The royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine "Kate" Middleton drew almost 23 million television viewers in the U.S alone. Internationally, it is estimated more than 2.3 billion people watched the royal nuptials.
Many of us watched with fascination as the "commoner" married Princess Diana’s handsome son.
In all honesty, I will admit I shed several tears. But I always cry at weddings. For me, tears at a wedding are happy tears. A wedding marks the beginning and ending of chapters in our lives.
For example, when one of my closest friends recently married, I was absolutely thrilled she found a great man to share the rest of her life. But at the same time, I was saddened because it was the end of our single girl days. No more ladies only vacations or girls late nights out.
At my recent wedding, I even cried. I cried because my father died before he could walk me down the aisle. But I also cried tears of happiness because I knew my father would be very happy with my choice in a mate.
So, why do we cry at weddings?
On average, women cry about 64 times a year. Men, on average, cry only 17 per year. Also, hormonal changes make women prone to crying.
Shoshana Bennett, PhD, a clinical psychologist said, "Our individual reactions are based on the feelings evoked within us while we witness an event. It has little or nothing to do with the actual people involved."
Bennett also stated, "Whether we cry or not has more to do with our personalities and past experiences. Each of us reacts differently to occasions and events and it's important not to judge one reaction as better or worse. The key point is that there is no right or wrong to feelings. They just are."
According to one Dutch study of nearly 200 women, crying is a healthy way to release emotions. Crying can even lift your spirits. The study found nine in 10 of the women said they felt better after a good cry.
In an Israeli study, research found crying communicates vulnerability to others. And, when someone comforts you during a crying bout, they feel closer to you. This strengthens the relationship bond. When a woman shares her tears, it is a sign of trust.