun at a Japanese wedding, so whether it’s a traditional Shinto or a Western-style wedding, you’re sure to enjoy the best of both worlds!

By | 2017-07-16T16:44:49+00:00 June 30th, 2015|Japanese Style|1 Comment

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One Comment

  1. Wedding Planners in Jaipur November 10, 2016 at 1:36 am - Reply

    very beautiful tradition. we love it so much.

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