It happens at fairly much every single wedding….the couple say their vows and exchange rings and then, with great gravity, the officiant grants them the permission they have been desperately waiting for and proclaims ” You may now kiss the bride!”
Erm, well, thank you! What a funny old tradition it is that assumes that you need permission to kiss each other and that it’s the bride that gets kissed rather than “you may now kiss together/each other/at will”! Also, who on earth really wants to have a good old smacker a) in front of everybody they know b) probably in close proximity to an officiant who they don’t really know c) possibly in a church?
It’s just all a bit weird!
Anyway, most couples manage it and it generally results in an awkward fumble followed by some giggles of relief! Very rarely does it last more than a fraction of a second, there’s little passion involved and it often just seems like a relief to get it over and done with! Some couples even chicken out and go for a peck on the cheek, a hug or even a kiss on the head! Well, I’m not one to complain as I’m not that great on PDA’s (public displays of affection) myself and my children are literally disgusted by my partner and myself even having a vague smooch in front of them.
However, I think that first kiss is a landmark moment. Yes, it’s a bit awkward, it’s staged and not at all spontaneous or romantic. But it marks the start of a new journey together, the bonding of two people, an ungainly physical and public expression of an intensely private and internal process. It’s an important and probably overlooked moment and one that, despite my immediate concerns with timing the shot and getting the right point of focus etc, etc, moves me every time.