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Kissing during your wedding ceremony – what do you think?
It’s the stuff of dreams and movie moments. The traditional kiss during the wedding ceremony is preceded by the celebrant saying to the groom “You may kiss your bride” and the big kiss is recorded by photographers and videographers as the guests cheer and applaud. In today’s blog we look at this sometimes tricky situation with Celebrant Sonia Collins.
Naturally many couples want to enjoy the first kiss as part of the ceremony but why would we still use the old fashioned wording? I usually invite the couple to “share your first kiss as a married couple” it’s gender neutral, it’s inclusive and it emphasises that this kiss is different to all those they have enjoyed before and will enjoy in future.
But first I check – do the couple want to kiss as part of the ceremony? Having a first kiss is NOT a legal requirement. Some couples are not comfortable with a “forced” public kiss – and celebrants are quite happy to leave the kiss out of the ceremony.
If you have the kiss in your ceremony it’s worth thinking about what sort of kiss it will be – and even practicing beforehand so that it is not awkward on the day. Make the kiss your special moment. You want the photos of the first kiss during the ceremony to capture your feelings at the time – love, mutual respect, happiness, long term commitment and so on. So maybe save the “back bend” or the “lift and twirl” for later on the dance floor.
Talk to your celebrant from The Celebrants Network about incorporating a stylish “just married” kiss into your ceremony.
Put simply, we have no legal authority to 'grant permission' for a first kiss as a married couple, and bestowing some sort of authority upon a Groom is far outdated.
It may be semantics but I never 'give permission' however at the couple's request, I may invite them to 'share' a kiss' or say nothing and let their emotions spontaneously rise.
Photographers will insist on a kiss as they regard it as their 'money shot' just as videographers will insist on an exit down the aisle, because 'it looks good on video' but I see such insistence as a limitation of their creativity.
The fact is that the requirement for the solemnisation of marriage are few and all of the rest is just dressing to further beautify the occasion.
When someone speaks up at a rehearsal (usually a wedding planner or bridesmaid) insisting that tradition dictates a certain process or position, I point out that "traditions are ways people did things hundreds of years ago, but our couple are here and now creating their own new and unique traditions"
So the kiss is optional and the couple's choice.
I don't give permission, they react spontaneously.
In the briefing with togs and vids, I tell them the couple's wishes.
Among Ethnic background couples, there exists shyness to kiss in front of Parents, grandparents & other elders so the Groom prefers a tender kiss on Brides’ forehead or cheek which is sweet in its way.
Judy - I agree. It's so 1950s. It implies permission being granted. It originated from times when the priest would bestow a kiss on the bridegroom and the bridegroom would then pass the kiss onto his bride. (All sorts of other thoughts can't help but run through my mind with that one!). I've had several LGBTIQ couples with whom I've discussed the 'first kiss as a married couple' - and we've agreed I won't pressure them into such a thing, only to have the straight wedding photographer come along at the special moment and, in front of their invited guests, with no queer filter at all, both urge them to 'come on, give us a kiss' and also ask the invited guests to encourage them to do so. It's been beyond cringeworthy. Regardless of gender identity or sexuality, I always ask the couple what they want me to do, if anything, at the point where a 'first kiss' might traditionally occur.
Indeed. The kissing bit can be a tad awkward.
If I have learnt anything it would be to ask the couple what they want to do. This way there are no awkward moments.
I have always, felt in this day and age, for a celebrant to say ‘you may kiss the bride’ is somewhat redundant.
Having witnessed a variety of ‘kisses’, unless the act becomes disruptive to ceremony, who am I to say how and when? Often a kiss is exchanged at first sight, or not at all, depending on cultural norms. I always ask that question when planning the ceremony.
In this very personal moment the choice becomes very personal and relevant to the couple.
Kisses come from both ends of the spectrum, from the delicate kissing of fingers to a very passionate and prolonged event. I was once moved, at the conclusion of a ceremony, to suggest that guests talk amongst themselves, at one such moment.
The guests, knowing the couple, expected nothing less.
As long as the couple in question are comfortable with their chosen kiss that is all that really matters.