Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Dream "Dress"

Three of the last four weddings I have attended have involved Asian brides. And you know what that means, right? Dress changes!

Though I may only be half-Asian, I fully look forward to and embrace the tradition of changing one's dress several times throughout the reception. Indeed, I had it all planned out. In addition to my traditional white gown and Chinese cheongsam, I would also wear a uchikake - the Japanese wedding kimono.

Ohh how I shivered in pure delight just thinking about it. It was (and still is) more exciting to me than wearing the traditional wedding dress. And imagining my Sak in his own mon-studded kimono was..well, drool-inducing (for me, anyway)!

(However, I don't think I could wear the hat, as it symbolizes the "hiding of one's horns", a.k.a. the stubborn jealousy and ego of the single woman. It, in a sense, represents her obedience to her husband. I'm not very obedient. I guess I could work on it, but Saka knows my "horns" aren't going away anytime soon..)

So since mom-saka and dad-saka just so happen to be living in Japan at the moment, I called them up via Skype excitedly. His mom answered, and I told her my grand-master-plan involving hundreds of pounds of brocaded white silk.

She laughed.

No way, she said. Wedding kimono are just way too expensive. Even more expensive than western gowns. And besides, they take hours to put on, when would I have time for that at the reception?

Perhaps noting my crest-fallen face through the webcam, she gave me the name of a rental store on Oahu, suggesting that we might be able to rent for pictures before the wedding.

So all was not lost.

I looked the rental store up, fell quickly in love with their options, and then looked at the prices.

Seven-hundred-and-fifty dollars. Over seven times the cost of my home-made gown. For a rental. That you don't even get to take out of the store. $750 for both bride and groom to be dressed up, traditionally styled, and taken pictures of in their photo studio. That means I wouldn't get pictures in front of here:

The beautiful Byodo-in temple. (Brother-Sak and Sak pose in the foreground)

I whined for a few days, but the Japan-phile in me is far from giving up. If I can't wear the uchikake, I can at least wear some other type of kimono, right?

My second option is the furisode - it still has the beautiful brocade silk, but minus the bridal "umph".

And the third choice, which Sak has already asked his parents to look into sending, is the yukata. No pretty silk, but rather a summery cotton. It will work for engagment photos, but I wouldn't wear it in the reception dress-changing fest. We can, however, reuse them after for all those summer obon festivals!

So will I find something to wear for the reception? Or will I be stuck as a two-dress bride? I guess only mom-saka has the answer to that.

Anyone else wearing multiple dresses during your reception? (Or, does anyone have an extra uchikake lying around that I can borrow? *sigh!*)

**As always, click the images for the source!**


  1. Wow. I never realized that wedding kimonos are so expensive, but it shouldn't really be a surprise I guess! They can be so intricate with delicate details! Can't wait to see what you come up with for all the dress options!

  2. i know this will sound weird but did you ever think of getting a used one i know a great website
    you'll just need to take it to a cleaner they show you where there are stains etc.