The first kiss is a pivotal moment in any wedding ceremony. Have you ever wondered why the ceremony ends with the officiant proclaiming “You may now kiss the bride”?
Aside from being a very sweet and romantic way to end the ceremony, “the kiss” has been very significant throughout the centuries and indifferent cultures. In ancient Rome, every legal contract was traditionally sealed with a kiss. Thus, a marriage was not legal until the bride and groom had kissed. In Scotland, the pastor had to be the first to kiss the bride and it was believed that her happiness depended upon it. Yet another custom states that when the husband kissed the bride, she had to cry. If not, her married life would be full of tears.
It is suggested that perhaps in old fashioned courtships, the couple did not have time alone before the wedding. They were always chaperoned, so even stealing a kiss was hard. Another theory is the belief that a kiss was the medium for the exchange of spirits. When the couple kissed, their souls were joined as one.
Whatever and wherever customs arise, today, the groom’s kiss is typically part of every ceremony and is a symbolic gesture to seal the sacred matrimonial vows just exchanged.
Admit it, we like the kiss. Perhaps the wordage could use some updating to be less gender specific or more equal in its passage. If you are looking to bring a refreshing twist into an ancient tradition, you may want to consider these suggested alternatives:
-You may seal this union with a kiss
-You may now kiss each other
-You may now seal your vows with a kiss
-You may now share your first kiss as husband and wife
So, kiss. Make it a dip kiss, a short and sweet kiss or a lingering kiss……just kiss!