The video got a range of reactions from social media users with some considering it cute while others felt it took the spotlight away from the bride.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on September 27, 2022. It has since been updated.
Whenever the officiant utters the words "you may now kiss the bride", most couples almost immediately go in for the kiss that would seal them in matrimonial bliss. Jess and Oleg Maretskiy, however, aren't most couples. A video of the newlyweds' first kiss as husband and wife is going viral on social media for the unconventional twist planned by the groom and his groomsmen. Shared by Jess on her TikTok account—where she goes by the username @jes.maretskiy—the clip has been viewed more than 12.6 million times since being uploaded that month.
The viral video shows Oleg turning away instead of going in for the kiss, while Jess, who clearly has no idea why her new husband has left her at the altar, sports a confused smile and watches him walk toward his groomsmen. Moments later, she bursts out laughing as she realizes what he is up to. The camera then moves to show Oleg approaching each of his groomsmen and performing a wholesome routine of getting himself ready for the perfect kiss. One hands him a mint while another checks his hair to make sure everything is in place. A third groomsman gives his shoes a wipe and another fixes his tie for him.
Once convinced he looks—and smells—the best, Oleg walks back to his bride and finally kisses her in what Jess describes as the "perfect" moment. The video got a range of reactions from social media users, some considering it cute and romantic, while others felt the groom's last-minute grooming session took the spotlight away from the bride. "I'm crying because this is so cute and I'm so jealous... I want that," commented Hannah Todd. "The bridesmaids cheering and jumping are so dang cute," wrote illonaK. "Her girls making sure she's good too really understood the assignment," commented Hanna Toeniskoetter.
"So sweet! I personally would hate this at my wedding, but I would love to attend a wedding where this happened, haha," admitted one TikTok user named Kristen. Responding to a similar comment, Jess wrote: "This is not for everyone. We wanted something more fun and stay away from traditional." Meanwhile, the official TikTok account of Microsoft Education also commented on the video, writing, "He understood the assignment." Another TikTok user named Alexa commented: "Can I be the first to say. Wow. What a stunning bride! Also, love the support from the groomsmen and bridesmaids, felt the love!"
"Standing there so gracefully and your girls fixing your dress too!! Adorable!! Congratulations" wrote another TikToker. The video has since also been shared on other social media platforms by many. "Imagine making the girl you love laugh right before you kiss her for the first time as husband and wife," reads one comment on YouTube. "A spouse who can make you laugh is a gift from God. Over the years, there will be challenges and laughter is the best medicine," observed another. "He was soooo gentle with her as they kissed. What a sweetheart," wrote another YouTube user.