It’s that moment we all dream of all the way up until the wedding day – the moment when our groom looks at us in our wedding dress for the first time and is simply awestruck, in tears or at a loss for words. The tradition that most brides and grooms follow is that the bride and groom are not allowed to see each other before they get married. Where did this tradition stem from, you ask? It actually dates back hundreds of years, back when a bride and groom had an arranged marriage, and would not meet until their wedding day. It was feared that if the groom saw the bride prior to the wedding ceremony, and found her to be undesirable, he may never make it down the aisle, or vice versa. This was the reason that the tradition began that the bride and groom should not see one another before the wedding ceremony.
At what point do we say, okay well that is just silly – I didn’t meet my groom yesterday, and I know he will not leave me at the altar? Many couples have this viewpoint in today’s modern times, and thus brings you the “first look” of the bride and groom. It is becoming increasingly popular for the bride and groom to meet about an hour prior to the wedding ceremony, once they are dressed and ready for their big day. This is the perfect photo-opp for photographers to catch the bride sneaking up behind the groom and catch their initial reactions to one another on film. The benefit to the “first look” is that the bride and groom can meet each other in a private setting and truly appreciate their love for one another. Nerves will be calmed by being with their loved one, and if the bride is concerned about weeping through all of her vows, she can have the surprise factor and nerves of her wedding calmed before she even steps down the aisle. Also, often after the wedding ceremony the bride and groom are limited with how much time they have for photos before their reception starts – this gives your photographer an entire extra hour of photos, which make the perfect keepsakes.
I have found that a couple’s “first look” is a very black and white topic for a bride and groom – you either love the idea of seeing your partner before your wedding ceremony or hate it. But what’s the alternative to the first look? If you decide to stick with tradition and wait until you walk down the aisle to see one another, how can you emotionally connect with each other before your lives hit a brand new milestone?
The below collage will give you a few great pre-wedding ideas to help you reach out to your bride or groom in a personal way, to let them know how excited you are for this giant leap you are both making together. My favorite has to be the secret message left for the bride (by the groom) with a handwritten note on the bottom of her shoe, or the secret note left by the bride on the underside of the groom’s tie. Hand written letters are also a wonderful way of expressing your love to one another before you walk down the aisle. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, arrange a time for the flower girl and ring bearer to come deliver your letters. Then meet on opposite sides of the bride’s dressing room door and hear each other’s reactions as you both read the letters. A quick hand hold or simply hearing the other person’s voice may be all you need to melt your heart and have you ready to run down that aisle to get married! You can also blindfold the groom and have the bride come visit him before he heads out to the ceremony. A quick blind kiss is such a romantic way to end your single life and begin your married life.
Whatever you decide to do, whether it’s the first look before the wedding or a letter before you head down the aisle, do what feels the most natural and comfortable to you as a couple, and know that just a few minutes after your first look or your wedding letter, you’ll be headed into marriage bliss!!