Photo: Amelia Lyon Photography
Every moment of your wedding (A.K.A. one of the most important days of your life) is precious, but there are some moments that vividly remain in the memory for years and years.
"Ryan and I are big Star Wars fans — the scene where they play the New Hope theme song has always seemed wedding-like to us. So at the end of our ceremony as we were presented as 'Mr. and Mrs. Larkin,' we had our DJ queue up to play that song. The best part is rather than walking instantly back down the aisle, we stood at the alter soaking it all in, giggling and memorizing it all in our minds!" —Ximena
"We were married at the Obama vacation house in Kailua, Oahu, down the street from my family home. As a surprise I did a hula for my husband. I had to cut the bottom of my dress last minute because it was too long to hula in!" —Stacie
"By the time I got married, my parents were no longer around to walk me down the aisle. So I imposed on my brothers-in-law, Larry and Arnie, to give me away. When the judge asked, 'Who gives this woman...' each pointed to the other and said, 'He does!' Everybody just cracked up...even the judge. It was certainly a moment to remember!" —Nancy
"I was raised as an only child by a single mother. So my wedding was as much her big day as my own. We had a private moment and she gave me words of advice. It was the first time in more than 25 years that I'd seen my mother tear up. Beforehand, she'd said she would not cry because she doesn't cry over happy moments. Well, that day she was so overjoyed, she teared up not only during our talk, but at many moments during that day and night." —Erika
"I'd felt a little anxious all day, but during the reception I finally started to relax. I ditched my shoes, ran up the stairs with our best man and one of my bridesmaids, and through a little door onto the 'sweetheart balcony' to throw my bouquet down to the ballroom. I attempted the throw over my shoulder without looking. It ended up hitting the ceiling and falling to the floor below. The best man ran down to retrieve it and I got to throw the bouquet again because it was my wedding after all!" —Anna
"My husband and I surprised our guests and bridal party with a 'Carnaval Carioca'. What is that you ask? I'm from Argentina and wanted some of my culture brought into the wedding. So beneath each table were huge bags filled with colorful props like funky hats, shakers, whistles, funky sunglasses, glow sticks, etc. When there was about an hour left of our reception, we wanted to let everyone knows the party was about to get even more crazy. The band started playing tropical upbeat music and electronic dance music that made our guests go nuts. In fact, some of our friends want to do this now at their wedding!" —Bettina
"While the whole day was fantastic and beyond my dreams, one of my favorite moments was when my grandmother and his grandfather (who are both in their 90s) walked slowly out on the dance floor to dance to a live version of the pop song "Shut Up and Dance!" The whole party came out and formed a big circle around our grandparents as they danced away. Now every time we hear that song it's so wonderful and exciting as a reminder of that special moment." —Sara
"I was adopted and raised as an only child, but I'm one of seven full-blooded siblings who were split up and adopted by different families. We found each other in college, and all but one of my siblings were involved in my wedding. My wedding day was the first time ever that both of my families were in the same room together. Not only were my parents there — the parents who raised me — but my biological mother, along with five siblings. The photographer staged a massive group shot with my parents, biological mother, siblings, and my husband and his family. It was such a significant moment to have all three of my families in the same photo — the family who gave me life, the family who raised me, and the family I was marrying into. Having all those parts of my personal history in the same place celebrating in harmony was absolutely amazing." —Rebekah
"I got married in August. My dad has early onset, advanced Alzheimer's. We weren't sure if he would understand it was my wedding day or be aware at the very least that something special was happening. There were two moments I knew he did. When I was getting ready, I told him we were going to dance and have fun and he understood and said 'I love you.' And then later when we did dance to "Brown Eyed Girl" — I just knew he was having a lucid moment. Of course there were so many memorable moments, but when you put things into perspective that mattered most to me." —Jaime
"Michael and I each had huge, first marriages. In my case, it was 400 people. In both cases, neither of us remembered any moment of the vows — not one moment! We remembered being nervous, wondering if there was enough cake, if the ribbons were holding up, if the tux looked ok, his feet hurting... But actual vows? No! So Michael and I made a conscious decision before our wedding that, while saying the vows, we would look straight into each other's eyes so during those few minutes there could be no distraction or doubt about what we did or said. It was an out of time, out of place experience. If the eyes are the window to the soul, we inadvertently let our souls meet to make those vows. Powerful!" —Maria
Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW is a New York City-based marriage therapist and author.