What Moments Make Guests Cry at Weddings

Which parts of the big day are most sentimental?

Weddings are often an emotional occasion, not just for the couple of honor and their immediate family members, but also for guests.

Photo: Jay Lawrence Goldman Photography

Weddings are often an emotional occasion, not just for the couple of honor and their immediate family members, but also for guests. Many people even admit to crying at strangers’ weddings when they were a plus one with their significant other. For those who don’t tend to tear up when attending someone’s nuptials, this can be mystifying. To learn what aspects of the big day can make those in attendance reach for their tissues, wedding insurance company Protectivity conducted a survey of over 1000 residents of the United Kingdom to find out how guests really feel about weddings. 

emotional moments at weddings, what makes guests cry at weddings
Photo by Kent Drake Photography

According to the survey, the top five moments that are most likely to make a wedding guest cry are: reconnecting with friends and family members, the vow exchange, the bride walking down the aisle, the father-daughter dance, and when the newlyweds say goodbye at the end of the celebration. Interestingly, it’s a pretty tight race, as each of these five moments are within four percent of each other in terms of how many respondents said they were likely to cry. 

“It’s clear to see that people in the UK love a wedding – from seeing long-lost friends and relatives to sharing the experience with others on social media, we love to get involved in our loved ones’ special day,” says Sean Walsh, the marketing manager for Protectivity Insurance. “With a huge amount of time and money going into the big day it is interesting to see that the most emotional moment of the day has nothing to do with the bride or groom directly, but reuniting with that long-lost friend or relative. But, with all the love in the air, who can blame them!”

There’s no denying that social media has become a huge part of attending weddings, with couples creating hashtags for guests to share and backdrops for photos. The survey also asked people which moments from weddings they are most likely to share on social media. The results were professional wedding photos, the cutting of the cake, evening entertainment, the first dance, and seeing a long-lost friend or relative. 

For more ideas, get tips to avoid crying through your own ceremony and how to keep your emotions under control during the planning process