Traditional Japanese weddings involve many ceremonies and traditions. Although in modern Japan many of these are now disappearing, they still exist and can be seen around Japan.
Spring and autumn are the favourite seasons for Japanese weddings. On certain days, which are considered auspicious in the Japanese almanac, there may be as many as forty couples united in Japanese weddings at a Shinto shrine .
The Shinto wedding is performed before a Shinto sanctuary. Many hotels and restaurants are equipped with a special room for wedding ceremonies. A wedding is usually attended by members of both families, close relatives and the go-betweens.
"San-san-kudo," a ceremony of three-times-three exchange of nuptial cups, is performed by the bridegroom and bride. Drinks of "Sake" are then exchanged between members and close relatives of the both families to signify their union through the wedding.
A Shinto wedding is accompanied by the traditional music and attended by "Miko" maidens who serve "Sake" in red and white dresses. The exchange of wedding rings is also a popular practice today. The bridegroom and bride proceed to the sanctuary to offer twigs of "Sakaki" sacred tree in worship to gods to end the main part of the wedding ceremony. It is a short service, simple in procedure but full of solemn atmosphere.