This was an incredibly beautiful elopement in Japan. Set amid stunning rice terraces and looking out onto National Park, this venue encompassed everything about how last year changed the way we celebrated weddings. 2020 was a year of seismic change for the wedding industry, with every element of the traditional wedding format shaken up and redefined by the pandemic. Covid-19 has forced a change in our attitude towards weddings; the way we make decisions; challenging long-held preconceptions or expectations.
So here just outside Kyoto, this elopement and beautiful wedding ceremony, showcased a lot of how celebrations changed and went back to their roots. And encompassed so much of how weddings will be celebrated moving forward.
Some of our couples want a very simple elopement. While others still wanted to create the luxury elopement of their dreams. These luxury elopements encompass something the industry calls ‘deconstructed maximalism’, which is all about going big on the little details.
With couples not able to throw a party with hundreds of guests, they’re able to put the spend on themselves and create an experience they’ll never forget. Magical moments and ideas come to life with the smallest details. People are going all out for the little details. For this spectacular elopement here in Japan, the couple did a beautiful ceremony where the bride and groom had a Michelin starred chef cook their private dinner at the villa the night before the wedding. They had guests attend by Zoom (and even though guests were only attending remotely, every guest still had a ‘Japanese welcome box’ delivered to them). The couple arrived and left via helicopter, and a lovely gourmet picnic was arranged for the wedding day. We arranged a blessing at a nearby waterfall on the morning of the wedding and had local artisans play traditional music for the couple on the day. Some couples aren’t necessarily reducing their budgets – they’re just going all out on the smaller details and making it really personal. And incredibly meaningful. The size of the wedding hasn’t put people off expressing their creativity. Elopements, especially here in Japan, are all about throwing out the rule book and making the day yours.
Covid has changed the speed at which couples make their decisions. In 2020 we’ve had weddings that have been organised in less than a month and one organized in less than 48 hours. Our elopements that normally have a six to twelve-month lead time have been turned around in the space of weeks.
A lot of our couples pivoted quickly and made fast decisions. These fast decisions turned out to be great ones because they are gut decisions. Our couples also completely trusted their wedding planner and their suppliers to make decisions for them too, to deliver their vision. This wedding celebration here in Nara was another elopement in Japan that we put together in the space of a couple of weeks. And we think this trend is going to pull through well into 2021 and 2022. So many couples have told us how refreshing it has been to make a quick decision rather than having to spend months agonising over their plans. It’s given people clarity and we don’t think that’s something that will fade once Covid dies back.
Many 2021 brides and grooms and couples have signaled that for them it’s not about the one-day wedding anymore, it’s more about celebrating with their partner and smaller groups of people over the course of the year.
One of our couples did a wedding last year which was split into four different events. Their elopement which was just the two of them. Then 3 separate (domestic) trips with 10 friends or family attending each event. While it wasn’t the wedding the couple originally dreamed of, there was something so lovely about them being able to celebrate on four separate occasions and in such an intimate setting too. It’s so different to weddings as we know them but actually perhaps even more special.
Having a destination wedding in Japan, or an elopement in Kyoto or Nara like this one featured in the image, is the perfect way to extend the celebration experience. You can never fit enough into one day. But creating a wedding week, or an elopement trip is becoming more and more frequent.
Weddings in 2021 will be a joyous explosion of individualism. This we know for sure. In the past many couples have followed a well trodden format; with familial expectations (and sometimes pressure) playing a huge part in this. Covid has really shaken this up - couples are now emphatic on having their wedding the way they want it. Living with Covid restrictions has meant that weddings are once again seen at their most fundamental level - the chance to marry the person you love. It’s meant that so many more couples feel emboldened to make the choices they want to make.
There’s very much been a wonderful feeling of going with the flow. Here are 37 Frames we call it “the planned unplanned vibe”. We’ve all learnt that things can change from day to day and so that seize the day type attitude will stay with us all for some time.
Pre-Covid, the idea of getting married on a weekday was practically unheard of but 2020 has completely turned this on its head. And thanks to the ‘backlog’ of weddings, 2021 and 2022 are full of weddings every day of the week.
Weekday weddings were a growing trend even before 2020 changed it up. But there is so much benefit in looking into these off-peak celebration days. In 2021 and 2022 here at 37 Frames, everyone is trying to very quickly snap up whatever day they can in order to get the location here in Japan they want. We’re seeing double/triple the amount of weddings next year / 2022 due to all the rescheduling. Weekdays are ‘the’ best way to make sure your elopement location and preferred suppliers are all available for you if you’re looking to get married in Japan over these next 2 years.
This truly was a spectacular elopement in Nara. We can’t wait to have many more weddings in Japan, all with this joyous explosion of individualism that has risen from celebrating in 2020. 2020 couples were pioneers. We can’t thank them, and all our industry colleagues enough.
For information of elopement locations in Japan, or how to get married in Japan, please feel free to reach out and contact 37 Frames.
Keywords: elope in japan (12), elope in kyoto (4), Luxury Wedding (15).
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