Shinto meaning the way of the Kami (Kami
means "the way of the gods"). A Shinto wedding is a ritual that takes place
in a Shrine because purity is important to them, most important events are
celebrated in the Shrine. Only family members are allowed to attend the
attire for the bride is a white silk kimono which can cost up to twenty five
thousand dollars to purchase. The groom wears a haori at the top and a
hakama at the bottom in black. A Japanese bride can change up to five times
into different kimonos. The bride wears a wig as part of the tradition of
the kimono wedding dress. The wig is bouffant and very decorated and with
artificial flowers ,gold combs and maybe pearls.
The Bride and groom enter from
different doors... drum and flute music are played. The nakodo waves a
sacred tree over the head of the couple to keep away evil spirits and to
symbolize purification. The tree is made of paper streamers. After the vows
the couple drinks a wine called sake, exchanging their cups nine times to
symbolize their bonding.
At the reception the bride and
groom sit at an elevated table and are applauded by the guests. This is when
the wedding march is played. The dinner for the reception is very expensive
so the guests bring money, new money not wrinkled old money. It is given to
the couple in a special envelope to help pay for the dinner which can run
one hundred dollars or more per plate. The master of ceremonies discusses
the background of the couple and wishes them well. Other friends and family
members give speeches. The wedding cake is cut with the brides hand resting
on the grooms hand to signify their first act together as husband and wife.
A toast is given to the couple then the bride changes into a traditional
western white wedding gown. The groom also changes into western clothing.
The couple stand under a paper umbrella over their heads which signifies
they are lovers.
The newlyweds face the guests
and light a single high candle on the center table which is symbolic for
their unity in marriage. At the end of the evening the couple gives the
mothers a bouquet of flowers and the fathers a carnation for the lape, as a
thank you gesture. The groom's father gives thanks to all who attended and
then the couple leaves on their honeymoon.
Ariza Accents/The Nuptial Knot
Moreno Valley, CA