A few years back I was in Tokyo, Japan, and fell in love with the Japanese culture. The people were gracious, the food was fantastic, the fashion trends inspiring.
I was not engaged at this time, (yet) but was soaking up anything to do with weddings. Never was I more thrilled on my trip to Japan, then when I stumbled upon bits of Japan's wedding culture.
The bridal fashion is unlike anything I had ever seen. The dresses in the display windows were similar to what I was familiar with, and then there were differences. These dresses are Western styled, and are often warn after the ceremony.
The images below were taken while I was walking the grounds of Meiji Shrine. I was delighted to have caught a rare sighting of a traditional Shinto wedding. (Shinto is the main religion of Japan) I was joined by a Japanese friend, and she had said to see such a sight was indeed rare. She continued to say that couples were dropping the traditional ceremonies, and opting for Western styled ceremonies and events.
I don't know how much of that is verifyable, but it sure seems that brides and their grooms are continuing with the traditions of their ancestors.
I was in awe that I saw 3 different brides, wearing traditional white wedding kimono gowns, each one different in style. The gowns are breathtaking with the intricate embroidery, styling, and richness.
My favorite part was seeing the procession. I couldn't take my eyes off the beauty that was happening before me. I love the use of the red umbrella, it is such a statement piece.
I certainly wasn't expecting to stumble upon weddings while I was in Tokyo, and I am so glad I did. I felt it was a good luck charm, as at the end of that year I was engaged!
This post was not so much an inspiration, as a sharing of weddings in another culture different than what each of us consider's our own culture. Brides are alike the world over, and its beautiful when we can witness traditions near or far, especially when planning our own weddings.
The images taken are my own, so I am the source!