The wedding ceremony is a great opportunity for a bride and groom to deeply rejoice in the countless causes and conditions that brought them together.

At this ceremony, the couple makes a vow to grow together in understanding and love and discover each other’s virtues more fully in the presence of Amida Buddha. Also, it is the first step in the sharing of common experiences and gaining respect for and faith in each other day by day.

In Jodo Shinshu tradition, a vow is a sacred obligation that is made in the firmness of faith and dedication to a noble and unselfish purpose. The vow of a couple to love and sustain one another throughout the years springs from faith in the goodness of human life and is dedicated to passing on the precious gifts of life and truth that they have inherited from their parents to future generations.

The Jodo Shinshu wedding ceremony helps the couple become aware of the workings of causes and circumstances that have brought them to this point of life. It is a Karmic force of the great expectations that will finally culminate in their marriage ceremony, wherein they will be bound together in true and abiding love.

Then, with deepest feelings of gratitude in their hearts for Amida Buddha’s guidance, the couple makes a fresh determination to live in harmony with the Nembutsu as they help and support each other no matter what might happen in their married life.


Planning Your Special Day at MVBT

It is our intent to make all wedding ceremonies a memorable and meaningful experience. To do that it’s necessary to schedule an appointment and discuss the particulars of the ceremony with the minister. To start your plans for a wedding, contact the Temple office: 650-964-9426.

Please keep the following in mind when scheduling a wedding date:

  1. After deciding upon an approximate date, coordinate a discussion with the Temple and your chosen reception location to determine a final date and time.
  2. All ceremonies are conducted within the customs and traditions of the Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha, Buddhist Churches of America.
  3. Guest ministers are welcome to participate in the ceremony; however, please contact the resident minister first. Protocol requires the resident minister of the Mountain View Buddhist Temple to extend the invitation to the guest minister.


The Jodo Shinshu Wedding Ceremony

The program for a Jodo Shinshu wedding ceremony consists of the following parts:

  • Tolling of the kansho
  • Procession of the groomsmen and bridesmaids
  • Procession of the bride and her father
  • Confirmation of the names
  • Buddhist invocation
  • Sutra chanting
  • Announcement of ceremony
  • Exchange of vows
  • Exchange of rings
  • Presentation of nenju. A nenju, Buddhist beads, is an important symbol used in Buddhism to represent oneness of all life. This means that all beings are connected under the vow of Amida Buddha. Having a nenju helps the bride and groom achieve unity and harmony in their new life together.
  • oshoko. Incense burning is one of the most important rituals in Buddhism and has a history of over 2,500 years. The burning of incense symbolizes cleansing and purification. Because the aroma of incense has the effect to calm and purify oneself, it helps the bride and groom exchange their marriage vows before the image of Amida Buddha without having self-centered thoughts.
  • Threefold Refuge
  • Pronouncement by minister
  • Wedding kiss
  • San San Ku Do sake ceremony (Optional). The sharing of sake is one of the traditional Japanese wedding ceremonial customs dating back to the 14th century. The sharing or toast of sake symbolizes a formal bond between the bride and groom. The exquisite miniature-sized sake set consists of three flat cups escalating in size. Starting with the smallest of the three cups, which symbolizes the past and expresses the feeling of gratitude to ancestors, the groom will lead taking three sips and then the bride. They will then proceed to the mid-sized cup, which represents the present – a vow to live in harmony with each other. And finally to the large cup, which represents the future and is an expression of the wish for the security of both families. At the conclusion of the sake ceremony, both families drink a cup of sake to signify not only the union of the bride and groom but also the unity of two families.
  • Congratulatory message by the minister
  • Introduction of the couple
  • Recessional
  • Group photo