Should the Groom See the Bride Before the Ceremony?
The latest trend for wedding photography is the “private moment” for the bride and groom before the ceremony. The tradition of not seeing each other before the ceremony is traced back to the days of arranged weddings when the bride and groom had never seen each other! The only way the father of the bride knew for sure he was walking his daughter down the aisle was the mark on her hand which was placed there by the women the night before the ceremony. The bride’s veil covered her face; her bridal clothes covered everything else! This tradition certainly has no place in the contemporary weddings of today.
When a bride is choosing her photographer, she sees numerous romantic and intimate images of other brides and grooms, and she wants similar images for her own wedding memories. This type of photography (referred to as photojournalistic or illustrative) happens before the ceremony. If the bride and groom wait until the wedding to see each other and have photos made between the ceremony and the reception, the photographs of the two of them are limited to a couple of images that are affectionately referred to as “grip and grins” followed by family photographs. As the guests wait (often impatiently) for the bride and groom to arrive at the reception, the photographer is under pressure to create many images in a very short period of time while the people who are in the photographs are also impatient to get to the reception. This is not a recipe for romantic and intimate images!
Take the pressure off yourself and your photographer and make your guests feel as special…your guests have come to see you. Seeing your groom before the ceremony will allow you to truly tell each other how you feel on your most special day. You can hold each other; talk and laugh together; and have time to play with your wedding party. Making all the images of the family members before the ceremony will allow you, your wedding party, and family and friends to go directly to the wedding reception.
Yes, you can still make an entrance to the reception! Have a table set up for you and your groom in a separate room to have your first meal together as husband and wife while your guests enjoy the food that has been prepared for them. Have your emcee announce your arrival and walk in to the standing ovation that you deserve.
Take a great deal of stress out of your wedding day—have a private moment with your groom before the ceremony; have all formal photographs made about 2 hours before the service; go to your reception and have a wonderful time celebrating your new life.