National

Free weddings on offer in Japan for couples ambushed by virus-doomed venues

Kyodo

A bridal company in Nara is providing free venues, outfits and planning support to couples whose weddings were canceled by coronavirus-related bankruptcies.

Only one couple, however, has taken up what appears to be a generous opportunity to resurrect their nixed nuptials.

Nara-based Dlight Inc. is offering couples free use of its 10 chapels from eastern to southwestern Japan, including in Tokyo, Osaka, and Fukuoka, through Aug. 31.

By making use of the vacant wedding chapels, the company aims to train its young planners, who have struggled to gain experience with weddings so few and far between.

The bridal company’s single inquiry came from a couple whose wedding at a hotel in Shiga Prefecture was canceled by the pandemic.

“If there are any couples who are saddened (by a cancelation), we would like to offer our help to make them happy,” said Dlight public relations official Yuko Nakamura, 33.

The deal includes consultations with wedding planners and support on the big day, but the ceremonies are limited to those of a nondenominational nature.

Couples who wish to take advantage of the deal must show proof of cancellation, such as the contracts signed with the bridal companies that failed. And wedding receptions are not included.

Those who rescheduled their ceremonies but still plan to hold them at the same venue, as well as those who canceled on their own, are not entitled to the deal.

According to Tokyo Shoko Research Ltd., four operators of wedding venues across the country went bankrupt from February to July.

Dlight has been affected by the pandemic as well, with many weddings planned between April and June postponed to September or later.

After hearing about the plight of couples whose weddings were ruined by the economic fallout of the virus, however, Dlight decided to save the day by offering its underutilized chapels for free.

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