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Uchikake and a wedding dress? 2008/4/14 12:23
I'm planning on having my wedding at a shinto shrine in Washington state. I don't think I can afford the extra cost of renting a wedding kimono since we are flying to Japan right after for the honeymoon.

My fiance and I are both American and we were told by the shrine that Western dress or Japanese dress is fine.

I've seen used uchikake for a few hundred dollars online and I was wondering if it would be really weird to wear an uchikake over a western wedding dress (it would be a simple dress, nothing poofy or tutu like). I've never heard of it being done, but I want to make sure it wouldn't be offensive or in bad taste (isn't the uchikake worn for the reception and not the ceremony?).

There is this one website I found that has a kimono-style copy that is to be worn over a wedding dress. But it's nothing like a real uchikake or shiromuku.

I just think the shiromuku and the uchikake are so beautiful and I wish I could incorporate them some how. I could probably buy them all used for less then they cost to rent, but they would be too difficult to put on.

I also love this style of kanzashi more than the traditional wedding combs, though they probably aren't normally worn at weddings either. http://www1.odn.ne.jp/maya/english/k72.htm

What do you think all think? Thanks for any advice!

by mikazuki81  

... 2008/4/15 10:36
I like punk rock and I can can accept any kind of bizarre fashion, but I have to say that it only works when the designer has good taste.

Basically, I can only imagine weird styles when you say ''uchikake over a western dress''. As for being offensive, I don't think a lot of people would mind, but (like in a lot of cultures) the traditional Japanese wedding dress has meanings on every item of the garment, so it sort of makes sense only when it's completed as a whole.

As for the photos in the link, they look like nothing but Western to me, but very beautiful.

Btw, traditional Japanese wedding garments, be it a uchikake or a shiromuku is very difficult to wear. I don't think you can wear it properly without the assistance of a professional. Also, typically, Japanese brides do the ceremony in one garment and then change to another for the banquette. Therefore, a lot of brides wear kimono (i.e. uchikake, shiromuku) and then a western style dress later. Lately, people with low budget just skip the whole wedding, but in the old days, those who couldn't afford a uchikake used to wear a simple but formal kimono without the robe.
by Uco, who wore a shiromuku & THEN a dress rate this post as useful

yeah 2008/4/15 13:53
I see what you mean. It would probably take some of the meaning out of it to not wear it as a whole (although, I'm not sure I would want a tsunokakushi either way, because of its meaning). Maybe a wedding dress and kanzashi together would work better. It would certainly be less expensive!
I did see some pictures online of women getting married in nice kimono (but not wedding kimono) and their husbands were still wearing hakama and haori.

I just think it's strange that they charge so much to wear the wedding kimono when you can put on a 12 layer kimono for a few hundred dollars and have your pictures taken. Especially in the case where the bride only wears the kimono for the ceremony and not the reception.

Thanks for the input, though. :)
by mikazuki81 rate this post as useful

... 2008/4/15 21:26
I never knew you can have a 12 layer kimono put on for a few hundred dollars and have your pictures taken, but I am assuming this is just for a souvenior photo that doesn't matter if your hair is messed up or if your 12 layers are made of nylon or if your 12 layer happens to fall off, you can take a break until you can get a nice short 10 seconds for the camera to click.

On the other hand, at a shinto wedding ceremony the bride needs to wait, walk, raise her hands up and down, bow, speak and go to the other room to have several photographs taken, and during the whole time, she needs to be the most beautiful person she ever was, and the costume needs to be able to handle it. Learning how much it costs to put on a dress to recieve an Oscar award, a uchikake set is much cheaper. Actually people such as Imperial couples do wear a real 12 layer and wig to fit, and I'm sure that costs way over something like a Edo era uchikake.

In any case, it's best to wear whatever the bride is comfortable with. If she thinks she looks good in a uchikake robe over western dress, fine. If someone happens to think it's offensive, give them your own reasons for wearing it. It's the wedding couple's intentions that counts. It's just that it may not be genuinely Japanese, but who cares.
by Uco rate this post as useful

you're right 2008/4/16 01:47
I checked again on the 12 layer kimono and I misread the price on one of them. It seems if you want the full costume you can wear it for 600,000 yen at a shrine in
Kyoto (that's a bit of a guess, since I can read the numbers and see the picture, but I can't read the Japanese around it). For just trying the costume on (without hair and makeup etc) you can do it in Mie for 1,500 yen.

I'm sure the wedding kimono is worth the cost. The embroidery alone is so detailed. I guess it just seems like so much to me because it's only a rental and you don't get to keep it.

It's so different from western dresses because there is a huge price range in dresses and styles (as cheap as $200 up to thousands), but it seems the wedding set is around the same price and quality in most places. I can't really try to think that both styles of dress should work the same way as far as cost.
by mikazuki81 rate this post as useful

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