This entry is part 10 of 12 in the series Australian Wedding Ceremonies
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You may now kiss the bride

By Published On: January 1, 2023Categories: All About Weddings
This entry is part 10 of 12 in the series Australian Wedding Ceremonies

After the celebrant pronounces you married, it’s traditional (in a straight wedding) for them to say, “Groom, you may now kiss the bride.” This is a highlight of the ceremony! You’re sharing your first kiss as a married couple. All your guests will be super excited, there will be whooping and hollering and lots of applause!

Why doesn’t the bride get to kiss the groom?

That’s all very lovely, but it always make me wonder why the bride doesn’t get to kiss the groom! How come the groom gets to do the initiating? It’s pretty patriarchal. Ladies, I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t always wait to be kissed!

Personally, I like to say something more mutual when it comes time for my couples to kiss. One example is, “Please celebrate your marriage with a kiss.” Or maybe you’d prefer, “Please seal your union with a kiss.”

It’s not exactly inclusive

It’s also not particularly inclusive in this time of marriage equality and gender-neutral language. I’ve worked hard to make my ceremonies, website, business documents, and general speech as gender-neutral as possible. This is just one more example of a place we could consider removing gender altogether.

My preferred options are already gender neutral. Here are some more gender-neutral options for introducing the first kiss between a newly married couple:

  • Now for your first kiss as a married couple!
  • You may kiss!
  • You may kiss each other!
  • Let’s begin the adventure of marriage with a kiss!
  • Let’s make your marriage official with a kiss!
  • And now for your first PDA as a married couple!
  • It’s time for the kiss!

What do you prefer?

What do you think? Do you prefer the traditional wording or an alternative? Or should we say nothing at all and just let the kiss come naturally?

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 all things celebrancy, come and join us at the Celebrant Institute!

***Originally posted 20/01/2015, updated 01/07/2023***

Series Navigation<< What is the asking in a wedding ceremony?You may now kiss the bride – Part 2 >>

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awesome wedding vowsYou make me happy wedding vows
awesome wedding readingsOn Your Wedding Day wedding reading
Series Navigation<< What is the asking in a wedding ceremony?You may now kiss the bride – Part 2 >>