A travel company based in Japan has launched a package offering a bridal experience to single women.
Cerca Travel, based in Kyoto, usually arranges day trips and walking tours for women. But in June, they launched the Kyoto Solo Wedding tour - an "experience tour" with a photoshoot in a Japanese wedding kimono or dress.
The two-day trip gives you the "opportunity to experience the feeling of being a princess in [the] beautiful and charming city of Kyoto". The first day involves choosing and fitting a wedding kimono or dress before staying overnight in a hotel, and the second day is a luxury makeover from a make-up artist, followed by a photoshoot in your wedding dress.
The experience costs around £1,600 for a shoot in a wedding dress, or £2,000 for a shoot in a kimono, and at the end you will be presented with a USB stick full of your bridal photos.
The company's website states that the tour is not just for single women, possibly just for those who love the idea of dressing up and "believe that you don't really have to get engaged to be able to wear a bridal outfit", or, if your wedding was a "long time ago [and] you would like to experience it again, or you were too busy with the wedding preparations to enjoy yourself fully during your special day and you are looking for a second chance."
Around half of the women who have taken part in the tour since June were already married and hadn't been happy with their wedding day. One participant said that "this package boosted my sense of self-esteem… the effect was equal to a more extraordinary experience, such as visiting a World Heritage castle."
The photoshoots offered are usually just for the woman participating, but if you would feel more comfortable, you can hire a Japanese man to participate in the shoot with you. And if you are feeling nervous staying alone in a hotel the night before your 'wedding', the company provide for that too: "If you're feeling... a little bit anxious and you don't want to eat your dinner alone, the tour coordinator will accompany you."
The company's president Yukiko Inoue, said that the package had been created "to encourage women to have positive feelings about themselves."
Images: Cerca Travel/Youtube, Words: Victoria Gray