Calling all die-hard romantics! While we're all for challenging some wedding traditions, we will always be in love with one big-day trope: the kiss. The newlyweds' first kiss as spouses is so unbelievably sweet and full of promise that we're tearing up just thinking about it. But the first kiss is obviously not the only chance the couple has to lock lips on their wedding day. From the first look to the portraits to the first dance to a million stolen kisses in between, it's hard to find a newly wedded couple who can resist the urge to sneak in a sweet, love-filled, happy smooch.
Like many wedding traditions, the custom of concluding a nuptial ceremony with a kiss between the newlyweds began for far less romantic reasons than one would imagine. Its functionality is rooted in pragmatism, as it was conceived in ancient Rome as a way to seal the contractual agreement that was a marital union. Since illiteracy was common at the time, signatures were a moot point and a publicly shared lip-lock was the best way to validate the marriage. While there are many differing viewpoints of the religious and cultural symbolism behind the custom, one thing is for certain: Its modern-day significance is all about the romance. So get ready to start gushing over some seriously tender and lovely wedding kisses—they may even inspire you to pucker up and drop a kiss on your sweetheart.
Don't believe us? Scroll through to see 50 perfect kisses from some of our favorite real brides and grooms.
Sealed With a Kiss
The natural tones, the milky lighting, the emotional body language, the hand placement. This couple's absolutely stunning ceremony kiss already has us on the verge of weeping.
These grooms went all out for their playful, post-nuptial second-line parade. We love this shot of the impulsive, cinematic smooch amidst all the action.
An Excited Encounter
The excitement of this first-look encounter is not only palpable but infectious, too! Just imagine their post-ceremony joy and enthusiasm.
A Daring Dip
While not for the faint of heart, a dramatic dip punctuated by a kiss is always photogenic—not to mention a classic crowd-pleaser. Just ensure that your partner isn't caught completely off-guard (for the sake of safety).
A Shoulder Graze
Not all kisses need to include a full-on liplock. Sometimes the most tender of touches can have just as much impact. This groom's little shoulder kiss, for example, completely sets our hearts aflutter.
A Cakey Kiss
Who needs cake when you can have a delectable smooch instead? These lovebirds definitely know where their priorities lay.
More Is More
This happy groom couldn't stop at just one post-nuptial kiss, he had to get another quick peck in before heading out. And, check out that kick!
All the Adoration
Such a soft and dreamy vista calls for a kiss that's equally as magical. Frankly, we can't think of anything more enchanting than an affectionate forehead kiss.
To Have and to Hold
Be still, our fragile hearts. There is so much undeniable emotion in this groom's mid-ceremony kiss of his bride's fingertips. We can't imagine there was a single dry eye in the room.
An Unexpected Peck
Surprise neck kisses are at the top of everyone's list of favorite smooches to receive. This bride's beaming smile says it all, and that gentle hand connection further emphasizes their love.
A Getaway Kiss
What's more romantic than driving off into the sunset—or, in this couple's case the Tuscan countryside—into wedded bliss? Sharing a passionate liplock on the road, of course.
Figuring out the semantics of a kiss as publicly viewed as the one first shared as newlyweds can be daunting. Especially establishing proximity and body language. These newly minted husbands totally nailed it with a full-body hug and supportive embrace.
Just a Taste
This groom surprised his wife with a playful lick on the nose in lieu of a customary kiss. His thoughts of dessert are clearly secondary, at best.
Once More for the People in the Back
This couple used a bookend technique for their kissing strategy, both starting and ending their recessional with a smooch. This gives the photographer an opportunity for a closer capture of the wedding kiss than they would have initially been afforded. Plus, it will get the people sitting in the back a chance to better see the kiss.
A Stolen Smooch
Once you start you just can't stop. That seems to be the case with newlyweds after they've experienced their first-ever kiss as such. This doting husband steals a quick kiss from his lovely wife amid their wedding festivities.
All the Drama
Leave it to bridal designer Leanne Marshall to capture the most magnificent elopement kiss of all. Even the dress (her own design, obviously) is in on the perfection, flowing with the wind and wrapping itself around them—as if the warm lighting and panoramic view weren't enough.
A Face Smush
Usually, we would advise couples to practice timing and kissing at a comfortable distance to ensure the most photogenic kisses on their big day. But we can't stop smiling at this absolutely adorable face smush and all the excitement that goes with it. When in doubt, just do what comes naturally and lean into your feelings, they'll never let you down.
A Coy Kiss
Are they kissing behind that intentionally placed safari hat or sharing a secret meant for no one else? The world may never know, and there's something incredibly romantic in that mystery.
A Private Moment
An intimate stroll between soon-to-be-weds is something very special. Protected by the canopy of dense trees, there is a brief moment of complete privacy on a very public day making this stolen kiss all the more tender.
One kiss is simply not enough for these love-struck brides. They couldn't make it through the recessional without going in for another smooch.
A Playful Peck
Sweetheart goals! This groom lands a playful peck on his bride's nose for some brief levity amid an emotion-filled day.
A picture-perfect first kiss by all accounts. To-be-weds take note: His around-the-waist embrace pulling her in, her arms wrapped around his neck, the ever-so-slight dip, and just enough lean toward the photographer for the ideal angle. Bravo!
A soft, wraparound kiss holds so much sentiment—and is extremely photogenic, too. We love how she's holding his hands to her body and gently tilting back into him.
An Affectionate Display
We really, really love a good forehead kiss, okay? There's nothing but sheer devotion being communicated in this serenely love-filled moment.
To Have and to Hold
The eye contact! Eye contact during a traditional kiss is usually a big no-no (not to mention sort of impossible). But with this adorable peck on the hand, these two love birds only have eyes for each other.
This groom couldn't wait to sweep his bride into his arms. Their liplock is definitely one for the books.
An Impromptu Kiss
There's something special about a mid-walk smooch. A sweet urgency to capture a kiss from your beloved as you attend to other tasks, as if nothing else is more important in that moment.
A Family Affair
These newlyweds sealed the deal amid a gathering of their children to signify that their union brought together the whole family, not just the two of them. We can't help but love a sentimental family moment like this.
Go For It
This former Miss United States took the lead and pulled her husband into a post-nuptial kiss. No need to wait for your honey to make the first move. Get it, girl!
Bust a Move
There's nothing quite like a sweaty dance-floor kiss, amid all the celebration and excitement surrounding your love for one another. This couple's earnest facial expressions speak volumes.
A Pretty Portrait
The tones of this portrait are absolutely to die for, but the details add so much to the overall photo as well. The perfectly fanned out train, the bouquet still grasped in her hand, evidence of a slight breeze turning up the tuxedo jacket, his hands clasped at the base of her back—perfection.
All in the Hands
Hand positioning can be tricky when it comes to the wedding kiss (or all photos in general, honestly). What is too much? What is not enough? What is flat-out awkward on camera? These grooms got it just right with an affectionate, yet not inappropriate, grasp of one another—each husband pulling the other in for a kiss.
Swept Up in Love's Kiss
This bride was quite literally swept off her feet. Her husband couldn't wait to gather her up in his arms for a chivalrous kiss. Swoon.
Romance Is in the Air
Oh, the romance! This powdery, feminine aesthetic is straight out of a classic, cinematic love story. Not to mention that soft, reverent kiss...
First Dance Bliss
A slow love song punctuated by a tender kiss on the temple—all the trappings of a beautifully sentimental first dance. We imagine she was whispering the lyrics in her wife's ear as they swayed to the melody.
Never Letting Go
Seeing couples hold hands while sharing a kiss is unbelievably heartwarming. It's an impulse so pure and intertwined in childhood that it just says, "You're my best friend, and I never want to lose you."
Strutting like they own the place (and they actually do). Owning it with all of their love. This couple smooched their way into the second-line parade that led everyone to their backyard reception.
Body language is everything. Can you guess what this overjoyed groom is feeling as he kisses his bride?
True Love's Kiss
All the feels. This feathery-soft grasp of the neck and caress of the jawline is so effortless yet so loving.
Kid-Approved (Sort Of)
These little ladies seem to be having mixed emotions about their parents kissing. We love how each of their individual personalities shines through as mom and dad share a special kiss.
Relish the Moment
These newlyweds carved out some time to privately enjoy their union before returning to guests. It doesn't get much more romantic than sharing an intimate kiss, hidden within the heart of a verdant oasis, as guests celebrate your matrimony just beyond. (We almost feel like we're intruding).
One More for the Road
This groom had to sneak in one last peck before hitting the road with his new bride. The sheer joy she's exuding gives us all the warm fuzzies.
The seconds leading up to a kiss, or moments just after, can reflect so much about the depth of the feelings shared by the couple. Whether pre-liplock or post-smooch, Blogger Tracy Nour Scheer and her husband have us beaming right along with them.
A Dramatic Flourish
These two really know how to make a visual impact. While a dance-floor dip of this caliber is exquisitely magnificent, we wouldn't recommend you impulsively throw one in unless you've had some practice. Safety first.
Figuring out first-kiss body positioning when you and your partner have a big height difference can be challenging. We love how this groom is completely bending over to reach his petite bride. So sweet!
Reaching for Love
Alternately, this beautiful bride is propped up on her very tippy toes as she reaches for her husband's lips. It doesn't get any more adorable than that.
Just the Two of Us
Oh, to be so in love that it seems like there's no one else in the room. These two lovebirds are in a world all their own, even in a room full of their nearest and dearest.
Cue the Confetti
This couple swayed to the sounds of “Danny’s Song,” by Kenny Loggins for their first dance. The groom then swung his bride into a deep dip and sealed it with a kiss as colorful confetti filled the air. Now that's a celebration.
A Candid Kiss
There's no posing in a candid shot like this, just whatever comes naturally in that second. And this groom was naturally inclined to pull his lovely bride in for an affectionate kiss on the temple.
A Send-Off Kiss
A kiss amid a crowd of revelers is the perfect way to end a night of festivities celebrating your love. This bride and groom concluded their reception with a kiss as they dashed off through a glowing tunnel created by friends and family waving them off with sparklers. Magic, made.