Planning a Wedding, Pt. 2 Dress Decisions

The most important decision had been made pretty early on. That decision was the kind of wedding. Ruka didn’t want the traditional shrine ceremony. She found it to be a little much for our families. Whereas, I definitely didn’t want the Japanese idea of a western ceremony because I thought it was overly expensive masquerade of a wedding for the sole purpose of showing off. No offense: I just don’t think spending 3,000,000 Yen ($30,000) is a great bargain for one day. It feels like an unnecessary flex. We made the decision to find another way. More on that another time. The decision that we are talking about today is the decision on what to wear. That’s right. We are talking about the dress.

I interviewed Ruka for this post because I kind of knew how she felt about it. Ruka is a strong casual woman that loves cute things, but is kind of utilitarian when it comes to fashion. I actually like that about her.


So, when it came to dresses her first thought was. “Ugh” or in Japanese, “めんどくさい”. Why? Because she had to go into Tokyo for the dress shopping, and it’s expensive. Every trip made it more annoying. Her first trip was to Nippori at a popular dress shop. After trying on 4 dresses. Nope. There was a limitation as to how many dresses that she could try on due to the dress shop standards. She didn’t like the process, nor the dresses. After a day of that, I knew that she would only get more and more annoyed as the process went on. And an annoyed Ruka is not something that you want.

She was also worried about what style would work for her. I think that everyone has a image in their mind of what they want or what looks good on them, but this is usually disconnected from reality when it comes to costume items, such as wedding dresses or traditional garb. You know you want to look a certain way though, and you don’t really know what that is until you try things on.

After that first shopping experience, I figured we should change things up. I decided to forego the tradition of not seeing the bride in the dress to help her through the process. I love fashion and I’m pretty good at navigating the pressure that can comes with big decisions like this, and I knew that if I went along that it would be a fun adventure.

Fun, it was! The dress warehouse was huge and packed with dresses. I couldn’t take pictures inside on this one. However, it was filled to the brim. Ruka had a budget of 50,000 yen ($500) in mind. This was kind of ambitious, honestly. Outside of ridiculous looking dresses and just whatever dresses, finding a wedding dress at that price would be nearly impossible. However, this warehouse had dresses that were owned by rental companies, but were now being sold. Ruka and I, both, are about fashion regardless of brand and location. If it looks good, it’s good. So, this was perfect for us.

This is what relief looks like. Mission Accomplished!

Seeing Ruka trying on dresses… Man, I almost cried. I was smiling from ear to ear, but really I wanted to cry. It wasn’t that she was beautiful— of course, she is. It was about the fact that this woman was agreeing to forever, and an engagement is the chrysalis of the relationship. You’re going from one phase to another in beautiful transition. I got a glimpse of the butterfly on the other side.

Can’t wait for y’all to see it. I can’t wait to see her in all her glory on that day!

Have any dress shopping questions? Drop a comment and we’ll reply!

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