The majority of Japanese marriages were traditionally intimate affairs between members of the same family. Several people now choose to have a more formal wedding ceremony held at a temple or another religious site. Others continue to practice the more traditional rituals, frequently including a sakura ( cherry blossom ) ceremony, where the bride and groom cross a tree together to honor the renewal of their vows.

Shinto, the religion practiced by Japan’s indigenous citizens, dominates these ceremonies for the most part. A pastor officiates japanese mail order brides these marriages, known as shinzen shiki, in a service that is both somber and joyful. The partners makes an announcement to the kami and asks for their grace during this ritual. In a meeting known as the sansankudo, they consume nine drinks of the three mugs, where the number three signifies luck and unity. The bride and groom take vows, trade products, and then love each other before performing a symbolic dancing to appease the gods.

The shinzen shiki festivals are never likely to vanish, despite the increasing popularity of Western-style ceremonies in Japan. Toyohiko Ikeda, a chief Shinto priest at Sugawara Shrine in Machida, with whom we spoke, about the customs that have evolved into more contemporary rituals.

After the key festival, the few attends a welcome for the bride. Relatives and friends generally attend this extremely formal gathering. Traditional gifts are typically presented in velvet and tied with mizuhiki, or document strips, to symbolize fine fortune.