Taiken Japan

Autumn Leaves 2016

Wedding Day For One

Photo: wei zheng wang on Flickr, ©2014 王韋証 (Balmung)

Wedding Day For One

Marina Villar

I've graduated from the university, I am currently happily working, I am enjoying life and I am also in the search of love.

One by one my best friends got married, my colleagues have started to get married, the friends of my friends as well, even my younger sister and my always-single brother. So here I am, getting closer to reach my 30ths (or, shhh… I`ve already reached them), I am still single and, call me a pessimist if you want, but I do not see a good perspective in a short period of time.

So, if you are from a western country like me, probably this is not a problem. Why it would be? Life is not only about couples, kids and families after all. Life, fortunately, is much more than that. Life is about building a professional career, having hobbies, spending quality time with friends, having fun and planning a prosperous future.

But if you were born and grew up in a traditional Asian environment, you and your family members might be starting to get worried and will push you to find your partner, and sooner better than later, getting married and starting to have kids.


Photo : mrhayata on Flickr
However, some Japanese women are giving up on marriage, but it does not mean that would stop them from having their original big dreamy day.

Like most brides, they have been planning their special moment for months but unlike most brides, these won´t have a groom waiting for them to arrive. These are single Japanese women who are determined to have their own weddings but without having a relationship. I know, it might sound surreal, crazy or even impossible, but is not. At least, it is not in Japan.


Photo : Annie Guilloret on Flickr
There are a few companies, which offer their Solo-Weddings. That means, among other things: choose their own bridal gown or traditional bridal kimono fitting, hairstyling, make-up, bouquet of flowers and the typical photo shooting that will allow them to remember this unique day for the rest of their lives. They can also pamper them selves with spa treatments, massages, a stay in a luxury hotel and a stand-in companion in case they are not willing to end the day having dinner and cutting the cake alone.

I have done my research and I can tell that the percentage of unmarried women in Japan between 20 and 35 years old is currently quite high, specially compared with a few decades ago. For some people this is because there is no longer a social or financial need to get married, for others, is harder to have the time to find the right person. So having the Solo-wedding starts to make more sense for some. And this new tradition might get more popular and usual with the time.


Photo : Ben Fredericson (xjrlokix) on Flickr
If you are already thinking about it, you might consider contacting a pioneer in the matter: Cerca Travel, an agency based in Kyoto which offers the Solo-Wedding service and assures a happy and memorable day full of details and smiles.

If you are on board of the experience, please feel free to share it!

For now, this is happening only in Japan, but once the voice is spread, who says this is not the beginning of a trend that may reach many more countries.