October 23, 2012

Scenes from a Shrine Wedding

My cousin's wedding last month was held in Nogi Shrine (near Nogizaka Station), and was a traditional Shinto wedding. I had never been to such a wedding before, and it is unfortunate that you are not allowed to photograph Shinto ceremonies because it was a beautiful, austere experience. The format was surprisingly similar to a church wedding, with Shinto-specific elements such as a short performance with traditional instruments.

Miko, shrine maidens, who performed tasks such as pouring sake during the wedding ceremony. This position is available only to young girls, and are even held by high school girls as a part-time job.

Omikuji fortunes are tied onto this birdcage-like construction.

The hallway leading to the main shrine.

These laquered chairs reminded me of kabuto helmets.

Cherry blossom tea, slightly salty.

The groom's mother and sister, in age-appropriate hairstyles.

The reception hall adjacent to the shrine.

The banquet meal was delicious, about 90% Japanese food and 10% Western food, as evinced by the olive and chou puff pastry on the right of the photo.

The sashimi plate.

The kimono that the bride wore for the first portion of the reception, before changing into a Western-style wedding dress.

If you look carefully, you can see the painstakingly-made embroidery dots.

The candles were later lit by selected wedding guests.

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