The Shinto Wedding Practice From Westernized Wedding Traditions

Published: 21st January 2010
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The Japanese wedding practices were traditionally of Shinto ways. However, westernization have widely changed the Japanese way of wedding from traditional Shinto ceremonies to Western-style weddings. But either case, the couple must first be legally married by filing for marriage at their local government office, and the official documentation must be produced in order for the ceremony to be held. But what are the common practices of traditional Shito weddings from westernized Wedding celebrations?

Shinto Wedding Ceremonies
Unlike the westernized wedding ceremonies, Shito style weddings are much similar to that of the Chinese wedding practices. Before the wedding, there are two types of mate selection that may occur with the couple. There is the miai or an arranged marriage and the ren ai which is a love match. There is, however, a similarity with western style weddings and Shinto weddings, such as the importance of white.

White weddings are very popular in western style weddings, even today. Brides would often wear white dresses as symbol of purity and virginity. In Shinto style Wedding celebrations, the Japanese bride-to-be may be painted pure white from head to toe, visibly declaring her maiden status to the gods.

Shinto Weddings of Today
Like the western style Wedding practices, Shinto wedding customs or shinzen shiki, still involve an elaborate ceremony held at a Shinto shrine. Shinto style wedding celebrations today are increasingly extravagant with all the elaborate details placed into thought. However, in some cases, younger generations choose to abandon the formal ways by having a "no host party" for a wedding. In this situation, the guests include mainly of the couple's friends who pay an attendance fee.

A cross of Westernized wedding Shinto wedding
With the two types of ceremonies, Shinto and Western, available it was bound for the two to be combined into what is called a contemporary Japanese wedding. Contemporary Japanese weddings are celebrated in many ways. Popular practices of contemporary Japanese wedding include dressing the bride with western style wedding dresses or a kimono, photo shoots, and a wedding in Shinto shrines which may be conveniently located inside a hotel.

A Shinto priest conducts the ceremony. In the ceremony, the bride and the groom are purified. However, the ceremony's important event occurs when the bride and the groom exchange nuptial cups of sake also known as san-san-ku-do, with the addition of Western tradition, the exchange of rings and weddings vows also take place.

Like any westernized wedding traditions, a reception takes place right after the wedding ceremony. The guests of the reception include family members, friends, and colleagues. For more information visit to our site at

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