I know it has been forever! The wedding day has finally arrived. A few points of interest: Sango's uchikako kimono was based on this design: .?function=image&action=detail&sid=&ccid= but not nearly as elaborate! Remember, they are still simple village dwellers!
For more information on the Shinto wedding and San-san-kudo, check out this link:.com/watch?v=F288j5ZNr8g
For the buddhist parts: .com/2010/01/japanese-buddhist-wedding_ of course both of these are a little more modern but you'll get the basic idea.
Everyone in the village turned out to see Miroku and Sango become man and wife. Even Mushin found his way to the village, bearing a huge cask of fine sake. As the after-wedding feast was set up, Sango found herself sequestered in Kaede's hut with Umeko and Shori. They had come to help her dress and prepare her hair. Sango was tired but happy. With all the planning and some slaying on the side, she was ready for everything to be over so they could finally settle into a normal routine.
Umeko smiled and handed Sango a large, wrapped bundle. Looking quizzically at the girl, Sango vaguely recalled a bundle of fabric that went missing several weeks ago. Kneeling on the mat, a strangled cry parted her lips. She could hear the murmurs of the other women but her attention was solely focused on the uchikako kimono in her hands. It was beautiful red silk brocade covered with gold embroidery of cranes, flowers and other scenes of nature. Tears began to form as her calloused hands fingers caressed the delicate fabric. Shori saw the tears and had the foresight to fetch Kaede.
Entering the hut, Kaede quietly shooed the other women away. Kneeling beside Sango, the older woman watched as she continued to admire the kimono.
"Are you ok, child?"
Sango nodded. "Leave it to Miroku completely surprise me."
Smiled, Kaede recalled the amount of stealth it took to keep the knowledge of the kimono from Sango's ears. Every woman in the village knew of the kimono's existence and was eager to see Sango wearing it on her wedding day.
Sango couldn't help herself as the tears flowed down her face. Kaede passed her a cloth to wipe way the tears.
"I wish they were here, Kaede."
Kaede patted Sango's hand. "Your mother, your father and Kagome are all here in spirit."
Shaking her head, the tears continued to fall down Sango's face.
"After my parents died, I thought this day would never come. I was beyond marrying age and I had accepted that. After meeting Miroku, I always assumed Kagome would be here to share this day with us. Sometimes, I miss all of them so much."
Pulling Sango into a hug, Kaede offered comfort as Sango continue to weep. Once the tears stopped, Kaede helped clean Sango's face.
"Things happen in our lives for a reason. There is still hope that one day that Kagome will return, Inuyasha hasn't given up and neither should we. Even most painful hardships you have suffered led you to this day. The kamis are finally smiling on you and offering you happiness. Embrace it."
Sango smiled and hugged Kaede again. "Thank you. I needed to hear that."
Returning her smile, Kaede stood. "Now let Umeko and Shori help you get ready. The men won't be to long coming."
Sango stood out of sight the door of the hut; anxious, unaccustomed to the finery she wore. Resisting the urge to fidget, she instead focused on everything that happened to lead to this moment. Naraku destroyed the life she had known yet without him, she would have never met Miroku. They had lost so much in their young lives and suddenly, they were faced with a bright new future. Sighing, Sango could not help the sadness she felt intermingling with her happiness.
None of her family had survived Naraku's meddling in their lives. Her parents were gone and Kohaku was damaged. In his last vengeful act, he had even taken away the person she had come to regard as sister. Sango knew Kagome was safe with her family now but, selfishly, she wanted her to be here, telling her that everything would be ok. All the doubts always seemed to shimmer just below the surface, waiting for the opportunity to come out.
She knew most of her feelings were simply nerves. She was sure of decision to marry Miroku but the actual event made her rather nervous. The ceremony was going to be simple; the Shinto tradition of San-san-kudo conducted by the village priest then there would be the Buddhist tradition of a prayer, the presentation of Buddhist rosaries, an address by Mushin, incense burning, drinks of oath and a clasp of hands in honor of Miroku's Buddhist roots.
She could hear the sound of the men laughing, bringing Miroku to the hut to collect her for their walk to the temple. She could imagine how much sake he had probably already had.
"I hope," Sango thought, "Inuyasha's presence was enough to keep Miroku out of trouble."
As the sounds of the men got louder, Umeko returned inside the hut to check Sango's appearance one last time. Her normal ponytail had been taken down and her dark hair was pinned in an elaborate bun. With her rouged lips and powdered face, Sango felt unlike herself. She could see the approval in Umeko's eyes as the older woman examined her from head to toe. The kimono fit beautifully and the white under kimono made the red silk glow. She couldn't help but wonder what Kagome would think about the kimono and the ceremony. Sango sighed. She could feel her sister-friend there in spirit and it would have to be enough for now. Any further thoughts were interrupted by Shori's return.
Sango pulled herself together and stepped through the open bamboo flap, confident of the future she was stepping into.
Miroku was stunned at the beauty that stepped out of Kaede's hut. Gone was the warrior he had come to know during their trials with Naraku and in her place stood a beautiful woman, ready for her wedding. For a moment, he heart stopped.
"I don't deserve her."
He realized his mouth was hanging open and snapped his jaw shut after he felt Inuyasha's elbow in his ribs. Glancing at his friend, Miroku could see the barely concealed amusement in his eyes. Miroku gave a smirk of his own and returned his attention to Sango. Walking up to her, he extended his arm. Sango blushed, smiled, and took his arm. Leading the processional to the temple, Miroku held his head high. Today was finally the day he would become one with Sango.
The ceremony went quicker than expected in Sango's mind. Everything was heartfelt and both she and Miroku could feel the presence of the lost ancestors, as they became husband and at the head table at the feast, Sango was glad for a moment to herself. She could see Rin and Shippou playing with the village children. Rin had been thrilled with her role as the sake pourer in the ceremony and loved being dressed similar to Kaede. Sango smiled at the innocence of them. She was glad they would get a chance to grow up without Naraku hanging over their lives. Sango watched Miroku as he shared a cup of sake with Mushin at the village feast and thought how handsome he looked out of his traditional robes. It took some convincing but she was glad to see him clad in the black hakama and kimono. It was interesting to see his feet covered in white tabi socks, she had become so accustomed to his bare feel in his sandals. It was also interesting to see Inuyasha dressed in something other than his traditional fire-rat robes. Sango caught his attention and waved him over. Dressed in an outfit similar to Miroku's, Sango realized how handsome Inuyasha truly was. She sadly smiled as she thought about Kagome missing this moment. She knew her friend would probably blush at the sight of the ruggedly handsome man.
"Is something wrong, Sango?"
She shook her head. "No, I just wanted to tell you how nice you looked."
Inuyasha blushed and turned his head. "Keh. You know it was Kaede's nagging."
Sango laughed at her friend. "You still look great. It's nice to see you and Miroku in something a little more formal. We don't get many opportunities."
Inuyasha gave his own quiet chuckle. "That's true. There aren't many court events where we go."
The two friends sat quietly, letting the swirl of revelry flow around them. Sango glanced at Inuyasha and noticed the faraway look his eyes had taken.
"Are you thinking about her?"
Startled, Inuyasha looked into Sango's eyes. Seeing her own sadness, Inuyasha looked away to the floor.
"She would have loved to have seen all of this."
Sango agreed. Kagome would have thrown herself wholeheartedly into the festivities.
"I wish she were here, Inuyasha. I always imagined she would be here."
Inuyasha was quiet for a long moment. Finally, he sighed and stood. "I always imagined it, too, Sango."
Uncharacteristically, he gave Sango a hug, went out to the headman's hut and into the night. Miroku caught Inuyasha's exit and looked questioningly at Sango. Sango shook her head, the tears from earlier threatening once again. It had been only a few months but she couldn't help but wonder what they would do if Kagome never came back.