One of the questions I have added into my repertoire for chatting with brides and grooms is whether they will have photos done before or after their wedding ceremony. Traditionally, the groom is 'not supposed' to see the bride before the wedding. But do you know where this tradition came from?
Hannah Arkelin of Wedding Shoppe Inc reports that "When arranged marriages were commonplace, the ceremony was basically a business deal—one that could fall through if the groom-to-be opted out. In other words, if he decided his fiancé wasn’t pretty enough, he could bail. To prevent this from happening, it was decided that a groom couldn’t see the bride before the ceremony. This is also why veils exist! They were originally designed to cover a woman’s face until both parties said, 'I do.'"
With the tradition of arranged marriage (mostly) long forgotten, the need for secrecy before a wedding ceremony is null and void. There are so many benefits to having wedding photos before a ceremony!
The first great benefit is time management. Your wedding day flies by no matter how carefully you plan. There will never be enough hours in the day to truly savor each special moment on such a joyous occasion. By putting aside time before your wedding ceremony to have not only a 'first look' but also the wedding party photos done, you allow yourself the freedom to actually attend your cocktail hour instead of being sequestered for formal pics.
The second great benefit is the amazing photos you will get! Setting aside the perfect location and the time to be relaxed will result in incomparable photos of your jitters, tears, and joy.
As you can see, a first look photo can be quite emotional. Taking time before your wedding ceremony also gives you a moment to take a deep breath with each other on a day that can be anxiety-inducing. Being able to calm each other down a bit and say a prayer together can mean an easier walk down an intimidating aisle or simply a moment that you might not get the time for once the festivities begin.
If you are still feeling a bit superstitious, there are other ways to do a first look photo without seeing your groom! Blindfolding your groom so you can say a quick prayer together, separating yourselves so you can only hold hands for a moment or even just reading a letter from one another is a great way to bond before such a momentous occasion.
Your groom isn't the only special guy who deserves a glance at your beauty on your wedding day. Your first guy...your Dad...will really cherish a moment with his little girl before he gives her away to her new leading man.
No matter what you decide, take a moment to breathe deep and enjoy your special day. The moments will go by quickly, but the photos will last a lifetime.