Uchikake is an elaborate robe that is worn by the bride at a wedding or at a stage performance. It is often heavily brocaded and embroidered with motifs symbolizing luck and joy, such as flowers, cranes, pines, flower carts or nature motifs. The uchikake of the bridal costume is either white or very colorful with red often as the basis color. The white uchikake is worn at the wedding ceremony, while the coloured uchikake is worn afterwards at the reception. Underneath it you wear a white kimono, called kakeshita, with an obi tied around it. You therefore never tie obi around the uchikake. It is supposed to trail along the floor and this also why it is heavy padded along the hem. Red is the most popular color for kimono, but you can see many different colors, from dark blue to black and green. The Uchikake is very expensive, and is often handed down in the family or made into futons.
While red is the most popular color for the uchikake kimono, there are many different colors available from a stunning imperial purple to sea green. The bridal kimono is sometimes handed down in the family or made into futon bedding later in life.
It has long sleeves to signify that the woman is yet unmarried. After the wedding, her sleeves will be shorter; about half the length of the furisode, that is characterized by it's long swinging sleeves. The reason for the change is that the long sleeves were unpractical for the married woman, when cleaning, doing the dishes and other house work.
At the traditional japaneses wedding, the bride wears a wig styled ind the way that resembles the hair of geisha. It is decorated with hair ornaments as flowers, gold combs and hairpins called kanzashi. Sometimes, the bride also wears a white hood over the head callad tsuno kakushi and this symbolizes obedience.
There are also accessories that is worn along with the bridal costume. The Bride has a small purse stuck in between the two overlappings of the collar, just above the obi. She also has a small sword, called kaiken, to bring her luck. As many other kimono outfits, the bride carries a fan to imply happiness and luck.
At the left you can see the neck line of the wedding outfit with the little purse in the collar, and the little sword tucked into the obi.