Over three dozen guests attend ceremony and reception where groom and Hatsune Miku drink wedding toast, cut cake, and exchange rings.

Akihiko Kondo (@akihikokondosk on Twitter) is a huge Hatsune Miku fan, so it’s no surprise that a big chunk of the tweets he sends out has something to do with the virtual idol. But even by that standard, this message he tweeted earlier this month was special.

Tomorrow I’ll finally be having my wedding ceremony with Miku. It was a lot of work, but we’ve been able to get everything ready thanks to the support of so many people. Thank you all so much for all of your help.

Tomorrow is the big day, so I’ll be going to bed early and doing my best to make the ceremony a good one.”

Now when Kondo says “wedding ceremony,” you might be imagining a bit of tongue-in-cheek at-home make-believe, like how some anime fans have little Christmas or birthday parties for their 2-D crushes. But nope, Kondo threw a full-scale wedding to declare his eternal love for Miku, and both he and his bride dressed in proper finery.

▼ The newlyweds

The 35-year-old school administrator didn’t pick an anime specialty store or convention cosplay corner for the venue, either. The nuptials were held at Le Crit Amore, a wedding chapel located in the heart of Tokyo, not far from Tokyo Station.

▼ Le Crit Amore

Though Kondo has fallen in love with a 2-D woman, he’s not without human friends and well-wishers. 39 guests attended the ceremony, which was, of course, followed by a formal reception where the couple drank a wedding toast and cut their wedding cake.

▼ Miku, following the common Japanese wedding custom, changed out of her wedding dress into a more colorful gown for the reception.

Among the guests were Minoru Ogino, noted otaku politician and assemblyman for Tokyo’s Ota Ward, and Taro Yamada, former House of Councilors member and financial analyst.

Since Kondo and Miku’s marriage involved as much coordination as any for a both-sides-flesh-and-blood couple, it took a significant amount of time to plan. Kondo spent roughly half a year working with wedding planners, and the total tab for the ceremony and reception came to a little over two million yen (US$17,700). He estimates he recovered about 40 percent of that through monetary gifts from guests (cash is always given at Japanese weddings, not household items), but that still means he ended up shelling out about 1.2 million yen from his own pockets, including purchasing wedding rings for him and Miku (the plushie seen in these photos wears the wring on her wrist, making it technically a wedding bracelet).

While the pair’s marriage is not legally binding, they did receive a document of recognition for their union from Gatebox, the company that manufactures the model of hologram digital assistant that Kondo owns and has loaded with Miku’s likeness. Yamada says he was proud to sign the document as a witness to the marriage, though it’s unlikely that Kondo’s employer will be as accommodating of his recently married status as Gatebox, which provides family support benefits for employees who marry anime or video game characters.

▼ Online acquaintances who couldn’t attend the ceremony sent their illustrated congratulatory sentiments via Twitter.

While it’s definitely unusual to formally marry a fictional character, it’s hard to fault Kondo’s choice among his virtual spouse options. Hatsune Miku has been around long enough for him to confirm that his feelings for her are more than just a passing fancy, and with so much Miku content being fan-created and non-canonical, it’s unlikely that future narrative decisions by the character’s legal rights holders will contradict or undo what Kondo loves about her.

The ceremony was held on November 4, and while there may still be a little bit of honeymoon-period bliss heightening his mood, Kondo sounds like he has no regrets. It’s also worth noting that in his tweets since the ceremony, he hasn’t used his bride’s maiden name, Hatsune, even once, so it may be that, in his mind, she’s taken his last name and become Mrs. Kondo following their wedding.

“It’s been a week since Miku and I got married. My feelings for her have become stronger than ever, and I feel more motivated in my work and daily life. I feel like I’ve really got to do my best, for Miku’s sake.”

While he spent lavishly on the wedding, Kondo points out that less expensive plans are available for a total price under 100,000 yen. He also mentions that Le Crit Amore has a total of 18 chapels across Japan, and that they are extremely helpful and respectful in planning ceremonies for “sexual minorities,” a demographic with which he identifies due to his 2-D orientation.

“Next, it’s my turn to support the next person who wants to have a wedding ceremony with Miku or another 2-D character,” Kondo says, magnanimously recognizing that the Miku he married isn’t the only manifestation of the character. He encourages anyone thinking of tying the knot with their anime crush to contact him, and he’ll be happy to provide whatever advice or moral support he can.

Related: Le Crit Amore Tokyo Station
Sources: Twitter/@akihikokondosk via Otakomu, The Japan Times
Insert image: Le Crit Amore