Ah, the first kiss. It is an iconic part of many wedding traditions and the subject of some of the best wedding photography that we have ever taken. For many newlyweds, whether they are in Washington, DC, Philadelphia or Northern Germany, their first kiss is the highlight of their wedding day. That is not a huge surprise, of course! What is interesting is one of the hidden reasons why.
The first kiss is such a special moment for brides and grooms not only because it’s literally the first thing two people do as a married couple. It is not only because it is a beautiful moment that touches the hearts of all their wedding guests. It is not only because it is a manifestation of how much they love each other. It is not only because it makes for such great images (though that does make their wedding photographers quite happy, of course!).
In our careers taking pictures of marriage celebrations, we’ve noticed that a newly married couple’s first kiss often comes with a visible sense of relief on both their faces. As joyful as a wedding day is, it can also be a little stressful — especially during the getting-ready portion of their nuptials. Brides and grooms often spend a lot of time and energy in the early part of the day attending to last-minute issues, making sure every detail is perfect and preparing themselves for the ceremony. It’s fun, of course, but not necessarily relaxing!
So when the couple gets to the ceremony and exchanges their vows, it means the pressure is finally off. All the months of planning and worrying have paid off and worked out for the best. They are finally married and joined together for a lifetime, which is the whole reason that they are there in the first place. The kiss seals that commitment, but it also acts as a signal that the serious part of the wedding day is over and that it is time for the fun to begin.
We could tell that these lovely same-sex newlyweds, who got married in a beautiful ceremony at East Lynn Farm in Round Hill, Virginia, felt that relief as they kissed for the first time after getting hitched. What really sets this image apart for us (and what made it so special to the couple) is the way it communicates without a single word how the brides feel about one another. The tenderness with which one bride gently caressed the other’s cheek as they kissed amid the rolling green hills surrounding East Lynn Farm is a clear nonverbal indication of how deep their love is.
As we have mentioned elsewhere on this site, these are the kinds of pictures that we strive to deliver to our clients every time we photograph a wedding. When we are able to capture a single moment that sums up how a couple feels about each other, what has drawn them together and why they are getting married, then we feel like we have done our job.