Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The (sometimes) Awkward First Kiss

Practicing the “first kiss” at your wedding will not make it perfect but it may make it memorable. There are few kisses more important and more meaningful than your first one as a married couple. Planning the perfect kiss in advance nixes problems before they even have a chance to materialize.

firstkissBeckyBrownIt is a Western custom for a newly married couple to exchange a kiss at the conclusion of their wedding ceremony. Some Christians hold the belief that the kiss symbolizes the exchange of souls between the bride and the groom, fulfilling the scripture that “the two shall become one flesh.” However, some trace the tradition to an ancient Roman tradition, whereby the exchange of a kiss signified the completion of a contract. (Source: Wikipedia)

There is no right or wrong way to kiss on your wedding day. A couple’s first kisses as husband and wife is supposed to be gentle, tender, intimate and romantic. A quick peck doesn’t suit the occasion. Neither does a prolonged lip-lock session. It should not be too short since you want to capture the emotions of the moment, but it should not last so long that your guests get fidgety.

You may feel a little self-concious, overwhelmed or shy but this kiss is special and it should be practiced prior to its appearance in the wedding ceremony. You talk about everything else about the wedding, from the guest list to the bridesmaids’ dresses. It’s time to talk about the first kiss.

People love the first kiss and they have definite opinions about how a couple should seal their promises. Most people regard the first kiss as a joyful start of the marriage. Some want passion; some don’t. Some like staged moments; others want to keep things natural. Everyone wants the kiss to be heartfelt and romantic. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of passion between newlyweds, however, if there are children present… keep it PG!

Most couples have a lot of practice kissing. Because of the importance if “this” kiss, you might want to put in a little practice time, especially if you’re doing something you’re not used to, like having the groom dip the bride.

An informal poll of members of The Knot found that just a third of the 71 respondents planned to practice the kiss. Most – 61 percent – said they’ll go with whatever they’re feeling at the moment.

“I have also seen every kiss and act of affection imaginable between bride and groom at the altar: A peck on the cheek, a hug, a fist bump, a long kiss on the lips, a series if kisses on the mouth, a full open-mouth tongue kiss, kissing through tears of joy, and kissing so passionately that friends and loved one scream, “get a room.” ~ Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway

When consulting a couple about their wedding ceremony I always recommend that the first kiss needs to be held a little longer than usual. If the groom goes for a quick peck on the lips the kiss can seem cold, and disappointing and most important of all, it may be missed by the photographer. Holding it just a few seconds longer than necessary is important so the kiss will not be missed. Most importantly, it should feel right to both of you. You may hear a guest shout, “Get a room!” but at least the kiss will be remembered. Some photographers recommend a five-second to seven-second kiss, which should be plenty of time to snap a frameable shot without making everyone around you uncomfortable.

firstkissEmilyBlakeAt my wedding ceremonies, I usually say, “You may now seal your promises with a kiss!” Once the Wedding Officiant announces the kiss…

• Pause, then look at each other and allow yourself to smile

• Make eye contact with each other until you kiss and close your eyes

• Do something with your hands. When your hands are motionless, you don’t look like you’re truly enjoying the kiss

• Decide which way you will tilt your head to avoid bumping noses

• Keep your mouth closed for the most part – a partial smile is always nice

• Hold it for five to seven-seconds so the photographer can get a variety of photos from full body to close up

• Pull apart slowly afterwards and feel free to show some emotion throughout

• Go for a short second kiss if you enjoyed it!

It’s nerve-racking enough to kiss in front of dozens of guests whose eyes are glued on you. I’m not suggesting a “rehearsed” kiss, however, knowing in advance how you are going to do your first kiss will help make things easier. Like anything else in the ceremony, having a sense of how you would like to kiss and be kissed can relieve any “performance” pressure.

Future Reference Fact: Smooching actually reduces stress – something every woman planning a wedding needs. Kissing is also good for dental hygiene, and since French kissing uses all 34 facial muscles, passionate sessions on the sofa can burn 6.4 calories per minute. 😉

BONUS Article: Need Some Lip Lessons?
Creating Wedding Kiss Perfection
The Romantic Kiss

NOTE: If you are at the office… turn down the sound!


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  1. […] Articles: The (sometimes) Awkward First Kiss “You May Now Seal Your Promises With a Kiss!” “You may now seal your promises with a kiss!” […]


    Pingback by Pay Attention to the “KISS!” | Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG — Monday, June 1, 2015 @ 7:31 am | Reply

  2. […] from us, grooms: The more you are involved in the planning of your wedding, the better the “first kiss” at the wedding! […]


    Pingback by Grooms… Listen up! | Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG — Sunday, September 14, 2014 @ 8:31 am | Reply

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