This is an informative article borrowed from Lauren Clark Photography, a phenomenal photographer with many years experience based out of Stillwater, OK.
Here is a little insight to the tradition:
Many years ago when arranged marriages were the only way to go the brides parent’s wouldn’t allow the bride to see the groom before the ceremony just in case she thought he was ugly and would run away before the wedding ceremony. This kind of takes away from the need to not see each other before.
Here are some good reasons why to see each other before:
– the bride is not stressed out after she sees her groom.
– we don’t have to play hide and seek with the groom before the ceremony.
– we take all the photographs before the ceremony so the couple, family and guests all get to the reception at the same time.
– we have natural light to make stellar images of the bride and groom together unlike when they get married at 6 and the sun has already set after the wedding. We normally get a couple flash pictures of the bride & groom standing in front of the church and then they have to be rushed off to the reception. I believe that people hire me for my ability to capture the bride and groom on the wedding day and if we don’t have the time or natural light I am not able to do this. The couple is normally disappointed in the 1 “traditional” picture they have of each other and so are we. Our creative flow is stopped when this happens.
– the couple gets to see each other alone for the first time, instead of in front of hundreds of people. they can say things to each other and hug like they wouldn’t be able to if they saw each other for the first time at the altar. The groom will say things to the bride that she will never forget because it was a no pressure situation. They wouldn’t be able to speak if they were just seeing each other for the first time at the altar.
– the groom normally has a more genuine and breathtaking “look” on his face when he doesn’t have three hundred guests staring at him as you walk down the aisle.
– there is 99% less stress on everyone involved in the wedding day.
So how does the First Look work?
We keep the couple separated until they are fully dressed and ready. Once the bride is ready we send the groom to the front of the ceremony sight and have his back towards her with no one else in the room. Her father can escort her in or she can walk down the aisle alone. When she is ready she walks down and tells him when he can turn around and take his first look at her in her stunning dress. This is where the magic happens. Tears, beautiful words and relief hit the couple.
The bride and groom are no longer nervous and he was able to see her walking down the aisle as he always dreamed. I take a few images and then step back to the doorway of the ceremony site so the couple can have some privacy. When they are ready we go photograph them privately and then start the wedding party and family pictures.