Wedding Traditions: To See or Not to See Each Other Before the Wedding

Wedding traditions shape the details of a wedding day, and sneak into even the most nontraditional celebrations.

To see or not to see each other before the wedding.

Jessica Tuttle of Mad Chicken Studios shares her thoughts on wedding traditions and how they relate to her work, the wedding photography.  Wedding Shoppe Inc. welcomes Mad Chicken Studios to My Wedding Chat!

I met with a couple recently about their wedding, and we talked about what they were and were not going to do as far as wedding traditions.  As I was listening and hanging onto every word they were telling me, internally, I was a little frustrated with myself. “I can’t believe I didn’t think of looking up wedding traditions before!" I thought.  We all know that the ring is on the left ring finger, that the bride walks down the aisle and that the bride and groom feed each other cake...but do you know why?  Some of the reasons are really silly (to me, especially in this day and age), and some I came across I didn’t even know were traditions… I just thought that was the way it was. I’ve decided to take one tradition at a time and post the meaning and what it means for your wedding photos (if it has any meaning at all).  To start things off, the most popular tradition that wedding photographers face: whether the bride and groom will see each other prior to the ceremony.  I ask it at every meeting and most couples have an answer ready to dish up right away.  While secretly (and now, not so secretly) I’m praying that all of my couples opt to see each other prior to their ceremony, I never try to sway my couples one way or another.  There are just two totally different time lines to work with depending on what route has been chosen.

Wedding traditions: The first look.

So why is the bride and groom not seeing each other prior to their ceremony a wedding tradition?  The tradition actually was born in the days of arranged marriages.  The bride and groom’s first meeting was actually at the ceremony, and the first time they laid eyes on each other was when the bride walked down the aisle.  The two were kept from seeing each other before the ceremony to keep the groom from running away if he did not like the way his soon to be bride looked. So, now you have the reason, are you still considering this as an option?  Like I said, even though I prefer my couples to see each other before the ceremony, my intent is not to get you to do things “my way.”  It is, after all, your wedding, and we can do a great job regardless of what you choose.

The tradition from a photography perspective:

1. The dress shot: We LOVE getting a shot of the dress by itself in a super fab location (seriously, your dress is awesome, it needs its own 15 minutes of fame)!  Its difficult to be sneaky when you are carrying around a gorgeous dress trying to make sure that others can’t see you. 2. Speaking of sneaky, trying to arrange some photo groups while not being seen by other groups is not as easy as it sounds, if that even sounds easy. 3.  That “feeling” when you knew you were in love with each other, that is how you feel when you see each other for the first time on your wedding day.  When you see each other before the wedding, we can capture your true emotions (that you might not see on your face at the ceremony; it’s harder to let out your emotions when 200 people are looking at you) with both of you together in the same photo.  Trust us, the pictures are magical!  And by the time you hit the ceremony, you feel great and your stress just seems to float away in most cases. 4.  Pinched time frame:  If you wait until after your ceremony to take photos, there is less time to work with.  We go straight from the ceremony into family photos (time can be cut to even less time if there is a long receiving line), to wedding party photos, to photos of the two of you.  Guests head to the social hour and your close family and friends are stuck behind hanging out with the lame photographer  instead of celebrating.  If photos are done beforehand, the only thing left to do after the ceremony is celebrate with all of your friends and family the reason why you are all gathered together on that day. We do have a lot more reasons as to why we love this option so much, but those are the most dear to us, and no matter which way you choose, your photographer is fully prepared to handle either scenario! Thank you to Jessica Tuttle of Mad Chicken Studios for being a guest author on My Wedding Chat!  If you're a wedding vendor and would like to share your thoughts on My Wedding Chat, e-mail Laura at Learn more about Mad Chicken Studios in our Wedding Shoppe Inc. Vendor Locator! Other Posts You'll Also Love: Anna + Eric. Love from a Wedding Shoppe Inc. Bride Wedding Myths, Superstitions, and Customs so the Two of You can Live Happily Ever After

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Joe Federer
May 16, 2019 06:45

Logistically, it’s so much easier if the couple sees each other before the ceremony — but, being a groom, the best moment of my entire life might just be the moment I saw my bride coming down the aisle. So it’s hard to really push either side…

ps. That ring is mad beautiful.

May 16, 2019 06:46

In today’s day and age where the couple has typically known each other for a while and seen each other at their best and worst (hopefully), then seriously… what difference does it make whether the groom sees the bride before the ceremony. If they’ve come this far already there’s no way he’s going to run if he sees her in a wedding dress… at least, so I think… :)

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