Never been kissed: Bride-to-be waits for her wedding day
June 1, 2009 · Updated 3:30 PM
When Todd Ritter is told to kiss the bride at the altar this July in front of 277 of their closest friends and family, people will understand if it’s a little clumsy.
It will be the couple’s very first kiss.
“I’m wondering, will I be a good kisser? Do I know what I’m doing? I’m nervous, but excited,” says Rachel Welch, 21, who is marrying 23-year-old Ritter in Oak Harbor.
The couple instated a “no-kissing” policy, to keep things from getting out of hand before marriage. Welch decided at age 14 to save kissing for someone special, and hoped that her first lip-lock would shortly follow “I do.”
“I figured it would keep me out of trouble,” Welch said.
She met her fiance at Oak Harbor’s Living Word Fellowship two years ago, where they each worked as youth leaders. Along with telling kids about the importance of abstinence, they took their own message to heart.
Instead of a smooch, Ritter says they will rub their noses together, sometimes nicknamed an “Eskimo kiss.” And to avoid temptation while dating, they limit the amount of alone time they spend together.
Although Ritter says he has kissed before, he said not kissing has given him a newfound appreciation for it. He expresses his passion for his fiance in other ways.
“Our main form of affection is verbal and it’s helped us learn about each other, instead of diving into the physical side,” Ritter said. “I think it’s awesome the respect she has for herself.”
The two will also exchange foot massages or run errands for each other. Living only two miles apart, they pen and mail love letters to one another.
Ritter said there are a few jokes here and there from friends, but the couple’s policy is fully backed by their families. Some friends will rib and ask, “What if they’re a bad kisser?”
“I say, we have the rest of our lives to work on that,” Ritter said.
So what will that first kiss be like, with all the build-up and excitement surrounding it?
The couple is planning something big.
“I figure I have to give them a show,” Ritter said of his wedding guests. “Probably something dramatic.”