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Shotgun Weddings on the Rise in Japan

Almost one third of brides in Japan are what the Japanese call "double happy." In other words, they have two things to celebrate: an impending marriage and a baby already on the way!

Japanese society used to frown on shotgun weddings, but recently more and more women are walking down the aisle visibly pregnant. Who do experts thank? Celebrities of course! Over the last decade, the country's well-known pop stars and actresses have demonstrated that it's perfectly fine to be pregnant on your wedding day.

Back in America, traditional attitudes about what comes first — the marriage or the baby carriage?— have been changing, too. "Wholesome" actresses like Jennifer Garner and Reese Witherspoon were pregnant brides. And along the same lines, we've previously debated whether celebrities are turning pregnancy and motherhood before marriage into a trend.

Do you think it's still taboo to get married while obviously pregnant?

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
inlove23 inlove23 7 years
I personally think one should wait until after the wedding to have a baby, but it doesn't always happen that way. When you have a shotgun wedding, it can make it seem as though you are only getting married because of the baby, that's just my thoughts though. But, I feel like women are having babies younger and younger! I come from a relatively small town, and so many people (who I would never have expected) are already pregnant (btw, I'm 18). This sounds bad, and I would never purposely do this, but when I was looking around my town function I felt like I was missing out on the latest trend, that's how common it was! Crazyness!!
ren_kr ren_kr 7 years
well it's different in japan culture or rather asian culture. Japan is still very conservative and shot gun weddings are looked down upon versus the US or other more open minded countries. So, yea, it is a pretty huge scandal when someone gets preggers before marriage, so a shot-gun wedding is probably the only solution in their minds. When I was little, I thought it was ridiculous, but if you realize how 'old-fashioned' asian families are, it all makes sense how they get married regardless if they are truly in love if the girl got pregnant (which usually ends in divorce like many others). Now a days, I'm actually very shocked to hear about any asians (especially entertainment couples) who got married in a NON shot-gun wedding.
ladydanaj ladydanaj 7 years
Umm its embarrassing. I guess I'm old-fashioned since I'm waiting for marriage to have sex. I think even having sex before marriage is making a mockery of marriage so being obviously pregnant on your wedding day is a mockery too. At least they're getting married though.
dikke-kus dikke-kus 7 years
Celebrities get away with that stuff because they don't suffer any embarrassment. They have money money money to smooth the whole thing over and come out smelling like roses. The rest of the world feels differently.
witchbaby witchbaby 8 years
i think its not right. so many of my family members got married while pregnant and they are all divorced or on the brink of divorce/separation. I think its better to wait and get to know your spouse before you get pregnant. My parents waited almost ten years till i was born. They had a lot in savings and bought a home before I was born. What i think is worse than pregnant on your wedding day is marrying in a church when you got like 2+ kids. I'm not all that conservative when it comes to most things I just think its more hypocritical than wrong.
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 8 years
I'd get it done legally if I was pregnant and then wait till after the baby is born before I to a big ceremony.
Meike Meike 8 years
I'm from Japan and I don't support this trend mostly because such pregnancies tend to be unexpected. I support planned pregnancies between two people who love each other. I also think it's ridiculous for people to be star struck enough to say, "Well, it's okay and it'll work out because [someone famous] did it."
queenegg queenegg 8 years
Okay, I just want to say that the majority of the oldest children were in the womb at the wedding. I don't care if we're talking your grandparents, parents, uncles, whatever. It's been very common for a VERY long time, people just weren't open about it. My uber conservative grandparents won't even have a 50th anniversary because, I'm pretty sure, that my Grandma was preggers, so they won't tell anyone what year they were married. Big deal. Everyone get over yourselves. It's not that big a deal. Just NEVER get married because a baby is being born.
cg130 cg130 8 years
I wouldn't want to do it, personally, because I would worry about the opinions of my older relations and more conservative family/friends. Plus, I wouldn't want to be preggers in my wedding photos, and I'd like to be able to drink champagne afterwards etc
ayabeachgirl ayabeachgirl 8 years
I’m from Japan, and I knew of this trend. Celebrities’ life choices definitely have huge effect on general public. I’m personally weary of this trend, one reason being that like bgorgeouss said, you can’t help but wonder if pregnancy is the reason for their marriage. In fact there are many people like that. Japan’s divorce rate skyrocketed in recent years partly due to this trend. Average age for first marriage in Japan is getting older & older – men 31.7 and women 29.4 – one of the reasons for their alarming decline in birth rate. While it’s a good thing at least people are having babies, it seems to me that you almost have to be pregnant to get married. (in other words, mainly men don’t wanna commit unless he HAS to.) And all those celebrities getting married when they find out they’re pregnant – it’s making it more & more “acceptable” or even “cool” to be pregnant before marriage, hence, encouraging sex before marriage (without proper knowledge of contraception) among young people who might not be ready for marriage. I’m speaking in general term, I’m sure there are lots of cases where things work out perfectly – it’s just one trend that worries me.
Rebecca14916991 Rebecca14916991 8 years
On the one hand, I do think it's a little embarassing for the girl, especially if the only reason they got married is because she got pregnant. On the other (whether she just happened to get pregnant while they were planning the wedding or not), I think it should make her even more proud of her man, because he is showing that he will step up and be there for her and the family they will make together - not run screaming - no matter what. It's kind of making a commitment more to the family and life they will have together than to the woman in that way. At least, that's what I think.
bgorgeouss bgorgeouss 8 years
I really don't like the idea of being visibly pregnant on your wedding day. I agree with spacekat in that it IS kinda embarrassing. I know it's just assumed that you've already had sex with your fiance, but I still don't want that fact to be on display (yeah, my family is pretty conservative). Additionally, all my wedding pics would have a pregnant me in them- ehhh. Finally, pregnant brides in general always get me thinking that the wedding might be happening because of the pregnancy- and you don't want your guests and family to think that.
fcseamstress fcseamstress 8 years
So long as you're not getting married BECAUSE you're pregnant, I couldn't care less. I think that getting married just because you're pregnant is silly and outdated. You should only get married because you're in love with the groom/bride, not because of a baby on the way. Whenever I see weddings like that I always question in my mind how well connected the couple are and if the child will be too much stress for a not-solid union... Especially when it's a new-er couple (together less than a couple of years). However, we actually had friends that found out they were pregnant 6 days before the wedding, which had been in the works for 6+ months. They found out on Father's day no less! I thought it was beautiful and romantic because they were already getting married and have that joy to top it off! Exactly what that couple wanted...
bluepuppybites bluepuppybites 8 years
To me it just shows everyone that you love each other! On the other hand, unless I was already planning the wedding when I found out I was pregnant, I would want to wait until a few months after babe has arrived. Babies change people even if you did have the "do we want children?" talk. My husband and I were all geared up to elope when we found out we were pregnant. He wanted to go ahead with it and I wanted to wait. We also only knew each other for 3 months. Now we are happily married with baby number 2 on the way.
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