Traditional Japanese wedding attire is a lot different than the modern-day gowns you see in bridal magazines.
To start, brides are painted in white from head to toe. The bride wears a white kimono dress called “shiromaku.” Shiro means white and maku means pure, both symbolizing the bride. This is also known as a Uchikake. She wears a headdress with Kanzashi ornaments to invite good luck to the couple and their marriage. On top of this headdress is a hood called Tsuno Kakushi, which is similar to a veil. This hides her “horns of jealousy” from the groom’s mother, who after the wedding ceremony is considered the head of the family.
The groom wears a montsuki kimono with a short haori overcoat over pleated hakama pants. Traditionally the overcoat has the image of his family crest.
At the reception, the bride will typically change into a red kimono then later into a white western-style gown. Red and white are lucky colors at Japanese weddings, so the colors of the gowns are symbols of luck.
Friends of the bride and groom don their most colorful kimonos to display joy and happiness for the couple’s new union. Japanese wedding receptions are usually quite colorful due to all the beautiful fabrics.