Japan now offers solo weddings for unmarried women. The idea was started by Cerca Travel, a traveling agency based in Kyoto, which is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations.

Female vacationers that sign up for a solo wedding are treated to a lavish wedding minus a groom. The participant gets to pick out her own gown, bouquet, hairstyle, limousine service, and photo album. Brides also have the option of posing with a man dressed as a groom for the photo op.

The whole idea behind it is to build the woman’s self-esteem by giving her the opportunity to walk down the aisle and be the center of attention.


Since Japan started the solo weddings back in May, about 30 women have become solo brides. While intended for bachelorettes, married women have also participated; these were from those that were not satisfied with their original wedding or didn’t have one at all due to not being able to afford it at the time.

While solo weddings are meant to be self-esteem boosters, some critics believe that it may achieve the opposite effect by reminding the woman that she is alone.

For one solo bride, however, her experience was nothing but positive. In her own words:

“This package boosted my sense of self-esteem… the effect was equal to a more extraordinary experience, such as visiting a World Heritage castle.”

For some, though, the idea of solo weddings is also a grim reminder of the country’s declining marital rate. Less people are also having children due to factors like rising divorce rates, later marriages, and urbanization. In fact, research suggests that the national population could drop by as much as 38% by 2060 if the trend does not change.

Aside from solo weddings, Cerca Travel also has a vacation package known as the Broken Heart Taxi Tour. As you can probably guess from its name, the tour is designed for those coming off a breakup and need some “me time.” Part of the tour includes a trip to the Aioi Shrine where the participant can pray for solace and better luck in their next relationship.

However unusual the idea of Japan’s solo wedding is to some, it just might be what some women need to make peace with their marital status.

[photo credit: ORAZ Studio]