The First Look

Should You See Each Other Before the Wedding Ceremony?

Customs, conventions and norms are what make a wedding special and unique. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity for you to take some age old silly practices very seriously and have some fun with them. One such issue that revolves around the mind of the groom and the bride before every wedding ceremony is whether they should see each other or not. There is no one right or wrong answer to this; only the way which you feel most comfortable. Ask a traditional minded person and he or she will tell you that seeing your spouse before the ceremony brings misfortune and takes away from the charm of the ceremony. And many couples now are finding their own paths that work best for them and their guests.

From my personal experience, I've seen the ceremony and day run more smoothly when the bride and the groom see each other for photos before the wedding ceremony commences.

Your first look is the perfect opportunity for you two to shower some much valued compliments on one another. He can tell you how beautiful you look, and you guys embrace and share a moment together. Whereas seeing each other at the start of your ceremony, your partner is waiting for you with everyone watching, the music is playing, and there is the imminent feeling to start the ceremony. Besides, from my personal experience, it actually helps the bride and the groom to ease their nervousness and calm themselves down before the ceremony begins.


Perhaps the best moment of any wedding is when the bride slowly makes her way to the altar and leaves the groom struck with awe and sheer ecstasy at the sight of his wife to be. The expression on the face of the groom at this moment in time is priceless indeed. Although some people say that groom would not feel this way if he had seen the bride before, the truth is that some of my most expressive and emotional ceremony photos of the groom were on weddings where the couple saw each other before the ceremony. In all of these weddings, the couple did a first look, and the ceremony was still beautiful (Katie + Anthony, Juliette + James, Erika + Frank).

Everybody always says that the wedding day is a blur. And I believe its because you have invited so many important people to celebrate with you, and there's only so much time to say hi to everybody. When you see each other before the ceremony, you now have the opportunity to do some portraits with the two of you, your wedding party, and perhaps even your family members prior to the ceremony. If you guys skip the first look, then the only time to take portraits is during cocktail hour.  And visiting your cocktail hour also minimizes your need to run around during the reception greeting each table, which gives you the benefit of enjoying your delicious dinner and your party.  And don't worry, if the light is great in the evening, I will let you know, and we can always sneak out for a few photos at sunset. 
At the end of the day, it’s up to you as the couple to decide whether or not to see each other before the wedding ceremony. The key is to speak with your partner about his or her feelings. But in the end, regardless of your decision, you’ll be married. Congratulations!