My big fat Asian wedding

My big fat Asian wedding

With Shilpa Shetty's wedding on Sunday, we take a look at some unique weddings with the likes of Gundam and Hello Kitty officiating the big day
Gundam wedding
The last of the hopeless romantics responds "Aye aye, sir!" to the big question.

Shilpa Shetty got married in a glitzy, glam ceremony this weekend which got me thinking of other Asian weddings over the last two years. One of my biggest pet peeves is the cookie cutter wedding -- so I’m relieved to see that some unusual and awesome ceremonies have been taking place in Asia. I say more couples should ditch the limo for a tractor, the priest for a giant robot and the tuxedo for a Hello Kitty mask. Here’s to marriages that think outside the altar.

1. Japan: Gundam robot wedding

Gundam robot wedding

The anime series Gundam celebrated its 30th anniversary by installing a 1:1 giant robot in Tokyo’s Odaiba. In August 2009, the winners of a contest tied the knot under the giant robot. The cos players and their baby daughter bowed reverently to Gundam, who rotated his head, flashed lights and emitted steam.

2. Bhutan: Hong Kong celebs married by Buddhist lamas

Buddhist lamas

Hong Kong actors Tony Leung and Carina Lau were acquainted for 20 years and dated for about ten before exchanging HK$10 million rings. Their HK$30 million wedding was officiated by Tibet’s 17th Karmapa in an opulent Bhutan hotel. Dressed in royal red robes, the stars knelt and received blessings from twenty chanting lamas.

3. China: Tractor bucket wedding

Tractor bucket wedding

According to Xi’an tradition, the bride’s feet shouldn’t touch the ground on the ride home from the wedding. In 2008, a Chinese bride and groom decided the entire ceremony should take place in mid-air -- so they exchanged vows standing in raised tractor buckets.

4. Taiwan: Hello Kitty wedding

Hello Kitty wedding

The guests of honor at a June 2008 Taiwan wedding were Hello Kitty and Dear Daniel. The mascots handed out lollies to the guests, who paused to admire a photo of the newlyweds surrounded by character balloons. Hello Kitty matrimonies aren’t altogether uncommon. Sanrio’s Japanese theme park offers wedding packages and its website sells cake-top memorial figures for ¥75,600.

5. India: Shilpa Shetty's glittering wedding

Shilpa Shetty wedding

While Shilpa Shetty may not have gotten hitched in the bucket of a tractor, had a Hello Kitty themed ceremony, or a giant Gundam robot watch over the proceedings, Shetty's marriage to Raj Kundra this Sunday at Bawa Villa Resort just outside of Mumbai was a lavish event.

La Carmina writes about Harajuku pop culture and all things spooky-cute. She is the author of three books about Japanese pop culture and food, including "Cute Yummy Time" and "Crazy Wacky Theme Restaurants: Tokyo" -- for which she did all the photos and illustrations. Both books were released in October, accompanied by a U.S. major city book tour.

For more, please visit her website.

Read more about La Carmina
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