THE KISS—how it became a wedding custom

THE KISS—how it became a wedding custom

It 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. Although the kiss is not a formal requirement of the ceremony, most regard the gesture as a joyful start of the marriage. The most traditional way guests entice the new couple to kiss is by clinking their glasses. An ancient Christian tradition explains that the clinking sound scares the devil away and the couple kisses in his absence. Another tradition is to ring bells placed at the tables by the wedding party. A ring of the bell signals the bride and groom to kiss.

How "you may kiss the bride" became a wedding custom

It's a popular custom for couples to kiss immediately after tying the knot.

But how did this custom begin?

It is a practice you’ll see at so many weddings, alright, but where did it begin from, and why was it necessary to begin it in the first instance.

You may kiss the bride: A brief history

It is claimed by several accounts that back in the day during the reign of the Roman empire, [753 BC to 27 BC and then from 64 AD to 1453 AD.], it is believed that the bride and the groom would not have kissed each other until the time of their wedding.

The kiss after the exchange of vows is seen traditionally as their first kiss ever.

Another reason why kissing after the vows became a thing was because marriages were seen as contracts and in Roman times kissing was a legal bond that sealed all contracts.

So, the couple would kiss as a seal to the marriage contract they concluded.

A kiss of peace

Another account traces it back to the holy kiss given by ancient priests who conducted wedding ceremonies.

Back then, it was customary for the priest to give a holy ‘kiss of peace’ to the groom, who in return kisses the bride.

Eventually, "you may now kiss the bride," became a common phrase heard at weddings as a result of this.

Religious influence

Some Christians, according to Wikipedia, believe that the first post-wedding kiss symbolizes the exchange of souls between the bride and the groom, fulfilling the part of the bible that says “…the two shall become one flesh.” [Genesis 2:24]

However, though many wedding ceremonies would include this action in the wedding program, the kiss is not traditionally a part of the religious ceremony and your wedding remains valid whether or not you and your boo kiss at the altar.

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Geoffrey Nevine — IT Services and IT Consulting

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