Will you be seeing each other before the wedding? I did and I couldn’t have been more happy. I wanted to take a little bit of time to discuss the reason why I always encourage my couples to see each other before their ceremony. I know, some of you have already said to yourselves “this is one thing that I am not willing to change!” If you’re a client of mine, you probably remember me asking you this question when we first met each other and talked “all things weddings” over our yummy drinks. Well, if that question still stands and you’re on the fence with your decision, then please, lend me your open mind.
Here are a few reasons why I think seeing each other before your wedding is beneficial.
1. Let out the nerves. This is one day that I am pretty sure you’re running off of pure adrenaline. You just spent the months and months prior to your wedding organizing, crafting, and running around doing errands for this one very important day. You have probably drank three cups of coffee and have been up since 7am getting your hair and makeup done. Then to top it all off, you feel nervous. You know that feeling you get after you work out and your muscles are tired and shaky? That’s what your whole body feels like. I don’t know about you, but at this point I was dying to see my honey. I knew he could calm my nerves. He could whisper something sweet into my ear to make me feel ready for this very important day.
2. It’s two seperate special moments. I truly believe that seeing your bride or groom before the wedding is equally as special as the moment you get to see them walk down the aisle. In fact, I think seeing each other before the wedding is even more special because you actually get to talk and express your feelings towards one another. I understand that most brides don’t want their grooms to see them until they first walk down the aisle, they say “I want to see his face.” But don’t you think it would be better for you to hear their words as well? I have also heard many people say “I want to see the photo of him when he first sees me.” I’m not saying that this photo isn’t important, but to be truthful, his face looks exactly the same throughout the entire ceremony. That is why seeing him before the ceremony allows him to truly express himself. Seeing each other ahead of time does not take away from the walking down the aisle moment at all, believe me.
3. You look fresh. What if your wedding day ends up being one of the hottest days of the summer? Mine was. My husband and I decided to see each other before the wedding and boy was I glad. After getting to our ceremony and reception location my hair and makeup had pretty much melted off of me. My husband was redder than a lobster and we didn’t want to do anything but wait in my brother’s air-conditioned house to cool off. The point is, we did our photos before all of this happened. We looked calm, cool and collected in our portraits.
3. Less stress. Seeing each other before the ceremony will allow you to relax during the ceremony. Because you have seen each other you can now get some of those photos out of the way before the ceremony so you don’t have to worry about them afterwards. It will also be nice to relax before the ceremony with your groom near by. I found it calming to know my husband-to-be was nearby. Also, by seeing each other before the ceremony and doing your bride and groom portraits allows for relaxed photos. There have been times when the bride and groom decide to forgo seeing each other before the wedding and wait to do all photos until after. These are the photos in which the bride and groom look stressed. You have to give yourself time to relax infront of the camera. I will say, if you decide to wait to see each other, please leave yourselves enough time for photos after the ceremony (1.5 hrs – this includes bride and groom, family, and bridal party portraits). If this amount of time is not alloted for photos, then I can’t promise that your pictures won’t reflect it.
4. You won’t miss your cocktail hour or reception. Seeing each other before the ceremony allows the opportunity to get all your photos out of the way. Bride and groom portraits normally take 45 minutes, not including travel time. Family and bridal party portraits normally take an additional 45 minutes. That is potentially an hour and a half that you would have to miss of your cocktail hour. If this is fine with you, then it is fine with me, but most people are itching to get back to the party. After all, you are the reason the guests came.
How can you make the moment you first see each other before the wedding as special as your groom seeing you for the first time walking down the aisle?Easy! Set up a time and area where you and your honey get to experience the same type of special moment–only this way it will be more personal. It can be a very private moment where it’s just the two of you and the photographer (if she’s invited) or it can involve other loved ones. Regardless, the moment the groom turns around and see his bride for the first time will be the moment he remembers for the rest of his life.
If after reading all of this, you still want to wait to see your bride or groom for the first time during the ceremony, then I support your decision 100%. It is ultimately up to you. Either way the moment you first decide to see each other will be special. There is no way it won’t. The only reason I write all of this is to stress the importance of making enough time to capture your WEDDING DAY(!) on film.