10 Unforgettable Wedding Moments

The most memorable wedding moments often come when you least expect them. Here are ten amazing moments, a few of which were actually mistakes!

Putting on the dress.

A groom’s first look.


Sweet kisses with old-fashioned veils.


“We choreographed a dance to ‘If There’s Such a Thing as Love,’ by the Magnetic Fields. But we hadn’t practiced with Mary wearing her dress; plus, we were nervous and maybe a little intoxicated. The dance was falling apart; then her veil fell off when I dipped her. Our friends started cracking up, and we just made up our own dance. It ended up being one of our favorite moments of the wedding.” — our friends Austin and Mary

The most beautiful dress (maybe tied with this and this:)

“Irene and Alison rode the freight elevator up to the roof to make their grand entrance, but the lift got stuck for about five minutes. (The band played the ‘Wedding March’ on repeat till they finally emerged.)” Eeks! Here, they’re dancing the hora. —New York Weddings

“People kept asking me if I was going to do a split; it’s my signature move. I was like, ‘Absolutely not!’ But later there was a dance-off with break dancing and an older gentleman spinning on the ground. That set off the happy endorphins. I did the split and Ninja Turtled out of it on my back.” — Kim Zatina, New York Weddings

Sparklers at Rob and Susan’s wedding.

What was your favorite moment of your wedding–or any wedding you’ve been to?

(Photos by Ali Harper, Rob Meyer, Tec Petaja, Braedon Weddings, SNAP, Jenna Walker and Lauren Ross, via Snippet & Ink; Lynn Michelle, via Glamour; Sarah Tew, Our Labor of Love, Jess + Nate)

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  4. Anonymous says...

    Love it! One of the groomsmen sneakily tucked a piece of sparkler in beside the wick of our unity candle so we both jumped when our regular old candle burst into sparkles! Our pastor also pulled out a stack of marriage books from the 1980’s from under a table and handed them to my husband…the pile got passed from groomsman to groomsman. The pictures are great!

  5. I think my favorite moment, besides our dog climbing the steps to be right next to us, was when we were about to say I do, a truck raced around the bend (we were getting married on my mother-in-law’s front porch)with super loud heavy metal blaring and we all broke into hysterical laughter. There is a great pic of my husband with his fist in the air and me doubled over laughing. Priceless.

  6. Moments like those feel great during weddings, don’t they? They’re like the exclamation points, or the words put in bold and underlined twice. The moments that stick to the mind most are sometimes unexpected and often magical.

  7. We have been that common few who forgot the ring. Or must I say I forgot the ring.

  8. My favorite moment was the surprise ending- floating lanterns just like on “tangled” and bubbles to exit!

  9. My favorite is the “groom’s first look”. It is the cutest thing – makes me tear up every time.

  10. It is one of the your very amazing post. Thank you for sharing such nice and instant wedding pics. Great Job :)

  11. My husband’s face when he saw me.

  12. I think I’m dying over the guy that is “enraptured!”

  13. yeah! I am a wedding photographer and the first image is one I have slid into the corner of my pub mirror as I go out the door–inspirational. Love this post. Visit my blog for some more wedding inspiration.

  14. wow these are beautiful. we’re not quite engaged yet, but i can’t wait for our wedding day :)

  15. My favourite moment was walking in as husband and wife to Arcade Fire’s ‘Wake Up’. When I listen to that song I get shivers all over now!

    Also, that first picture with the veil blowing away – that was pretty much me!

    Maria xx

  16. My favourite moment was at our wedding reception here in the States… his cousin gave a speech and talked about my husband eating dog biscuits as a child. And then presented him with a biscuit out of his tux pocket… which my husband proceeded to eat lol

  17. OH my goodness the reminds me of how at our wedding when my OCD self was busy putting away decor items and I heard a massive rumbling coming up the stairs to where I was; it was a CONGO line with every single guest in tow, complete with my very serious Serbian Grandfather and the biggest grin on his face. I will never forget that :)

  18. The pic of the groom seeing his bride for the first time made my eyes well up! What a sweet shot! At weddings, while everyone is turned to see the bride walk in, I love to look at the groom to see his face! It’s such an amazing moment! Thanks for posting these – I’m going to a wedding this weekend and this has me in the spirit!

  19. What a wonderful Friday post, made my morning!

  20. Definitely has to be singing, “Can you Feel the Love Tonight” from the Lion King at my sisters wedding. Mark, her husband sang the first verse and he had karaoke style lyrics projected on to the wall so we could all join in, sooo much fun :D

  21. Oh wow! This is amazing. “A groom’s first look.” just made me well up.

  22. when i was small and my siblings were even smaller we went to the seaside wedding of our much older cousin. my auntie, wanting to keep us occupied and so out of trouble for a while, took us down to the beach for a paddle. while we were gone the tide came in and ALL of our smart wedding shoes drifted out to sea. the stuff of family legend…

  23. Well, my favorite moment was when, as I stood in my full tulle skirt talking with a friend my darling grandma came and asked me, “Honey, would you please help me, I’d like a cup of tea and the caterers can’t seem to find any.” It was the humbling moment of love.

  24. My favourite personal moment was when I got home with my husband, and still wearing my wedding dress I went in the courtyard of our apartmenthouse to call the cat home (an every day gesture made in quite different clothing..).
    And I liked a lot when in bed we opened our Dom Perignon bottle (lastly a moment just for the two of us!)

  25. This was such a lovely post and makes me excited for my wedding some day. My favorite moment of my cousins wedding was when she danced with her husband for the first time to their song, I cried.

    Belt Giveaway

  26. Anonymous says...

    Too many favourite moments to share them all really! But probably hearing the string quartet playing the entrance music which gave me shivers – and then walking in on my dad’s arm and seeing my fiancé waiting for me. Magical x

  27. Anonymous says...

    these are beautiful! i’m not married but one of my cousins recently was. she and her husband had already been living together in a beautiful little lakeside home. their wedding was in the backyard. at the reception, when the sun was just below the horizon, everyone lit chinese lanterns and watched the hundred-some of them float over the water. :)

  28. LOVE THIS. I am totally smiling. Loving the splits one the best because shoot, that would have totally happened to me, if I could do the splits that is. I would have SAID it wasn’t going to come out on the nuptial dance floor but it would have…

    so. much. fun.

  29. Awww, these photos and stories are so sweet ! I almost cried just looking at the photos, imagine me at an actual wedding !

    My favorite moment at my wedding was the twinkle in my husbands eye when he put the ring on my finger and smiled at me.
    40 years later, he still has that twinkle.

  30. Not that I’m anywhere near walking down the aisle, but I really wish I knew the designer of Dionna’s dress!

  31. These photos are so fun and stunning! I cannot wait to see what my future wedding pictures will hold. Thanks for sharing!

    Dionna’s dress is breathtakingly beautiful. And I now know that I want sparklers!

  32. Love this collection!

  33. SO cute!

    love the expression on the groom in the hat.

  34. I never add links (seriously) but you have to visit my friend Tim’s site- he is an Australian Photographer and does THE most amazing family and wedding sessions. Ive had the honour oh having him shoot my family (the beetle shack family) a couple of times…. His wedding photos are to die for!

  35. My friends wedding this past june. The speeches given were like out of a movie. they were beautiful, funny cleaver and had me thinking “dang I want that!” they ended the night dancing to one of their bands songs..she has such a beautiful voice.

  36. hi, totally random wedding question, long hair, up or down? it feels like such a big decision, I will like I “should” have my hair done up, it is my wedding, but most people, my man included prefer me with my hair down, I want to look my best but I feel like me long sleeve lace gown calls for un up do? What to do?? Please help?

  37. okay…. this is like one of my favorite posts I have ever stumbled across. I love weddings… at one of my friends weddings the groom went under her dress for the garder and unbeknownst to everyone else (including the bride) he had a very large pair of women’s briefs in his jacket pocket… he came out from under her dress with them in his mouth and I don’t think I have EVER seen someone turn so beet red… my friend was SO embarrassed. I just about died though. Love this.

    Even though I love Matt Kearney so so much, the look on his face in that picture is pure love. :)

  38. Oh wow, the picture with the veil flying up in the air is much too adorable. I love it so much!

  39. Walking into our dinner and seeing so many guests wearing the paper crowns that I put into crackers at each place setting and all the silly glasses, mustaches and lips on sticks that I had at every table. People who are normally very serious were having so much fun!

  40. One of my good friends Mags, has a signature move as well – the worm! I had hoped she’d do it at her wedding a few weeks ago, and luckily she did – three times no less!

    Video here:

    She is hysterical in her dress!

  41. The two “other” favorite wedding dresses are literally my two favorite wedding dresses in the world! You have good taste ;)

  42. Do I have to pick a favorite? The whole day. Everything. Holding my husbands hands. Our best friend marrying us. The beautiful location. Everything.

  43. My best friend had a gorgeous outside wedding on the side of a mountain, with the reception in her grandparent’s spectacular garden. One of our other friends wanted to run into the house to get something and ran into the sliding glass door MAGNIFICENTLY. All the older guests were in the well-lit interior, and as the sun was already down, she was perfectly silhouetted as she crashed right into it. She is NEVER living it down.

  44. My favorite moment was walking down a pathway in the middle of a garden to see my husband for the first time that day. He was standing with his back to me. It was so still and quiet, all you could hear was the swishing of my dress. It was such a surreal moment. I’ll never forget the sounds and feelings of that moment! When we saw each other, he took my hand and spun me around like we were dancing so he could see my whole dress. It was such a precious moment!

  45. We had our reception in his aunt’s backyard, which was focused around a giant pool… a few hours in, I grabbed his hand, gave him a look, and we both marched to the poolside and jumped in together. Getting out was impossible… my new mother in law had to lift my dress while I walked out and ring it out. BEST DAY EVER.

  46. The toasts. Always the toasts.

  47. My favorite moment was during our reception. My husband and I stepped off to the side for some alone time and looked back to see every single one of our guests dancing against a full moon and twinkle lights. It was magical and filled us with such happiness to see everyone ELSE having such a wonderful time!

  48. I really like the sparkler idea, and also the messy first dance sounds so romantic!
    What was your favourite moment, Joanna?

  49. Favorite moment: Hopping in a rowboat with my hubby for pictures. PS – My husband doesn’t know how to row OR swim. Was an adventure.

    Least favorite moment: Telling my parents (who just witnessed their ONLY child get married) that I was also 3 months pregnant with their first grandchild. They both about passed out and said “I don’t understand… We’re too young for this!” And then I felt guilty and cried in the bathroom on my wedding night still in my dress while my new husband took about 60,000 bobby pins out of my hair. Should’ve waited to share the news until after the honeymoon!

  50. super cute!!

    my favorite {now…not so much then} was when Michael stepped on my train, and ripped it right off. He pretended it wasn’t him…until 2months later when our professional photos came in…and there was one of him “IN ACTION” and looking at his foot as he heard the “cruch” of the rip. Its funny now.

  51. my favorite part of our wedding was when the giant flash thunderstorm came through. the thunder was ear piercing, and lightening hit the historic house we rented, which set off the fire alarm. (luckily it was right after people were finishing their meal) it was about 3 or 4 in the afternoon, and everyone went out onto the covered deck to get away from the fire alarm and to marvel at the rain. it was coming down harder than any shower i’ve ever been in! the musicians came out and played, even though it was hard to hear them, and any polite apprehension between college friends and our relatives, childhood pals and elderly family friends just melted away as everyone talked about what happy omen this rain would bring. (one guess was that lots of rain meant lots of babies, and i’m currently expecting identical twin girls…was this just a coincidence?)

    then, my photographer urgently ran up to me and my husband to follow her out the front door, because the fire department had shown up. we have great photos on the back of the truck, some with a firefighter in full gear holding a rainbow umbrella up over us. some of the best photos are of our guests mingling amongst firefighters in their sooty uniforms, everyone with big smiles on their faces.

  52. My husband’s parents, brother, cousins, aunts & uncles surprised me by choreographing a dance to the song Footloose! It was AMAZING!!!! I loved how they took the time to do this for me to welcome me into their family!

  53. One of my favorite moments was when our emcee pulled out my PhD thesis in front of everyone and handed it to my dad. Her husband has been tasked with picking it up and mailing it to me YEARS ago (I moved away before it was finished being printed), but had forgotten to send it to me. I had forgotten about it as well…till the wedding!

  54. This post made me tear up I have to admit! Such lovely pictures and happy memories. Really put a smile on my face :)


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  56. These are such sweet photos. On our wedding day it was our very last song of the night and my husband was saying that this was the happiest day of his life and couldn’t wait for the next morning to come because it would be the beginning of our married life. So sweet…

  57. We got married in our backyard and as such, we used a Zune to play the music I walked down the aisle to. My sister was in charge (an ipod girl if there ever was one) and she got confused and somehow ended up playing David Bowie’s Queen Bitch off the Life Aquatic Soundtrack (which we were using a different song from) as I walked down the aisle. It was too late to turn back so I just went with it. The pictures of that moment are great. Everyone is laughing and we’re laughing…Queen Bitch, indeed!

  58. I always love to see what people come up with their exit. We had sparklers at ours and it one of my favorite photos from the day.

  59. Jacob, Julie & Naomi said…
    My husband and I are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, so we were married in the temple in Salt Lake City. After our wedding ceremonies, all of the friends & family are waiting outside the temple for you to emerge as a newly-married couple. As we were about to walk out the doors, a worker warned me to be careful because there’s a high edge on the bottom of the doorway that often trips people. Sure enough, even with the warning, I tripped as I was walking out of the temple. So for my big exit with my husband, with the video cameras rolling and the photographer taking pictures, I am tripping out of the temple doors. In front of EVERYONE. I was quite embarassed, but we had a laugh and got some good photos. :) I’d say it was my favorite memory of the day!

  60. These are sweet and funny. Love the couple who made up their own wedding dance.

  61. Actually, on that note: we’re celebrating our second anniversary in NYC this weekend. Your guide came in just the nick of time and has been incredibly helpful! Thanks for that!

  62. Husband and I had our reception in Portland in a building right next to the streetcar, so we decided to use it as our getaway car. Waiting for it outside with our friends and family and then getting whisked away was my favorite part of our wedding day. Well, that and getting up early that morning to play Ultimate Frisbee with our friends!

  63. my bridesmaid rear ended my car (with me & the photographer in it) with her car on the way to the ceremony (with maybe 30 minutes to spare) all the flower girls were screaming, my bridesmaids were crying & the airbags went off shattering all of our bouquets & boutonnieres. While it was definitely my bridesmaids least favorite part of the wedding, no one was hurt and it ended up being what I think is the most ironic & funny part of my wedding. I laugh right now just thinking about it. We don’t have the pictures yet but my photographer did photograph that whole event as well ;) I can’t wait to see them.

  64. I love the veil photo. I have one like that of my husband and I kissing.
    I am having it blown up into a poster in black and white,
    with the quote by Nicolas Sparks about living a common life and loving one woman and how that is enough for him.

  65. Worst but funniest on the day was my cake wreck at my wedding in Italy that was A. Nothing like I ordered B. Collapsing as it had been driven up a winding mountain road for 30 mins C. It was RED on the inside – red!

    You can see the cake I got and the cake I asked for here:
    You can’t see my face but I am swearing in the picture :)

    We couldn’t cut it as we were laughing so hard. Thank God I’d had a few proseccos by that point!

    Rest of the day was ace with loads of moments, one of my favourite was when my husband was “surprised” with a ribboned decorated log that he had to saw in half after the church ceremony whilst 250 Italians cheered him on.

  66. Some of my favorites!!!

  67. The moment the groom sees his bride walking down the aisle to meet him!

  68. Hahahaha this is great! I loved reading these. Especially the splits one! We were that typical couple who forgot the ring. Or should I say I forgot the ring. The pastor sneakily passed is over to me at the alter lol.

    – Sarah

  69. i would have to say dancing with my husband like there was no tomorrow! we had so much fun!

  70. I love these moments! I have to say the best moment I have seen was a surprise “dip” kiss of my friend by her new hubby at the alter!

  71. beautiful photos! i’m not married, but my favourite thing about seeing my grandpa get remarried at 81 years old after my grandmother passed away was how simple and sweet his ceremony was. they felt no need for all the show, it was just he and his new bride, and the love in their eyes told the whole story.

  72. These wedding moments are amazing! It makes me so excited for my wedding! I can’t wait to see the look on my fiance’s face when he sees me all jazzed up.

    xo L.

  73. Probably my favorite moment was right after the reception when I was changing out of my dress to leave with my new husband. I believe in waiting until marriage to have sex, so I was nervous…if you could even imagine! I was with my favorite cousin and sister, they were in the bathroom stall helping me pee, and then talking to me about “the first time.” We were giggling and laughing SO hard and it really was one of the funniest moments from that day. Not planned. We were in the bathroom stall helping me pee. And talking about sex. It was amazing. Those girls were my right hand women that whole day and it was the best, and classic, way to end the most perfect wedding day!

    Oh, and of course the best moment with my new husband was the first look in my wedding dress. When he saw me for the first time, we both started crying and laughing at the same time. it was magical!

  74. Some of these made me teary, like the impropmtu re-choreography!

    I really loved the funny moments in our wedding. The butterfly release -one butterfly fell in love with the 2nd Best Man and refused to leave the perch of his finger! At our “unity replanting” the dirt in our scoop jar dried out and couldn’t be scooped!!! My groom dumped the container into the plant and dirt went errrrverywhere. It was good stuff. I have photos!

  75. As my husband and I approach our 20th anniversary (lived together 10 years, married on our 10th anniversary in 2001), posts like this get me all choked up!

    We got married in San Francisco without telling anyone (I can’t do formal events in front of others!). My favorite moment may have been before the wedding, when we were being driven to our hotel from the airport. We were telling the airport van driver about our plans, and mentioned that we didn’t have a witness, and he offered to do it! He showed up right on time and in a suit. It was just a lovely moment that demonstrated the kindness of strangers.

    Our wedding under the rotunda of the San Francisco City Hall, with the judge, the airport van driver witness, and an amateur photographer we hired 2 days prior was as gorgeous as any big wedding :)

    Thanks for letting me share!!!

  76. Aw, I love “a groom’s first look” and “grooms in love.” In recent years I’ve become more and more convinced that guys are a lot romantic and schmoopy than they’re usually given credit for.

  77. I have the most amazing photo of my garter flying through the air with my husband and I watching. The expressions on our faces encapsulate what a wildly fun day we had.

  78. animinichicks, dionna found her dress at Les Habitudes, a wedding boutique that, i think, makes dresses from old materials from paris, etc. (at least, i read that in the oncewed comments:) you might try calling the store? xoxo

  79. Nice! There were sparklers at my cousins wedding! Getting ready for the wedding I was a bridesmaid in was pretty awesome as well! Love the old fashioned veil! Pretty much like my dream veils! :)

  80. That “doing the splits” bride is my hero … what a kick ass signature move to have! {I secretly wish I could do the splits … well, at one point in my life I could, when I was like 12 :)}. I am all revved up to practice again!

    Oh … that those vintage veil shots … so, so romantic!

    xx Cat

  81. It’s a Jewish tradition for the bride and groom to have a few minutes alone after the ceremony. Our 10 or so minutes together in the bridal suite talking about the wedding so far before going out to join the party was my favorite part.

  82. Those were adorable :)
    One of my favorite moments was when I went to throw the bouquet, I really gave it a good throw, and my three year old daughter who was playing a little ways away from the dance floor caught it!! When I went to congratulate her, she said “It’s not for little girls!!” haha
    We also loved dancing by candlelight, our dixieland band, and playing with sparklers in the late summer night!
    a picture of the three of us:

  83. I LOVE all these moments.

    I’m a little biased, but the hands down best wedding that I’ve attended (and also been apart of) was that of Margaret & Corey. It included a ferris wheel & an elephant. Yes that’s right… A ferris wheel AND an elephant :)


  84. The old-fashioned veil photos melt my heart. What a sweet moment! And I totally adore the dress-putting photo! Too cute:) Happy Thursday, Joanna.

  85. These make me so happy! I especially like the “grooms in love” picture–so subtle yet so moving.

  86. Awww, these are so sweet. I love the unplanned, unexpected moments that weddings bring…they’re often the most special! On a side note, is that Mat Kearney in the 4th moment/5th photo? It sure looks like him…
    Xo, Katie

  87. Oh my goodness Dionnas dress is heavenly – any idea whose it is?? Also what a wonderful couple they make :)

  88. I just pinned the majority of these! Such great shots. Thanks for sharing!

  89. What a sweet collection! My favorite moment was walking up the aisle as husband & wife!! But really, the whole day was a collection of fabulous moments.