02/05/2013 11:08 am ET Updated Apr 07, 2013

Creating Wedding Kiss Perfection

When does a kiss need practice? When it's the "seal the deal" kiss of a lifetime!

Kissing may be instinctive, but when it comes to that super-public, all-eyes-on-you, ceremonial kiss there is no question that it benefits from forethought and practice. The single most watched and photographed kiss is the one between newly-pronounced spouses.

Wedding couples spend months or even years planning every last detail of their wedding, yet most couples rarely give a moment's consideration to the wedding kiss. After all, locking lips does seem like a no-brainer. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case, and thinking ahead can enhance the excitement of the moment, the effectiveness of the photographs and videos, and the entertainment value for guests.

Consider the movies. Those magical silver screen kisses absolutely never happen without staging, direction and practice. They may look spontaneous and natural, but they aren't, because truly spontaneous and natural kissing often means colliding noses, slip-sliding lips, two heads tilting identical directions at once, teeth cracking, the dreaded lipstick smear, and sucking and slurping noises that are not necessarily music to the ears. None of those pesky issues should afflict a wedding couple sharing their first married kiss, and they don't have to, for just like in the movies, practice makes perfect.

When the wedding officiant declares that the couple may kiss, some newlyweds opt for a gentle peck on the lips while others stop just shy of becoming horizontal. How far you wish for your kiss to go in front of an audience is your business, but going too far may result in squealing children and tut-tutting grandparents. Not going far enough may seem cold, perfunctory, and disappointing, sort of a like being served a cupcake that someone forgot to frost. Planning the perfect kiss in advance nixes problems before they even have a chance to materialize.

Practicing means coming to a consensus about:

• whose head will tilt in what direction
• how your lips will meet
• how long the kiss will last
• where your hands and bodies will connect
• which non-smearing lipstick won't inadvertently give the groom a clown face

A simple kiss is already perfect, but turning the moment into a mini-production gives the guests plenty to talk about, and it gives you another extraordinary wedding day memory.

An inventive kissing event only takes seconds but can be so worth the extra effort. Some easy options are:

• slowly intertwining hands before the kiss
• preceding the kiss on the lips by the groom placing a light, respectful peck on the bride's forehead
• resting your hands on each other's faces during the kiss
• stopping the hands of time with a prolonged, shared smile or a contemplative look a heartbeat before kissing
• kissing twice -- once by his lead and once by hers

Some brides and grooms like to end on a comical note to get the after-wedding party started and to give the guests plenty to cheer about. Imagine these quick ways to jumpstart the fun:

• the bride bending her knee and slowly lifting one leg during the kiss, then the groom doing it, too
• following the kiss with the rubbing of noses
• feathering quick, mad kisses all over each other's faces in lieu of one sustained kiss, or before it
• pulling out his and hers lip balms to dramatically apply before the kiss
• unwrapping then popping a "Just Married" Hershey's Kiss chocolate into each other's mouths before, or instead of, the real deal

Whether the ceremonial kiss is tender and loving or off-the-charts silly, the experience should match your personalities. The wedding kiss is unique and special. It doesn't have to conform to any particular style. Even the most formal service can end with an amusing kiss, and even a quick, no-frills ceremony can end with the sweetest, most romantic kiss ever.

In his 1892 work, "The Professor at the Breakfast-Table: With the Story of Iris," the great poet and author Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote: "The sound of a kiss is not so loud as that of a cannon, but its echo lasts a deal longer."

If ever a kiss was meant to be orchestrated and rehearsed, it is the kiss of newlyweds, for theirs is a kiss that truly echoes for a lifetime. It pays to give that fleeting moment the planning it deserves, and in doing so, bestow the kiss of perfection upon the process.

Besides, what better homework than to practice kissing? It's a pleasurable endeavor that just keeps on giving.

So, what's your best kissing story? Just this once, it's okay to kiss and tell.