There are so many wedding traditions that makes me wonder why it ever started and why do we keep perpetuating these wedding traditions. Top on my list is seeing the bride before the wedding. This probably originated when parents picked your mate, so the groom wouldn’t run off if he didn’t like what he saw and yet we still have the tradition. Many brides want to surprise their groom or they fear it’s bad luck to see the bride, but really it’s so much better to have a first look hours before the wedding.
A first look allows the wedding couple to have a minute to see each other and have a REAL moment instead of in the ceremony in front of everyone. And an even better time for your photographer to document!
Sidenote: Everyone wants to witness this, I would be very adamant about this time only being the wedding couple and photographer only. You will not have your real reaction when your mother and friends are watching. Trust me.
Think about standard photography during weddings, including all the weddings you’ve been in. The photographer has to get all your bridal party shots and of course, the whole family (on both sides no less) because the whole family is never together, your mom has insisted on it, all the while the sun is going down. This is the most stressful time for the photographer because no one listens and family members are not where they are supposed to be during family photo time. So your photographer has just been trying to deal with your family, (you know how they are) for over an hour and the wedding couple has been here for this hour too.. All they want to do is go to the reception and start partying, but the photographer wants you to go somewhere alone to capture a few shots too.
It would be so much easier, if you get ready, have a first look by yourself, take an hour to shoot around your location or drive to a location for a totally different look. Then add the wedding party. You can tell immediate family members exactly what time and where to be and stagger the times. It’s best to be finished an hour before the start time of the wedding. Then after the wedding, all that needs to be done is the large family photos. Takes about an hour, then boom, reception time.
Not only does this run more efficiently, the wedding party always behaves better during this time too because there is no open bar yet. You also have enough photos to fill your album and your wedding hasn’t even started yet. And believe me, you will be nervous and the person waiting for you at the end of the aisle still gives you the reaction you want.