In June I received an email from a girl looking for someone who could dress her future sister-in-law in kimono at her wedding. I replied with the contact info for Sun-san and a friend of mine. I wrote her back two days before the wedding and she replied that everyone was busy because that weekend was festival weekend (there were 2-3 natsu matsuri's going on that weekend) and all the Japanese people were busy, and she wanted to know if I could do it.
I was going to go to the festivals, but decided this was an opportunity not to be missed, so I said "yes". So, Saturday night I reviewed how to tie Otaiko musubi (drum knot, the common one) since I don't ever tie that one when I can do something fun, and hoped things would go okay on Sunday.
The wedding wasn't in Chicago proper - in fact, it wasn't in Illinois at all - and required a rental car. So I drove out there on a Sunday (1hr), and dressed her sister-in-law, who was lovely. The bride's fiancee is Japanese and that's why his sister wanted to wear kimono. She had all the required himo and everything, so that was nice (I'd brought some just in case). I dressed her in less than half an hour, and that was taking my time, so I'm happy with that. She's also way skinnier than I am used to, being Japanese (I've only dressed Western bodies before). Most amusing was her mother and her family talking about how it was funny that an American had to dress a Japanese in kimono because none of the Japanese knew how. lol Knowing some Japanese pays off. XD
So, though I could have left (in hindsight, wishing I had), I stayed for the ceremony. It was beautiful and they're an adorable couple. I left right after that.
I didn't have a rate set, having not done it for pay before, but they were generous and paid me about $100, plus covering the car rental to get out there. I think they were satisfied with the kitsuke (I was) and super relieved someone could come and do it.
I'm excited that I can put this "notch" in my belt (or should that be himo?), so to speak, and super grateful for the opportunity.
And without further ado, here are two pics of the woman I dressed (with a fuzzy face for anonymity's sake) [clickable thumbnails]: