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Why Do Parents Sometimes Cry At Weddings?

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Have you ever been to a wedding, glanced over at the bride or groom’s parents, and saw them crying? Perhaps they are thinking of how much everything has cost them and couldn’t hold the tears in any longer. Just kidding!

Why do parents sometimes cry at weddings?

Parents cry at weddings for a lot of reasons, but most of all because they’re feeling sentimental. They see their years of hard work and sacrifice come to fruition. Their child is now embarking on the journey they took long ago. It’s the circle of life.

Weddings are emotional for everyone. And remember, people, don’t always cry because they’re sad. The parents could be crying because they’re happy. They are happy about their new family members and excited about the future.

Either way, parents crying isn’t something to fret over. However, if you’re interested in why parents cry and what it could mean, let’s explore some of the main reasons they may cry at weddings.

Bride father crying and hugging his daughter on her wedding -

They’re Sad to See Their Children Go

Usually, children have no idea just how much effort it takes or what their parents went through to raise them. Sure, some kids are more conscientious than others, but being a parent is generally much more complicated than anyone thinks it is.

When parents cry at weddings, it could be because they’re sad to see you go. Getting married is another nail in the separation coffin. It signifies that the child is grown and starting a family for themselves. That’s not always easy for parents to handle or accept.

Your folks will miss you; even though you’ll still see them, it will be under a new paradigm. You could have your own kids soon, move because of a spouse’s job, take a different name, etc. The circle has grown more extensive, and they feel like you’re going to be farther away.

Bride and her parents getting emotional before the wedding ceremony

Self-Examination Could Be Happening

Parents could be struggling with what it means to see you get married. What will they do with all of their time? Where will they focus their energy and attention now that you have a family of your own?

Weddings typically put people in their feelings much more than other occasions. Your parents could be contemplating what the next stage of their life will be like.

This is especially true for the oldest or youngest child in a family. With the first kid, the wedding is the parents’ entry into a new phase of life. When it happens to the youngest child, it’s closing a door.

Parents aren’t always well-equipped to handle the transition. It could be doubly hard if you lived with them before marriage. You never know; your parents may possibly be talking to their therapist about how to handle the new reality of you being married.

It’s an end of an era for them and the beginning of one for you. Life’s changing, and they may not be ready for what can be turbulent changes.

Father crying while dancing with his daughter, the bride

A Feeling of Loss

When you’re single, it’s easy for a parent to feel like they’re totally responsible for your well-being. Even if you’re over 30 years old and successful, you probably still get calls worried about whether you’re eating enough or offering to come to clean your sheets.

Kids give parents purpose, and when they get married, there is often a sense of loss.

This can be particularly hard for parents who are more involved with their children’s lives. Now, someone new is in the picture to take care of the things they once thought they had to manage. They possibly no longer feel indispensable to you or feel like they’re being replaced.

It’s important to recognize that people aren’t always completely rational when they’re emotional. Your parents could get caught up in the moment and feel or think things that aren’t necessarily true. If you have time, assuage their fears. Make sure to give plenty of hugs and tell them that you love them.

emotional father sitting beside his daughter, the bride

Parents Cry Because They Are Overcome With Joy

Parents tend to love making corny jokes at weddings about how their newlywed child is no longer their obligation. It draws laughs, for sure, but it’s not true. Still, parents can feel happy on your wedding day to the point where they shed some tears over the occasion.

Your parents spend years and plenty of sleepless nights worrying about your future. They want you to be happy and will usually stop at nothing to make that happen. Parents are typically winging it. They don’t know how to react to bad grades at school or that one time you got in trouble with the cops.

Making it to your wedding day is a momentous occasion for them. They realize, all of a sudden, that you turned out to be a wonderful person and that all of their hard work paid off. Parents almost sigh when they see that they didn’t screw you up too badly!

Happy but emotional father removing veil of his daughter

They’re Worried!

Sometimes parents cry because, even though it’s good-natured, they’re worried about how things will turn out!

They’re not necessarily worried about your marriage, per se. They’re simply concerned about how your life will turn out.

It’s sort of the same way they feel when you graduate high school, finish university, or meet any other of life’s important milestones. They want you to be the best spouse and life partner possible and hope you’ve chosen the right person to navigate life with you.

Your parents want the best for you. They hope you’ll make the best financial decisions for your marriage and easily cruise those first few challenging years. It’s hard when you get married, especially if you’re still working to establish yourself.

Real estate decisions, career choices, and more will affect how things in life turn out. It’s enough to make any parent cry.

Father of the bride walking his daughter down the aisle

How Close Are You With Your Parents?

We hate to say it, but the number of tears your parents shed at your wedding will have something to do with how close you are. Some parents won’t cry at all. That’s not to say they don’t love you, but not all parent-child relationships are created equally.

Some parents are extremely close with their children. When a parent is close to their child, the feelings of separation are even stronger! Some mothers and fathers feel like their kids are their best friends. Marriage means someone new is in the mix permanently.

However, if you’re the third kid in a family of five kids, sorry to say, you might just be the next one in the lineup. Sure, your parents will feel sad, happy, and all of the emotions tied to weddings. But they may not be so overcome that they shed tears.

Father of the bride and the bride are both crying, happy tears on wedding day

Don’t Be Shocked When Mom or Dad Cry

The bottom line is that you shouldn’t be too surprised if your parents cry at your wedding. Take it in stride. Your folks aren’t trying to steal anything away from your big day. They’re happy for you while at the same time mourning the idea that they’re losing a bit of a person that they dearly love.

When you have a moment, give them a squeeze and tell them that you love them. Tell them you’ll always be there and that they did a great job raising you!