Photo Credit: Athens, GA Wedding Photographer Blane Marable

The priceless look on your grooms face as you walk down the aisle says it all: there is no greater love or bond between two people. So many emotions come from just one glance, and brides dream about this very moment their whole lives. Recently, more and more couples are opting out of waiting until the down-the-aisle-stroll to see each other on their big day and are rather choosing to meet secretly with a photographer before the ceremony for their own private first look. How will you know which option is right for you and your spouse? Read all about the pros and cons of each alternative below!

Photo Credit: Hermes Rivera via Unsplash Photo Community

The History

So many brides hold the first look to the highest standards; some even believe it’s bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the ceremony. Why is this? Where did this superstition come from? Before making your decision on which first look is right for you, it is important to know the history of this age old tradition. 

Prepare yourself. The reason for this superstition is a strange one. Waiting until the ceremony to see the bride originates from arranged marriages. Back in the day, brides and grooms were kept from seeing each other before the “I Do’s” to ensure the groom would still go through with the wedding even if he may not have liked what he saw. Pretty grim, right? It doesn’t have to be! Though this superstition came from a not-so-romantic ideal, it has been adopted by traditionalist everywhere and transformed into a beautiful moment held sacred across the board. 

Photo Credit: Justin Clark via Unsplash Photo Community

During the Ceremony

There are pros and cons to both options, however, during the ceremony may be the best choice for the traditional bride. Some couples don’t even think twice about doing a first look prior to the ceremony because they want to preserve and savor that moment the way it’s been done for years and years. Keeping that very tradition alive, following in the footsteps of your ancestors, or conforming to your specific religious beliefs are all reasons to wait until the ceremony for the first look, and all of these reasons are definite pros. 

Pros, however, always seem to come with some cons. The biggest and possibly most important con is the emotions you feel in that moment. If you’re like me, and any sappy love story or romcom hits you right in the feels, it’s a possibility that you will cry the entire duration of the ceremony. That constant stream of happy tears could hinder you from giving your full attention to your groom and could have your mascara running throughout the ceremony. Therefore, waiting until the ceremony may not be the best option for you. 

Photo Credit:
Hannah Busing via Unsplash Photo Community

Before the Ceremony

If you identify as a more modern bride, you may be considering the option of before the ceremony. If this was twenty years ago, no one would agree with your choice to privately meet your groom before the wedding. Now, for the cons. This compromise could upset your relatives, especially if they’re traditionalists. It could also take away from the special glance by  your groom that you’ve been dreaming of your whole life — the look that makes you feel like the prettiest girl in the world and the only one in the room. 

However, it’s 2019 and more and more brides are challenging the traditions of marriage. The biggest pro to this decision is turning the first look into a private and intimate moment to be shared alone (with the exception of your photographer, of course, to capture this moment that is beyond words). In this flash of time, you get to share a secret first look without your guests present. For those teary-eyed brides, you can now dab your makeup in peace. 

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to making decisions for your wedding day. There is also no way to please everyone, no matter how hard you try. Whether you choose to wait until the ceremony to see your groom or sneak away just before the “I Do’s” for an intimate look, make sure it’s an option that makes you and your spouse happy. After all, that is the very reason for the day. 


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