Weddings in Japan are changing. Many couples who marry are shying away from the traditional Japanese nuptials, which favors a private ceremony between them and a few select guests. Nowadays, it’s increasingly popular to combine elements of this tradition with a Western-style Christian wedding—namely, the aisle and procession in front of many family and friends. This also includes the dress—a big deal for Westerners. But rather than a white gown, Japanese brides are opting for a unique alternative with a kimono wedding dress.
Taking a traditional furisode long-sleeve kimono, brides-to-be modify it into a stunning strapless dress. To do this is easy. The sleeves are first folded down and then tied into a decorative bow in the back. The surface decor—which include flowers, birds, and scallop patterns—adds a colorful, eye-catching riff on the Western-style gown. Best of all, it only takes about 10 minutes to change and nothing is permanently altered. So unlike many wedding dresses, the brides can really wear it again.