How to Avoid Ugly Crying
During Your Wedding
Cram Brisbane Marriage Celebrant
| Vows | Wedding Ceremony |
the love of your life is going to be an
extremely emotional experience. It should
be. After all, this is the moment when you put
your heart on the line and promise forever.
What's a wedding without a bit of welling up and
some happy tears?
There's nothing wrong with
shedding a few tears on the big day. But I
definitely get it that you don't want to be
sobbing like a two year old whose sandwich has
been cut in squares when they wanted triangles!
And no-one who red eyes or mascara tracks down
If you're nervous about ugly crying during the
most emotional parts of the day (the ceremony
and the speeches), here are my top tips about
ways in which you can make sure you feel the
emotions but avoid the ugly part of the crying.
Actually, even if you are not nervous, best to
prepare. You might be surprised at your
reactions on the day.
Talk to your makeup artist
This is mostly for the gals - but there is no rule
against guys wearing makeup. Actually, I don't know a
MUA who doesn't use really top-notch waterproof
mascara and eyeliner. But you might want to consider
having your eyelashes dyed or wearing discreet false
eyelashes as an alternative. Discus all the options
with your MUA and take their advice. You won't regret
Make sure you have a touch-up kit
with you on the day, just in case - but also to deal
with make up melting if it is very hot.
Choose your music carefully
Music has a strong influence over emotions. It can
trigger emotions as well as memories. For walking down
the aisle go for the upbeat, rather than something
that you know always makes you well up. Save that
emotional song for when you're signing the
certificates, or cutting your cake, or for your first
dance. Actually, there is no reason why you shouldn't
go for a medley - switching from emotional/sentimental
to upbeat and back again. That ticks all the boxes
without triggering the tears.
Go easy on the booze, and
don't forget to eat
Alcohol lowers inhibitions. That's a given. So it can
make it harder to control emotions. Yet everyone will
ply you with it while you're getting ready regardless
of the fact that your celebrant can't marry you if
you're drunk. Drink plenty of water instead, and make
sure you have something to eat that's nutritious and
will take a bit of time to digest.
Work on your vows together
- Negotiate your vows
Yes, I know that what we see in many weddings is
the couple fishing out bits of paper on which
they've each written their personal vows - as a
surprise. And the things that are most likely to
make you ugly cry as things that are common to
such vows. All of the "this is how you make me
feel" statements. There is a reason for this
approach to vows. When the ceremony is a fixed
one, everyone gets the same, "personal" vows are
the only place that such statements can be
made. That's not the case in Australia, or
with me. So, keep your vows to promises about the
way you are going to behave to one another during
your marriage, and you have discussed and agreed
on those things beforehand (healthy for your
marriage!) and then you promise those things on
the day, you'll avoid some of the triggers for
ugly crying. We can make sure all of the "how you
make me feel" feels are integrated into the
ceremony in other ways.
- Practice, Practice, Practice
Don't worry, you won't wreck the moment. Saying
them on the day will always feel different,
emotionally, to saying them when you're practicing
them. But being so familiar with the words that
you could virtually say them off by heart makes it
much easier to avoid crying.
- Say your personal promises in unison
There is something very powerful about hearing
your best beloved say the same words, promise the
same things, at the same time as you are saying
them. High emotion, yes. Ugly crying? It won't
happen. You'll be smiling ear to ear!
- Stick to saying the legal vows only
You have to say the required legal vows, but
there are no rules about personal promises. Your
celebrant can ask you "Do you promise ..." and you
can just answer "I do". Or you can keep those
Incorporate a private joke
Challenge one another to come up with something that (as
a surprise) will make you laugh when you meet one
another at the altar, or just when you're about to walk
down the aisle. Just keep it subtle. The guests don't
have to be in on it, or even notice. All they'll see is
Use your safe word
And no, this is not a 50 Shades of ...
suggestion. But if you and your best beloved have a word
or little saying that always lightens the mood, makes
you laugh, or brings you back to earth (and most do),
now's the time to use it.
Do a first look
While not everyone wants to do a first look, most
couples who do one agree that it takes nothing away from
the moment they see one in the aisle. So they get to
double-dip on that powerful feeling, but are less likely
to cry when they see one another in the aisle - and
there is time for a makeup freshen up before you walk
down the aisle! Just make sure you invite your
photographer to capture the moment.
Walk down the aisle together
In many countries, this is the way a wedding always
starts. Walking down the aisle together keeps you
grounded. Yes, it feels different. But good different.
Very good different.
Stand side by side, facing
While you will turn to face one another to say your
vows, starting the ceremony standing side by side,
holding hands, is hugely nerves-settling and confidence
Plan for tears as a photo op
a very nice white hankie. Both of you. Then, if
either of you starts to spill tears the other one
should whip out their hankie and tenderly dab away
while whispering a few
words of encouragement.
Talk about it
Don't keep your emotions bottled up, particularly on the
day. Talk about how you are feeling with your I Do Crew,
with your photographer, with one another, and definitely
with your celebrant. We will all listen and reassure
If you feel that you're about
to get really emotional
- Press your tongue to the top of your mouth
- Take deep, slow, breaths (four seconds in,
four seconds hold, four seconds exhale)
- Wriggle your toes or subtly change your
weight from one foot to the other
Both of these can be imperceptible to the guests,
and they get the blood moving and the oxygen flowing
to the brain
PS You are NOT going to Ugly
Cry no matter what because ...
Actually, Ugly Crying , while a description that often
gets bandied about (and something that TV and movies
really capitalise on because it is easier to fake than
more realistic crying), is something that just doesn't
happen on a wedding day (except maybe by a flower girl
or ring bearer who decides to have a full-on tanti). And
here's why. It is all about the anatomy:
- Ugly crying is at least two-thirds lips
Apart from a quiver, what you do with your lips and
mouth is easy to control. To ugly cry you need to
collapse both lips and at the same time pull them
- Ugly crying requires clenched and furrowed brow
Who does that on their wedding day?
- Ugly crying is enhanced by chin action
Are you starting to get the picture?
- Ugly crying is usually punctuated by saying
something really "sad" - in all senses of the word
If you aren't convinced by now that you won't ugly
cry on your wedding day, regardless of how anyone cuts
up your sandwich, go watch a couple of movies (Diane
Keaton's ugly crying in Something’s Gotta Give (2003),
is something to see) or borrow a small child and cut
their sandwich the wrong way.
Thanks for reading!