20 Real Couples Share Their Favorite Wedding Memory

These special moments make wedding planning worth it!

Kristin and Wyatt laughing during couple portraits

Photo by Shannon Skloss

You spend months (if not years) planning your big day and perfecting every little detail. Then, when the time comes to finally tie the knot, your wedding often goes by in the blink of an eye. Nonetheless, there are certain moments that will stand out in your mind, and memories you’ll continue to reflect back on even after the wedding ends. 

To get an idea of what resonates the most, we asked real married couples to share their favorite moment from their wedding day. Spoiler alert: It wasn’t the table linens they selected or the flavor of cake they served. These duos almost always remembered the times they shared with their partner, friends, or family. The below responses serve as a reminder that your wedding is a celebration of love. So, there’s no need to worry about controlling every detail of your event or creating the “perfect” day. 

From heartwarming first dances to powerful vow exchanges, here are the most memorable wedding moments that 20 real couples still reminisce about.

01 of 20

Experiencing an Emotional Processional

Stephanie crying while her father hugs Antoine

Photo by David Bastianoni Studio

When Stephanie Tresil and Antoine Pearson hosted their chic destination wedding on the Amalfi Coast, they experienced many sentimental moments. The most memorable one? “My dad is a very quiet man who shows little to no emotion,” Stephanie explains. “When he walked me down the aisle, he really didn’t have much of an expression on his face, but when he handed me off to Antoine, my dad put his head on Antoine’s shoulder and started crying. No one could hold back their tears when they saw that.”

02 of 20

Dancing Just the Two of Them

First dance

Photo by Hannah Jan Photo

After saying “I do” at a former airline terminal in New York City, Anthony Zimmer and Joseph “JJ” Hartman shared a dreamy first dance they’ll remember forever. “I didn’t think much of these dedicated dances, but JJ was so adamant that we have one and had a song picked out from the get-go,” Anthony admits. “In the moment, he was so sweet and sincere that I felt like we were floating above the dance floor, like in the movie Casper, all eyes on us. It was so moving. I’m sure we will never forget it.”

03 of 20

Watching a Touching Video

Mira and Rohan's Western ceremony outfits with Mira wearing a sparkly two-piece set and Rohan wearing a tuxedo

Photo by Scott Clark Photography

Mira and Rohan’s wedding weekend in Hudson Valley, New York was a nod to their South Asian heritage. Besides all of the Indian traditions they followed, a message from the bride’s grandfather was the most compelling part. “We lost my grandfather three months before our wedding,” Mira discloses. “Luckily, however, we had recorded a video of himself giving a wedding speech to play during the reception since he had anticipated that he wouldn’t be able to travel due to old age. Although he was no longer with us on our wedding day, we played his video at the reception, which was absolutely amazing to receive his well wishes and blessings. Everyone was in tears. It was so emotional. So many people told me this was their favorite part!”

04 of 20

Listening to Heartfelt Speeches

bride and groom sitting at sweetheart table

Photo by Jessa Schifilliti

So much planning went into Danielle Tullo and Nicholas La Testa’s special day. But, an occurrence they didn’t anticipate ended up being their favorite part. “My niece, who was with me when I bought my dress, did a surprise speech for us,” Danielle recalls. “At nine years old, she got in front of 214 people and read the speech she wrote herself. It had everyone crying and laughing. Since Nick and I have been together since 2007 and Ella was born in 2012, she’s only ever known Nick and me together. It was so special and sweet to hear what she had to say about us from her 9-year-old perspective.”

05 of 20

Seeing Each Other for the First Time

Kristin and Wyatt holding hands at the altar surrounded by pedestals of flowers

Photo by Shannon Skloss

Kristin Sills and Wyatt Littles decided against doing a first look at their glamorous Dallas wedding. Instead, the grand reveal took place during the processional, a decision that proved to be extremely worthwhile. “Watching Kristin walk down the aisle was the highlight of the day,” Wyatt says. “After all of the planning and anticipation, I couldn’t have imagined how beautiful she would look. Kirstin was absolutely stunning! For that minute, it felt like it was only the two of us. I was overwhelmed in the moment, cried tears of joy, and haven’t had a happier moment in my life, knowing that I was stepping into forever with my very best friend.”

06 of 20

Doing a Father-Daughter First Look

Taryn walking down the aisle with her dad

Photo by Twah Dougherty

Family was an important part of Taryn and John’s nuptials. So, to kick off the day, Tarn shared a noteworthy exchange with her dad. “The first look with my dad was one of the most special moments for me and was something I really wanted to capture,” Taryn says. “When I look at the photos from that moment, I can feel his love for me in our hug. Those are photos I’ll always treasure. My mom even got emotional witnessing that moment between my dad and me.”

07 of 20

Finding Peace During Their Vows

Jen and MC wrapping their arms around one another after their ceremony

Photo by Sylvie Rosokoff

For Jen, her marriage to MC marked a life-changing experience. “I just remember standing across from MC as Julie read our vows and feeling the calmest I’ve ever been,” Jen reveals. “As someone with lifelong anxiety, I’ve never experienced anything like it. It was magic.”

08 of 20

Witnessing Signs From Deceased Loved Ones

Rohini and Chad sharing a moment in front of their mandap

Photo by Glorious Moments Photography

Everything about Rohini Reddy and Chad Lucy’s wedding in Atlanta was magical. In fact, the couple felt a strong presence from their fathers, who have both passed. “Initially, it was forecasted to rain, so we weren’t sure if we would be able to do the ceremony outdoors,” the couple recalls. “The weather ended up being beautiful. There was a brief moment during the Hindu ceremony, just after we were pronounced husband and wife, that it rained. This was my mom’s favorite moment because she believed it symbolized our fathers showering us with their blessings from above.” 

09 of 20

Feeling Grateful for Their Support System

Allison and Isaac celebrating during their recessional

Photo by The Times We Have

A lot happens during a wedding, which is why couples often forget to savor the moment right in front of them. When Allison Kucharczyk and Isaac Rochell acknowledged the present, they felt so appreciative of their guests. “One of my favorite moments from our wedding day was when our friend Matt, who married us, told us to take a look at all of the people during our ceremony,” Allison states. “Taking a second to look at all of our loved ones who made the effort to travel all the way to Mexico to celebrate our wedding was incredible. We felt so much love.”

10 of 20

Presenting a Meaningful Gift

Javi giving Michael a watch on their wedding day

Photo by Jose Ruiz Photography

Javier “Javi” Ruisanchez knew he wanted to give something special to Michael Dumaine on the morning of their wedding day. That token of generosity went a long way for both of them. “A special memory was giving Michael the watch he ended up wearing,” Javi reflects. “The watch was given to Michael’s grandpa at his mom’s wedding. Since Michael’s grandpa had passed away a few years ago, I wanted to make sure that his presence was still felt. I went ahead and got the watch fixed, so Michael could wear it as his ‘something old.’ It was a very special moment when I gave the watch to Michael since no one knew about the surprise. There wasn’t a single dry eye in the room.”

11 of 20

Receiving a Blessing

bride and groom kiss

photo by Ana Hinojosa

The ceremony is where all of the magic happens. That was certainly the case for Sacha Pytka and Matthew Hotsko. “Instead of having rows of seats [at our ceremony], everyone huddled around us,” Sacha notes. “It felt like a giant group hug. Our friend Chris led a little prayer and had everyone reach their arms out toward us to bless our marriage. Looking out to the crowd and seeing all of our favorite faces reaching out with all their love brings a tear to my eye even to this day.”

12 of 20

Making Promises to One Another

Michael kissing Becky's cheek while she's wearing a gold tiara, holding a red and white bouquet, and wearing a wedding dress with illusion neckline

Photo by Austin Gros

Rebecca “Becky” Delius and Michael Eades exchanged personalized vows during their romantic wedding in Nashville. Although writing their own vows required a little extra thought and preparation, it was the best decision. “For both of us, nothing beat the feeling of reading our vows aloud to one another and getting to hear which experiences from our relationship helped shape the other’s love,” the couple notes. “There really is something about the public proclamation of a marriage commitment, and we both look back at those moments as profound and important.”

13 of 20

Becoming Newlyweds

Brides kissing

Photo by Alexandra Lee Photography

For Taylor Whiting and Jen Kelly, the highlight of their lush garden wedding in Chicago was sweet and simple. “At the altar, we absolutely loved saying ‘wife,’” the couple shares. “After a long engagement of planning, postponing, rescheduling, and planning a bit more, we did it. We could finally say, ‘You’re my wife.’”

14 of 20

Hitting Up the Dance Floor

Deborah and Chad's first dance

Photo by Laura Memory Photography & Videography

The focal point of Deborah Oyeyemi and Chad Walton’s reception was a killer playlist, which brought guests of all ages together. “Dancing and music was a big priority for us,” the couple remarks. “Our DJ was amazing and had a great blend of R&B, Afrobeats, and hip hop. The first song of the night, Beyoncé’s rendition of ‘Before I Let Go,’ had guests young and old out of their seats doing the Electric Slide. Chad and I spent every moment possible on the dance floor with friends and family.”

15 of 20

Infusing an Element of Culture

Erik and Julie standing at the altar surrounded by fall foliage

Photo by Kurt Boomer Photography

Since Erik and Julie met in sixth grade at an American middle school in Tokyo, incorporating Japanese elements was a no-brainer for the groom. “One of the most special moments of the wedding was when Erik surprised Julie by reading his vows in Japanese after he read them in English,” the couple reminisces. “Julie is half Japanese and grew up in Japan, and Julie and Erik went to school together from sixth to 12th grade in Tokyo, so having him read his vows in Japanese was a wonderful surprise.”

16 of 20

Sharing an Extraordinary First Look

Hadier and Mitch doing a first look in an industrial room

Photo by Janelle Elise Photography

When Hadier Jassim and Mitch Riebow laid eyes upon each other during their first look, they were speechless. “There are not many words to describe how we felt at that moment,” the couple reflects. “It was just the both of us, with no one else, spending time with one another and talking about how wonderful this day has already been.”

17 of 20

Basking in Family’s Love

Paola's dad kissing her daughter on the cheek after receiving a letter

Photo by Paulina Bichara

Since Paola Ruiz Adame was going to marry Mario Enrique Gamez Hernandez, the boys in her family wanted to clarify that she has other men in her life too. “My dad and brother made a custom T-shirt, which stated, ‘I loved her first’ on the back,” Paola mentions. “It was a very emotional moment since I made a letter to him and my mom expressing my gratitude for so many years of adventures, laughs, and challenges.”

18 of 20

Savoring a Second Together

Skyler kissing Anna's forehead as they take couple portraits on a golf course

Photo by Charla Storey Photography

Instead of heading straight to cocktail hour after their ceremony, Anna Cook and Skyler Wheeler wanted to catch their breath and reflect on the day. “Skyler and I had a private dinner while our guests were at cocktail hour,” Anna shares. “I changed into my reception dress, and we had a moment to bask in the fact that we were married. It was so intimate and sweet. We also practiced our dance to make sure he could still pick me up in my dress since he hadn’t seen it yet!”

19 of 20

Having a Mother-Daughter Moment

Indhira's mother helping her get ready

Photo by Kiyah C Photography

A mother of the bride serves an important role, and Indhira Benitez recognized that before saying “I do” to Jason Ruiz. “While I was getting my makeup done, my mom had a rush of emotions and burst into tears,” Indhira recounts. “It was such a sweet moment. I love my mom so much!”

20 of 20

Ending the Night With a Bang

Alexa and James holding hands and dancing during their last dance song

Photo by Jacqueline Benet

The best moments are ones that transcend space and time–and Alexa Romero and James Adams can attest to that. “The last dance of the night wasn’t meant to be just James and I, but it ended up that way,” the couple remembers. “Our DJ played ‘All My Life’ by K-Ci & JoJo, which James loves to joke serenade to me. So, that’s exactly what happened—just the two of us on the dance floor, laughing and joking-singing, basically forgetting anyone else was there. I didn’t even realize everyone was taking pictures of us until I saw the photos later!”

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