Recently, I married a lovely couple who chose to write their own vows. The groom had a difficult time getting through his because he was crying, and the bride was equally overcome by the beautiful, heartfelt promises he made to her. While she read her vows, they continued to shed tears together. I looked over at both sets of parents, and saw eyes and noses being dabbed. As I pronounced the couple as married, I felt my eyes well up and my voice quivered a little, too.
When you’re in the midst of so much love and happiness, it’s hard to hold it in.
Almost without exception, the topic of crying comes up while we wait for the ceremony to begin. Some brides worry their makeup will be ruined, while others want to avoid doing the “ugly cry” in front of their guests. The men place bets over who will cry first, and insist that men don’t actually cry–their eyeballs just sweat.
These reasons for fending off crying only scratches the surface. The built-up stresses from planning a wedding need a way to be released. The pressures of wanting The Perfect Wedding need an outlet. The flurry of activity on your wedding day catches up with you as you’re standing at the altar.
I don’t have hard data to back it up, but would it surprise you to know that in my experience, men get misty-eyed more often than their brides during ceremonies? I’ve seen many-a-groom shed a tear or two when he sees his beloved for the first time coming down the aisle.
It’s an honest and appropriate response to a powerful, emotional moment.
In fact, one groom I married years ago was so happy and overcome by seeing his beautiful bride that he started crying and didn’t stop. He did the ugly cry and at times gasped for breath. He sniffled even as they left the ceremony. The couple had a chuckle about it afterward, but I gave him beaucoup props for keepin’ it real.
I bring a hanky with me to every ceremony because it’s one of those things that gets forgotten. Make a note to tuck a tissue in your bouquet or tux pocket, or have your maid of honor and best man carry one for you. Chances are you’ll need it.
Because as much as you don’t want to or think you won’t, crying has a reputation for showing up anyway in times like this. And your tears will be seen as an honest expression of being head-over-heels in love.
It’s your wedding day and you’re marrying the love of your life! Embrace your abundant happiness, don’t hold back, and go with the flow…including when it manifests as Tears of Joy.
Photo credit: Brenda Rose