Every couple is faced with this question: “Are you going to see each other before the ceremony?” Lots of couples are quick to answer “No” when maybe, just maybe, “Yes” could be the preferred answer.
The Tradition – Not To See
The tradition of “hiding” the bride from the groom, prior to the wedding, comes from the days of arranged marriages when a wedding was merely a business deal between fathers. Things like love and attraction on the part of the bride and groom had nothing to do with it. The groom saw the bride, for the first time, when she walked down the aisle and a veil covered her face. After the minister pronounced them man and wife, the groom then lifted the veil, not only to kiss the bride, but also to see the face he would be waking up to for the rest of his life.
Photos Before Ceremony Save Time
If you are reading this, you already know that a wedding costs quite a bit of money. For the purposes of this discussion, let’s say a wedding day costs a total of $5000 an hour ($30,000 wedding), starting from the beginning of the ceremony until the end of the reception.
If they didn’t see each other prior to the ceremony, the bride and groom must stay behind for post ceremony pictures. This usually takes about 30 – 45 minutes max (or at least, it shouldn’t take more than that. Anything longer is a HUGE mistake). Meanwhile, the guests move on to the reception location, typically for the cocktail hour, and wait for the bride and groom to arrive. At $5000 an hour, we now have approximately 75% of an hour where the bride and groom are separated from their guests. Basically, its stalling for more time. For $3,750.
After post ceremony pictures, the bride and groom get their first wedding day alone time on the ride to the reception. When you actually could have spent what is probably the most romantic day of your life together, in its entirety. Think about it – when in your dating and engaged lives have you spent an entire 24-36 hours away from each other without a work commitment being the source?
A Private Moment Together
I always do this for couple who choose to see each other prior to the wedding, and most photographers do as well. We arrange a private moment in the church, prior to the ceremony, for the bride and groom to first see each other. We call it the First Glance. The bride walks down the aisle, in her gown and the groom is at the front of the church, she softly calls his name and he turns to see her. When she reaches him they spend a little time completely alone together. Now that’s romantic!
If the bride and groom haven’t seen each other all day, they also tend to be a little more anxious. Just in general! They are anxious about what is going on prior to the ceremony and are much more likely to leave the reception a little early and have some time to themselves. If they have spent their entire day together, not being deprived of their beloveds company, brides and grooms are far more likely to want to stay for the entire reception and love every minute of it.
This is yet another option for brides and grooms. It is becoming more and more common so don’t panic about breaking tradition. Also, don’t worry if you decide NOT to see each other! I will happily plan, arrange and coordinate that as well. 🙂
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- Wedding Traditions (planetpookie.com)