This entry is part 11 of 12 in the series Australian Wedding Ceremonies
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You may now kiss the bride – Part 2

By Published On: February 1, 2023Categories: All About Weddings
This entry is part 11 of 12 in the series Australian Wedding Ceremonies

In a previous post I raised one issue with the statement “you may now kiss the bride”. I wanted to know why the bride didn’t get to kiss the groom!

Since then I’ve thought of another issue I have with this traditional statement. Why on earth does a newly married couple need my permission to kiss on their wedding day?

Aren’t they already kissing?

Now obviously I can’t be certain of this, but I’m pretty sure every single couple I marry will have kissed at some point before their wedding day. They didn’t need my permission then, and they sure as hell don’t need it now! The phrase “you may kiss” is therefore probably redundant.

Side note: Yes, I know there are some couples who don’t kiss before their marriage for religious or cultural reasons. For example, in Islam, kissing before marriage is considered haram (forbidden) because it may lead to more intimate physical relations. The Christian Bible is silent on premarital romantic kissing, but it does discuss avoiding sexual immorality (including lustful intentions before marriage). Some Christians believe that kissing will lead to lustful intentions and therefore should be avoided outside of marrigae. But I suspect people who feel strongly enough about their religion not to kiss before marriage will be getting married in a religious setting.

My preference

My preferred statement of “please celebrate your marriage with a kiss” removes this permission-granting aspect. It simply imbues the kiss with the celebratory feeling it deserves. My ultimate preference is to make no statement at all, just to let the kiss happen organically!

Of course, if you’d like to stick with tradition and have me tell the groom he may now kiss his beautiful bride, I am more than happy to do so. As always, the most important thing for me is that every word in your wedding is meaningful to you.

(I’m also down with couples not kissing during their ceremony at all – whatever works for you.)

More information

Click here to find an overview of a traditional Australian wedding ceremony.

Click on this link to find all the posts in my series about Australian wedding ceremonies.

Click on this link to find all the posts in my series about marriage legalities.

If you’re a celebrant wanting help with marriage legalities or ceremony creation and performance, come and join us at the Celebrant Institute!

***Originally posted 12/05/2015, updated 01/08/2023***

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awesome wedding vowsMeant to be wedding vows
awesome wedding readingsYour Personal Penguin wedding reading
Series Navigation<< You may now kiss the brideInvolving kids in your wedding ceremony >>