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Mon, Nov 22, 2010
Yomiuri Shimbun
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Children accompany parents down 'virgin road'
by Fukutaro Yamashita

A new type of participant is appearing at more and more weddings--the children of the brides and grooms. Recently, a growing number of couples who married without holding a wedding ceremony or reception are holding these events after they have children, to celebrate and renew their family bonds.

"Our three children celebrated with my wife and me," said a 30-year-old company employee who recently held such a ceremony at a hotel in Chiba Prefecture. "The wedding has become a wonderful memory for all of us.

"Also, my wife and I rekindled the feelings of our newlywed days," he said.

The man was unable to have a wedding ceremony when he and his wife married five years ago because she was pregnant at the time. At their ceremony in October, the couple's three daughters--aged from 1 to 5--wore matching dresses and sat at the same table with them.

The family all joined hands to cut the wedding cake as well.

There are a number of advantages to holding a wedding ceremony after pregnancy, rather than during--it is physically easier for the bride and more time can be spent on preparations for the wedding.

Such weddings became widely known after TV personality Takeshi Tsuruno held a ceremony last year with his wife and children, according to an official of a major wedding service agency. Now an increasing number of hotels and wedding facilities are offering reasonably priced plans for weddings involving children.

Watanabe Wedding Corp., a Kyoto-based agency, said it will open a special room Dec. 12 at its bridal salon in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward where customers can change diapers and breastfeed.

Take And Give Needs Co., a wedding business company in Tokyo's Shinagawa Ward, in November launched anniversary plans for couples in a wide range of ages, including people planning to celebrate their silver and golden wedding anniversaries.

The company can put together a reception or ceremony for as few as 20 guests, as most such events are small and limited to close relatives.

Recruit Co., which publishes the bridal information magazine Zexy, estimates that 280,000 couples marry every year in Japan without having wedding ceremonies or receptions.

According to a Recruit survey, however, 64 percent of such couples would like to have a ceremony or reception at some point if they could, suggesting that weddings with children may not be a short-term fad.


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