To See Each Other Before the Ceremony or Not


Ah, Tradition.  Sometimes we don’t know WHY we do it, but we just know we WANT to do it.  To all those wedding purists out there – to see each other before or not… that is the question.

It has been said it is bad luck for the Bride & Groom to see each other before the ceremony.   I guess if you are superstitious this would be a little disconcerting, but I think we can all agree this isn’t really true.  The main reason Brides don’t want to see each other before is because they want that fairy tale moment of walking down the aisle and gazing into their Groom’s eyes, hoping they look good enough to shock or make him cry (in a good way).

The problem with this is… it rarely happens this way.  Most of the time, the Bride is so nervous about walking, holding her bouquet and hitting her mark that she forgets to do her gazing part. Then, when she reaches her Groom, she can’t hug, kiss or talk to him. It goes right into the ceremony without a minute to breathe.

Now, I am a romantic through and through.  I get it.  A Bride wants to be so stunning that she takes her love’s breath away.  We all want that right?  However, I am going to give you a few reasons why you should consider doing a special first look before the ceremony and ditch the traditional way.

  1.  You can have your first look any way you want.  It can be walking down the aisle like the traditional way.  You can have the Groom turned around and the Bride walk up behind him and touch him on the shoulder, or I have seen a Father drive the Bride to the Groom on a tractor.  It’s up to you!  It can just be the two of you and the photographer, or your entire family can watch.  The point is, you can get creative and STILL get that fairy tale moment without the stress of guests watching your every move.
  2. You can touch and kiss.  The first thing you will want to do is kiss and tell each other how wonderful you look.  You can’t do this up at the altar.  You can hug, give each other letters, laugh and talk.  It helps break the tension of nerves and you both go into the ceremony as a confident unit.
  3. The pictures are better.  Depending on where you are getting married, the photographer will most likely get better pictures during a first look.  Especially the more formal your church is, often the photographer can only take pictures from behind.  This is the moment you have dreamed of!  You need to get it from all sides.  You want every emotion captured.  That will happen with a first look.
  4. You save so much time & it is very guest friendly.  If you start pictures 2 – 3 hours prior to your wedding, you can get 99% of your pictures done before the ceremony!  This leaves extra time for you to get sunset pictures, focus on time with your guests, not feel rushed.  Guests are not waiting to eat, getting bored. I cannot tell you how many Brides & Grooms tell me they are so glad they chose to do it this way.

Ultimately, this is YOUR choice.  If you have a wedding coordinator, they will help you regardless.  Brides still choose to wait until the ceremony. Just know that you will be very likely rushing to get all your pictures done before guests start getting antsy and leave.  No, it isn’t fair, but this is how the flow of weddings tend to go now.

Remember, just because we have been doing it a certain way for years, doesn’t mean it is the best choice or option for you.

Here’s to Bliss,



Crista Tharp, CBSP is an award winning event planner, entrepreneur, author and speaker. As the CEO of Blissfully Simple™ Events, Crista has worked in the event planning industry for more than 15 years and has authored 11 books, designed more than 1,000 events, and spoken at numerous conferences and workshops. She is also the creator of the Blissfully Simple Wedding Planning Business System, a turn-key business system for those who want to be successful wedding planners. Crista has been featured in the New York Times, Associated press, Fox 59 and hundreds of industry blogs and publications. She does all this in addition to being blissfully married and mom to 10 children. Crista is considered an industry expert and is one of the Midwest’s highly sought after event planners. Feel free to use this article, but you must post the bio above in its entirety.


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