Wedding Traditions – Bride And Groom Do Not See Each Other Before The Ceremony

Why don’t the bride and groom see each other before the wedding ceremony?

A hundred years ago or so, the bride and groom would put on their best clothing and walk together to the church or town meeting center to ‘make it official’.

And, years before that, when arranged marriages were the norm, the betrothed were never permitted to have a glance at one another.  Marriage was business, and it meant acquiring land, property and other goods through joining two people.   No father wanted to muck up a perfectly good business deal by having the groom see the potential bride and not like what he sees, thus backing out of the deal.  That bride needed to be a 10 on the attractiveness scale for a dad to take such a chance of letting the groom see her before the ceremony.  In some cultures, dowry’s were involved, ah the dowry, no father wants his son to lose that, so, again, no visual for the bride and groom.  In other words, it was considered “bad Luck” for the groom to see the bride because the groom, back in the day, would leave the “visual unpleasing” bride at the alter, indeed bad luck for her.

In the last couple of years, there has been a trend for people to marry because they love one another, and also, they are usually very attracted to each other!  Win, win!

In the U.S., arranged marriages are not very common nowadays, however, many brides still don’t allow their groom to see them before the wedding.  Many brides believe it gives them a sense of excitement and longing, making their wedding day more memorable.  And then many brides enjoy hanging out with their betrothed for a spot of time before their ceremony, allowing them to calm nervousness and share intimate moments together before the ceremony.

So, have you thought it through?  Will you see each other before the wedding?

From a photographers standpoint, we will do whatever you wish; it is your day, but some of the best “first glance” photo’s are birthed out of the calm meeting of bride and groom before the spotlight of the ceremony.  Again, I would like to restate, it is your day, so we will do whatever you would like with respect to seeing each other before the ceremony or not.  With that said, Dave and I have had discussions about the difference that we see when a couple sees each other pre-ceremony versus when they do not.  I personally think that is gives us a chance to capture the “first look” photos but something more; it gives the bride and groom a tender visit with each other.  A time to calm each others nerves, a very intensely romantic time.  The average couple will feel nervous before they walk down the aisle, let’s face it, it is not every day that you do this!  Personally, I think it would be very romantic and very cool to see a tradition form, where the couple spends some time together before the ceremony, reaffirming their love, calming, soothing and celebrating their bond together before they make their grand entrance!  After all, we are no longer talking about a business deal that might fail because of aesthetics…we are talking about the latest tradition of marrying for love.  Below are some pics of a “First Look” from a recent wedding.

What are your thoughts?

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