Japan's "Solo Weddings" Trend Aims to Foster Positive Self Esteem In Single and Married Women

Traveling alone can be an amazing, life-changing experience. Now, you can take it one step further with a "solo wedding," courtesy of Cerca Travel in Kyoto, Japan. The travel agency offers a two-day solo wedding package which includes a stay at a hotel, a limo ride, a gown, flowers, and hair styling, and last but not least, a commemorative photo album. Because apparently there's nothing you'd want to remember more than marrying yourself.

Since the package was launched in May, about 30 women from all over Japan have become "solo brides." The idea is to encourage positive self-esteem in the women who sign up. And it's not just for single women — almost half of the participants so far have been married women who weren't satisfied with their wedding ceremony or didn't have one. Maybe their husbands were just too busy to come along for these re-do ceremonies?

The president of Cerca Travel, Yukiko Inoue, explained that the package is meant "to encourage women to have positive feelings about themselves," but admitted that "some people have said it would be 'lonely, miserable and sad' to use it." If you're wedding-crazed, it might be kind of fun to have a big outrageous party your significant other would never ever agree to be a part of (I can actually relate to this, since my boyfriend incorrectly argues that chocolate fountains and puppy ring-bearers are over-the-top).

Tomoe Sawano, one of the first to try the solo wedding package, was totally into it. "This package boosted my sense of self-esteem," she said. "The effect was equal to a more extraordinary experience, such as visiting a World Heritage castle." So there you have it: incredibly famous historical monuments, 0; solo weddings, 1.

Image: Doug Bowman/Flickr