Western Weddings

Western Weddings

Western-style weddings are popular in Japan these days. However, they are quite different from traditional Western weddings. For example, did you know that a “wedding party” is not a social event but is actually a group of people? That’s right! In Western weddings the “wedding party” is the group of people who participate in the wedding ceremony. This group includes not only the bride and groom but also some of their closest friends and family members. Traditionally, they acted as witnesses to the wedding ceremony. Today, it is an honor to be asked to participate in someone’s wedding.

The bride chooses three or four of her closest female friends or relatives to be in the wedding ceremony. These women are called “bridesmaids” and they help the bride plan the wedding by giving her advice about what wedding dress to choose, what food to serve at the reception, and so on. The chief bridesmaid is called “the maid of honor” and she is in charge of planning the bridal shower.

The groom chooses three or four of his closest male friends or relatives to be in the wedding ceremony. These men are called “groomsmen”. The chief groomsman is called “the best man”. The groom usually asks his best friend, brother, or even his father to be his best man. The best man’s job is to keep the wedding ring safe until the day of the wedding. He also plans the groom’s bachelor party.

Japanese weddings consist of a ceremony, reception and after-party but most guests are only invited to the after-party. In Western weddings, guests attend the ceremony and the reception but there is no after-party! The reception is the party; it’s where the newlyweds and their guests eat, drink and dance. The reception ends when the bride and groom leave. The guests gather outside and toss rice at the newlyweds as they exit the reception hall and depart for their honeymoon.

Why do the wedding guests throw rice? Traditionally, rice was a sign of prosperity. However, these days more and more people throw birdseed instead. The reason why is that many birds eat the rice, but rice isn’t good for birds.




近頃の日本では西洋スタイルの結婚式が人気です。しかし、日本で行われている結婚式は伝統的な西洋の結婚式とはかなり違います。たとえば、「ウェディングパーティー」というのはイベントのことではなく、実は人の集まりを表すことを知っていましたか?そうなんです!西洋の結婚式では、”wedding party”は結婚式に参加する人たちのことなのです。これには新郎新婦だけでなく、親友や家族も含まれます。かつては、この親友や家族が結婚式の証人という役割でした。現在では、結婚式に招待されること自体が特別であるとされています。

新婦は、結婚式に出席してもらう女性の親友や親戚を3~4人選びます。この女性たちは”bridesmaids”と呼ばれ、新婦がどんなウェディングドレスを選ぶべきか、どんな食事を披露宴で提供すべきかといったアドバイスをすることで、式の計画を手助けします。bridesmaidsの中でもチーフにあたる人は”maid of honor”と呼ばれ、ブライダルシャワー(新婦とその友人・親類による前祝いパーティー)の計画を任されます。

新郎も、結婚式に出席してもらう男性の親友や親戚を3~4人選びます。この男性たちは”groomsmen”と呼ばれ、その中のチーフにあたる人は”best man”と呼ばれます。新郎はたいてい、親友や兄弟、あるいは父親にbest manを頼みます。best manの役割は結婚式の日まで結婚指輪を安全に保管することです。また、新郎の独身さよならパーティーの準備もします。