Sunday, 3 May 2015
‘Barrier-free’ wedding dress realizes childhood dream of woman in wheelchair
A white wedding ceremony is the dream of all Japanese women. But despite marrying the man of her dreams, Kazuyo Mori was faced with one big problem: her size.
She was too short for a rental wedding dress.
Her husband, Yasushi, 38, searched all over Tokyo for the desired frock but he just couldn't find one to fit his 39-year-old beloved.
At 130 centimeters in height due to a congenital disorder, Kazuyo, a library worker, began to give up on the idea of a white wedding ceremony.
Kazuyo told Yasushi, who works at the same library, that they did not have to hold a ceremony or reception to celebrate their March marriage, but the husband refused to give up and after much searching online he finally found what he was looking for--a “barrier-free" wedding dress.
“We've got a green signal,” Yasushi told his wife. “Let's check this out!"
The couple, who both use wheelchairs, asked Dow Corp., a Yokohama-based company headed by Miwako Saino that arranges wedding events for people with disabilities, to coordinate their marriage ceremony.
Saino, 42, visited the couple’s home in Tokyo’s Adachi Ward on April 28 to adjust the size of a wedding dress she had made herself. The dress consists of an apron-like skirt and an elasticated, bustier-type top.
The special dress was designed to not only enable Kazuyo to easily put it on and take it off, but also to make the silhouette of the bride appear more beautiful while on her wheelchair.
Kazuyo said she used to envy girls of her age when she was driven to a school for children with disabilities.
“I longed to be a woman like (such beautiful stars as) Miho Nakayama and Shizuka Kudo, but I had no means to learn how to dress up,” she said.
But Kazuyo said the specifically-made wedding dress had now encouraged her.
“I want to study more about makeup and I'd like to make my hair silky,” she told Yasushi, whose eyes filled with tears when he saw his wife in the pure white creation.
“This year’s goal is to improve my attractiveness as a woman,” she said, smiling.
Kazuyo and Yasushi plan to invite their parents from their hometowns and finally hold their white-wedding marriage ceremony this summer.
Saino said she also supplies brides with a special white wheelchair decorated with lacework, crystalline materials and flowers.
She came up with the idea of a wheelchair to match the dress when she saw a plain wheelchair at a chapel wedding.
“Because a wedding is a special event for couples, their wheelchairs should also be dressed up,” Saino said.
Source: The Asahi Shinbun, 2nd May 2015