A travel agency in Kyoto has created a two-day wedding package for all the single ladies that includes a trip to a wedding dress boutique, a photographer, and even a Japanese gentleman who will play the role of fake groom in the fake wedding photos.
It’s part "Muriel’s Wedding," a little "Friends" and a dash of Beyoncé.
If you’re single, with nary a romantic prospect in sight, but want to immortalize your youth with wedding photos while you’re still “young and beautiful,” well, apparently Cerca Travel has the travel package for you.
Same goes for ladies who believe they're entitled to wear a bridal gown and feel beautiful without having to be engaged, says the travel agency.
For about 300,000 JPY ($2,500 USD), ladies will be able to choose a wedding gown or bridal kimono, get the princess treatment with hair and makeup services, and immortalize their big day with a photo shoot in nearby Japanese gardens.
The two-day package includes a night’s stay at a local hotel.
For an added fee, ladies can hire out a Japanese model to accompany them during their faux-photo shoot.
Furthermore, if you’re feeling anxious before the big day and you don’t want to eat dinner alone, the tour coordinator will double as a dinner companion -- for an added fee.
Meanwhile, the wedding package flies in the face of a major, national effort to get young people to marry and procreate.
Birth rates have plummeted in Japan due to fewer marriages and career-minded women.
The national birth rate in 2013 was at 1.43 children per woman, far below the replacement rate of 2.1 needed to sustain a stable population, according to the International Business Times earlier this year.
The results of a major survey released last summer also shed light on how attitudes to marriage are changing in Japan, suggesting that nearly one-third of Japanese think marriage is pointless.
Of the 37,610 respondents, 34 percent said they saw no merit in getting hitched.
That was especially true of respondents in their 30s, as that figure rose to 41 percent.
The travel package, meanwhile, is reminiscent of the 1994 film "Muriel’s Wedding," in which actress Toni Collette plays a cringingly socially awkward woman in her 20s desperate to get married; a "Friends" episode in which all three ladies don wedding dresses to feel better about themselves; and Beyoncé’s anthem for female singletons everywhere: “Single Ladies.”
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