By: Stephanie Flor
Japanese wedding celebrations still hold ancient practices that have cultural significance and beauty. Today, more than ever, Japanese-American couples are heading back to Japan to honor their families wedding practices and combining both East and West traditions to make them their own.
Brides wear an all-white embroidered silk sleeve kimono with a large hood that covers her face, hiding her beauty from the public; similar to how a western bride wears a veil. After the shrine ceremony, the bride will switch to a short-sleeve kimono indicating she is now a married woman. She will remove the hood, revealing a bridal up-do or traditional wig with elaborate makeup. Working with a respected wedding hotel, like Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa in Tokyo, helps you get picture-ready for all the changes throughout the day. They specialize in both western and eastern beauty needs to make you feel and look as authentic as possible.
The Japanese makeup symbolizes innocence and purity; painting the lips red and white face makeup to lighten the skin using kabuki brushes. Everything is specifically detailed and dates from the Edo period, with step-by-step guides on achieving the Shinto look, such as an elegant dip at the collar of the kimono exposing the nape and giving the appearance of a longer neck, which is a sign of beauty.
Boxwood combs, a staple in Japanese culture, are used to prepare the bride’s hair. Wooden combs were believed to have shamanic qualities and that each strand of hair combed by the boxwood would deliver spiritual energy and beauty. This specific comb is said to prevent hair loss and make hair shiny and strong due to the Camellia oil used on the wood. Camellia oil is known as the gift of nature in Japan. It’s a top beauty weapon and the key ingredient to makeup lasting all day long. Geishas have been using it for centuries as a makeup remover and to cleanse their face. It controls the secretion of oil, which is perfect for hot wedding days and also protects against the sun while keeping the skin natural and healthy.
Yumeyakata.com is a trusted Kyoto-based Kimono rental store that specializes in different packages for brides. One of their most popular packages is dressing up like Maiko, which is another word for Geisha. You will be transformed with full makeup, hair, and kimono attire for a full photography session, both on and off location while site-seeing. Many couples use these pictures as part of their wedding ceremonies, or gifts after the wedding.
Japan is a great place for brides searching for tradition and beauty. One of their most popular wedding times is the start of spring when the cherry blossoms fall from the Sakura tree. The Japanese customs have preserved the delicate natural beauty of its country to this day, making it a top beauty destination for brides-to-be.