Majestic Traditional Japanese Wedding

Not only do brides to be come to my boutique, but also mother of the bride or mother of the groom knock the door of Alis Fashion Design to have their formal wear custom made.

This time, I visited Japan to be a part of traditional Japanese wedding as mother of the groom that my son and daughter in law tied the knot at Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine, Kawagoe, Japan on December 27th, 2015. It’s been told that this shrine was built about 1500 years ago from now. With the gracious history, this shrine is widely known for the god of marriage.

Red tori gate at Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine

Japanese red tori gate welcomed us.

Reception sign in Japanese at Japanese traditional wedding

This reception sigh says “Kamoda family” on the left and “Kuznetsov family” on the right.

Japanese style red seat assignment chart with gold cranes at the wedding

Seat assignment chart with gold crane prints.

Both bride and groom wore traditional Japanese white kimono for this wedding.

Bride Yui is wearing “Shiromuku”, white kimono with many cranes. Crane is a symbol of longevity as well as happy lovely couple since a couple stay together for life. Her big white cotton hat is called “Wataboushi”, to hide the bride’s face from others till the wedding is finished. “White” for the bride represents purity which will be “colored to husband’s color” once she is married.

Groom Sasha is wearing white “Montsuki Haori Hakama”, a traditional formal costume for men.

Interracial couple Japanese Bride and Russian groom wearing traditional Japanese kimono at Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine
Japanese bride wearing white shirouchikake with a huge cotton hat at shrine

You can see the intricate embroidery of cranes on her kimono.

Japanes bride in white kimono with japaense styled bouquet at shrine

This is Japanese style bouquet handmade by the bride. Very unique shape compared to traditional western bouquets.

Once the bride is prepared for the ceremony, she will face her parents for the first time. Bride’s parents are both waiting for their daughter to come in to this special room.

Mother and father of the bride waiting for the bride to come in at Hikawa kaikan

Now, it is the rite of passage where mother of the bride put a red lipstick oo the bride’s lips that are untouched by the makeup artist because mother of the bride herself gives a final touch to make her daughter “bride.”

Red lipstick set for mother of the bride to put on her daughter to be a bride
Japanese Mother putting red lipstick to the bride in white kimono
Bride in white wedding kimono shiromuku walking in the hallway

Bride fully ready for the wedding walking in the special hallway.

After the majestic ceremony at the shrine, both families walked to the reception venue in the order of family blood relationship from bride and groom along with shrine maidens and gagaku, ancient court music players.

Parade of families after the wedding ceremony at the Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine

Once all the guests are seated, bride and groom entered the modern Japanese themed banquet room named Rokka, six flowers.

Bride and groom entered the banquet hall Rokka at Kawagoe Hikawa Kaikan
Bespoke designer Lana Gerimovich in Kimono as a mother of the groom
Japanese wedding reception begins with cheers at Kawagoe Hikawa Kaikan

Banquet began with the speech by father of the bride.

fashion designer Lana Gerimovich at her sons wedding in Japan wearing black kimono
Lana Gerimovich served with Sake Japanese communication custom Oshaku at wedding

Oshaku, traditional custom to pour someone sake to show the respect which will leads to better communication and relationship.

In Japan, brides change dresses throughout the reception sometimes three or four times! The trend is to wear colored western dresses such as red, pink, blue, yellow at the reception if they wear kimono at the ceremony or vice versa.

My daughter in law actually changed into traditional style, Irouchikake, colored kimono. She chose the classic color, red, filled with gorgeous embroidery of celebrating patterns such as cranes and court carriages.

This custom of wearing colored outfit is to show that the brides is “colored to husband’s color” after the ceremony.

Unlike western custom, cutting the cake, Japanese style is to hit the salt baked red snapper fish by a wooden mallet.

Bride and Groom hitting the salt baked fish together at the reception
Lana Gerimovich fashion designer of Alis Fashion Design attending traditional Japanese wedding in Kimono

Also, their custom is the speech from bride and groom to their parents. This was my first time to receive a formal letter/speech from him, thanking me for raising him.

Groom giving a speech to his mother at the traditional Japanese wedding
Lana Gerimovich speech by her son at traditional Japanese wedding in Japan
Interracial couple traditional Japanese reception at Kawagoe Hikawa Kaikan

It was my honor to wear traditional Japanese kimono, Tomesode. This black kimono is something that mother of the bride and groom typically wear at the wedding. It is accented with a gold belt with a slight pattern in the bottom. Wearing kimono was such a majestic experience including how maids put this on me so professionally, and I really wanted to show my respect to bride’s family and Japanese culture. As a fashion designer, I’m privileged to try Kimono for the first time.

Interracial couple in kimono with fashion designer Lana Gerimovich wearing Japanese black kimono tomesode at Kawagoe Hikawa Kaikan

This wedding was truly the most fascinating experience of all. Not only was I part of my son’s wedding as a mother of the groom, but also I was fully submerged into Japanese culture. As this sacred tree standing like husband and wife which supports each other rather than either of them surviving by absorbing all the nutrients, I wish them everlasting love and harmonious life.

Interracial married couple wearing Japanese formal kimono between husband wife tree at Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine

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This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. Good story of your life..!
    Around the world, different countries different traditions. Japan – country colors and first sunrise..
    Thank you Lana about this great experience.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment on this blog post! Being an expert of western style weddings, I’m just fascinated with their ceremony, outfits, food, and pretty much everything about this traditional Japanese wedding!! I’m glad that you as a reader could picture this experience through our blog!

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