One of the first questions wedding planners and photographers ask a bride is, "Do you plan to see each other before the ceremony?
The tradition of the groom not seeing the bride before the ceremony probably dates back to the time when marriages were arranged between the fathers and they didn't want the arrangement to fail. Some couples still like this tradition and it is entirely a personal preference. If you are not sure what to do, I hope the following comments will help you with your decision.
- One of the reasons most couples want the "first look" to be at the ceremony is because everything is in place, the music, family, guests, attendants, etc. It is the anticipation of the actual moment coming together.
- Some people like the tradition. Their parents may have done it this way and want to carry on the tradition.
- Photographers and wedding planners can stage a "first look". The bride can walk down the aisle with her flowers just as in the ceremony. This occurs before the wedding party, family and guests arrive. When this became a trend, I asked a photographer his thoughts. I thought he explained it so beautifully. "When we stage a "first look" it is just the couple. The groom is able to tell the bride how beautiful she looks and they are able to exchange gifts if they wish. If you wait until the ceremony there is no time for that. You come in and immediately the ceremony begins." The "first look" also helps gets the nerves out of the way.
- If you have a "first look" you can relax, get all your pictures taken before the ceremony and as soon as the ceremony is finished you can leave for the reception.
- Consider your venue when deciding, some locations do not have separate places to hide a bride or groom before the ceremony.
Whatever you decide, it should be a choice you and your groom make together.