Think you’re going to be forever alone? In an emerging pocket of Japanese culture, this idea is being embraced rather than shunned.

Single individuals in Japan are taking the reigns and thinking outside of the box when it comes to holy matrimony. These three emerging trends are turning traditional marriage on its head.

Marrying yourself

What happens when you’re ready for the wedding you always dreamed of, but you’re missing one key component: the groom? Some Japanese women are electing to marry themselves instead. Specialized Japanese agencies are now offering self-marriage packages, which include a gown, hair styling, limo and hotel services, and a commemorative photo album. Rather than the ceremony being about sadness over not having a partner, it is a way for single women to embrace and enjoy their lives as they are in the moment. And the idea is gaining steam—a woman in Italy recently made headlines for doing the same in her home country.

Marrying VR characters

Virtual Reality has brought about a great deal of interesting technology, but one of the most fascinating trends is the ability for people to marry the fictional characters they idolize. While it might not be a concept that most people are familiar with, the trend is not a new one—a Japanese gamer married a Nintendo DS character all the way back in 2009! It’s hard to say what the future of VR weddings will hold, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that more people are turning to it as a viable solution.

Marrying inanimate objects

Sometimes it doesn’t even take a compelling personality for single men to pop the question, as in the case of a Japanese gentleman that started a relationship with a silicone sex doll despite the objections of his wife and family. But the idea of marrying an inanimate object is not unique to Japanese culture, and there are even stranger unions that exist in places all around the world.

Take, for example, the Korean man who married a pillow, a German woman married to the Berlin Wall, and an Indian woman who married a clay pot after her fiancée failed to make it to their wedding.

While these non-traditional marriages might seem strange to the outside world, the idea of seizing the day and doing what makes you most happy is something admirable that we can all get behind.

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