A good ending is important. Does anyone remember the finale of the renowned TV show, The Sopranos? There was a lot of disappointment and confusion. Endings are often what we remember the most.
When a wedding ceremony concludes it is most often with a kiss. Sometimes couples even practice a little dip or have a special twist ready for that moment. That is because it’s the ending and they want something memorable! If that’s not your style, however, of course just a nice little kiss will do.
The words used for that moment are important, as well. As a person who actually writes ceremonies, I prefer to say ‘you may kiss,’ rather than ‘you may kiss the bride,’ because really, when two people kiss, aren’t they both kissing? One isn’t just on the passive receiving end, at least I hope not. It doesn’t take much thought to realize the origins of that language, though. It comes from an era when a man may have never kissed the woman he’s marrying (heck, in some cultures he may never have even seen her face). So at the end of the ceremony he finally had ‘permission’ to do so. We don’t quite think that way anymore. But let me add that if a couple I’m working with wants those specific words, of course I will say them. It is usually because it feels sweet, sentimental and traditional, in an old-fashioned kind of way, something they may have always imagined for their wedding. You May Kiss The Bride! I’m good with it.
But here are some alternatives. How about: You may seal your promise with a kiss? Or: Please share your first kiss as a married couple! There are many ways to say something, each with its own nuance.
To conclude a wedding ceremony there are other elements that might add to the excitement of that very special moment when it’s now official – you are married!!!
We all know about tossing rice, birdseed, petals and such, and there are bubbles to blow, bells to ring and wands to wave. These all add pizzazz. It can be more than just fun, it can be meaningful as well, with rituals such as: Breaking the Glass in honor of Jewish tradition. There are many stories about this custom, but my favorite interpretation is that it represents the fragility of life and love, reminding us all to care for our relationship and one another. It’s a great ending to a wedding ceremony.
Over time I’ve written about many other rituals. Some that are perfect for the end of a ceremony are: Jumping the Oak Branch, an ancient Celtic ritual, and Jumping the Broom, and African American custom – both provide a fabulous finales. Another favorite of mine is the Irish Bell, also known as The Truce Bell, or St Patrick’s Bell of Will. Ring it for the final kiss!
Have some fun with a confetti cannon – I have fallen in love with confetti cannons. As long as you have permission from the venue (do ask) – these little babies add a bang, and send confetti and good vibes flying. What a great photo and exciting surprise.
You can even invent your own end ritual. Bang on a big gong, work up a cheer for your guests, dance down the aisle… anything is possible It’s just wonderful when the ceremony ends, it ends on a high note. Recess down the aisle with a bang.