It was bound to come to this, wasn’t it…
As an increasing number of Japanese women put their careers ahead of starting a family, the number of services that cater to single women is on the rise. One such service is the ‘Solo Wedding’ – a full wedding day experience during which a woman gets to be bride without actually getting hitched.
The absence of a groom at a wedding might sound abnormal, but the concept is surprisingly popular. Ever since Kyoto-based company Cerca Travels launched Solo Weddings in June, at least 10 single ladies have used the service. These are women who have dreamed of wearing a wedding dress all their lives, but never really had the chance to do it.
A Solo Wedding gives the client a chance to live out her childhood dream – she is put up at a plush hotel for two days and then taken in for dress fittings, bouquet design, hair and makeup. Each service is handled by a professional, and completed with the same level of precision as a real wedding ceremony. Once the bride is all decked up, she is taken to beautiful locations in Kyoto that complement her personality, for a full photo shoot.
Solo Brides can also choose to have a decorative man between the ages of 20 and 70 pose along with them. And for women who want the attention but aren’t into wedding gowns, the company provides historical dress-up tours around Kyoto, like being photographed in Geisha makeup and traditional attire. There are a variety of packages to choose from – the cheapest one starts at 330,000 yen (US$2,800).
The company’s website features reviews of delighted Solo brides: “It really felt like a dream,” wrote one divorcee in her 50s. “I didn’t really care about the wedding dress because I was married and had children already.”
A single woman in her 30s was more excited about the dress: “That was the best! I feel great! I’m dating a guy but have totally put off the pain that is getting married. I always wanted to wear a wedding dress and I didn’t want to regret it, but I also didn’t want to pester my boyfriend.”
Some people might find the idea of a Solo Wedding bizarre, but let’s face it – it does fulfill the dreams of many women out there who aren’t getting any younger while waiting for the perfect wedding to happen.
Hey, if it means some men who would really just be props like the ‘decorative’ men mentioned above, end up dodging a Bridezilla bullet, by not ending up married to these women, it’s all to the good, surely. :)