I’m currently carrying out some research into Western-style weddings in Japan and have learnt a shocking fact: the beautiful tiered wedding cake, which plays an integral part in over 90% of ceremonies in Japan, IS NOT REAL!
“Real cakes are too expensive, and thus re-usable plastic models account for the vast majority of those seen in ceremonies today. In order to allow the cake to be cut, there is a narrow slot in the back of it, into which the knife may be placed. At the appropriate moment, the wedding director flicks a switch, releasing dry ice from the base of the cake, to make for dramatic photographs.”
I’m not sure I want to read on…
[EDIT] When writing the above I completely forgot to mention that many weddings in Japan are conducted by ‘fake’ priests, the only qualification they need is to be a white male. Even I could do it.
There’s a story on the BBC about it here.
For a far more detailed account of being a ‘fake’ priest, in addition to what I consider to be a sound defence of the practice (from a Japanese point-of-view), have a look at the .pdf document The Rise of the Chapel Wedding in Japan by Michael Fisch.
Funny that I should forget to mention this when I first wrote about the fake cakes. I’ve known about the fake priests for a while and so don’t really consider them to be unusual, but a plastic cake?! Mind you, when you bear in mind how big these ridiculous creations can be it’s hardly surprising. I bet they’ve got earthquake proof steel reinforcement rods running through them too…