Would you wait to kiss until your wedding day? There is something special about a couple who has the willpower to save their love for the one and only person they will marry. When you're just 15 years old, how do you know?!? I went to middle school and high school with these two and watched their relationship go from Sarah giggling on the sidelines watching Jeff play football, through graduation, and onto their wedding day. Sealing your love and promise to each other with a kiss on your wedding day is a special event...but for Sarah and Jeff, it meant so much more! I asked Sarah to share a bit about her experience and why they choose to wait.
Photography by: Karen Feder
Q: Why did you choose to wait until your wedding day to have your first 'Real 'kiss?
#1 - I knew I didn’t want to date someone I COULDN’T marry so in some ways I had thought about marrying Jeff, but because we started dating so young (10th grade) I didn’t know for sure that he would be my husband. (Although I was hoping he would be!) That being said, we both wanted to respect and honor our future spouse and save the next kiss for them. It was a way we could each guard our hearts and each others.
#2 – It seems like so many things in a romantic relationship get watered down and lose their meaning. The words, “I love you” don’t have the same meaning when you say it to multiple boyfriends who, in the end, you don’t end up “loving” after all. In the same way, I wanted my kiss to mean something. It was a physical way of showing my husband I was committed to him for life and that it was worth making sacrifices now so that he knew how much he meant to me. Jeff didn’t tell me he loved me till the day he proposed (and that was the first time I’d told him). It was one of the sweetest sentences I had ever heard.
#3 – Not kissing freed us to focus on our friendship more than our physical boundaries. As ironic as it feels, setting clear boundaries we both agreed on was really freeing. I didn’t have to wonder if I “should” kiss him or if my kissing was causing him to lust. We didn’t have to worry that kissing would lead to the next thing, and to the next. We were committed to save ourselves for our spouse. We didn’t have to worry about being that awkward PDA couple. We were free to spend time together and really get to know each other as a person rather than a set of lips. ;)
Q: How long did you wait? (after you decided to not kiss) Was it tough?
A: We had been dating for about a year when we decided to save our next kiss. We had been dating 4 years when he proposed and it was just over 5 years we’d been dating when we said “I do” and kissed as husband and wife. Was it tough? I asked Jeff and his immediate response was “Yes!” I think for both of us in some ways, yes, but in others, no. The benefits so outweighed the sacrifices – I wouldn’t do it any differently.
Q: Do you think it was especially tough since you had actually already kissed in the past? A: In some ways yes. We knew what we were giving up. But again, the benefits were much more important than the temporary satisfaction.
Q: Once you decided to wait, did you know you wanted to marry each other? A: I knew I didn’t want to date someone I would never marry so he was always a candidate. And actually, in 7th grade I specifically remember thinking I wanted to marry someone like Jeff. I guess I decided “Why try to find someone like him? I’ll just marry him!” As time went on in our dating relationship I knew I would say yes if he asked! I think even if we wouldn’t have ended up married, and maybe even more so, I would have been glad we saved that next kiss for our future spouse.
Q: When you finally kissed on your wedding day, were you nervous? A: I think I was more nervous to have all the attention on us as the bride and groom at the front of the church than for the actual kiss. I’m not a huge “center stage” kind of girl, but it was probably one of my favorite and one of the most important decisions I have ever made to stand at that alter and say “I do.” The kiss was like the cherry on top.
Q: What did you friends and family think? A: I think our families were really supportive. I don’t remember talking about it a ton with them, but I know they trusted us together! My friends? Some I think were really supportive, I’m guessing some didn’t understand, and others maybe thought we were crazy, but looking back at the possible regrets we likely avoided, I don’t mind being a little crazy.
(Oh boy...I'm on the right in the light purple. WAY back in 2005!)
Q: Anything surprising about the overall experience? A: I think this decision has given us more opportunities to tell others about the most important relationship we have with Jesus Christ. He is really the reason we decided to honor each other and our future spouse. He has changed us and blessed us in ways we could never have imagined and I think He’s used this part of our relationship for us to be able to share Him. Our verse for our relationship, inscribed inside our rings, and used at our wedding was Psalm 37:4. It says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Delighting in the Lord was not the means to an end, but when we made that our first priority, our heart’s desires have been surpassed countless times.
Their wedding KISS! :) Thank you Sarah and Jeff for sharing this special part of your life with us!