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Customs and Traditions

Mother is traditional and I am not!

I am seriously contemplating doing first look and taking pictures before the ceremony. My mother is against it, saying "you'll ruin the moment of walking down the aisle"! My reasoning stems from the pics that i have seen about how personal and intimate it is. Also, im thinking of having a later evening wedding and would like to take pictures before it got too dark. What is your advice? Thanks!

Re: Mother is traditional and I am not!

  • It doesn't matter what your mother thinks. What about your fiancé? I don't see him mentioned here even once. My H was dead-set against seeing me beforehand, so we just did all the pictures of us and our party separately and then finished up after the ceremony.
  • chibiyuichibiyui The Boring Part of MD
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    This is between you and your FI, Your mom really doesn't get a say here.

  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    My parents are Catholic Church, country club, even sides with matching dresses, no first look, POB pay for the wedding, POF pay the RD type people.   Like Kmmssg, it's all they know.

    Our wedding (paid mostly by them) was on a beach, under a tent, first look (which they were apart of) and we paid for the RD.     I just showered them with pictures of my vision and it sunk in.  Well, maybe only a little when it came to the first look, but on the wedding day they admitted my plans turned out great.

    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Not your mom's call. I am soooooooo glad we did a first look FWIW :)
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

  • My mom said the same thing when we told her we were doing a first look. I just explained why it made more sense for us and that it wouldn't ruin anything and she really couldn't argue. I'm personally really glad we did a first look, it made everything a bit more relaxing. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    This is not up to your Mother.

    I wish H and I did a first look but when we were planning we were both against it.  Afterwards we both agreed that a first look would have helped calm his nerves and would have made me a little more in the moment (I think I was off floating on a cloud all day).

  • We did a first look and those photos are, by far, my absolute favourite of the day. I needed that moment of seeing DH and having a few minutes just the two of us to calm my nerves and just relax. 

    I totally recommend it.

    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    kmmssg said:

    OK - I am a 4 time MOB and my generation comes from a time when if you didn't have cloned bridesmaids, even numbers on both sides, and no first look your marriage was invalid and your children would be illegitimate.

    Your mom only knows what she knows.  She knows old school.  Get on google, show her some first look pictures, and other newer trends so she can see that these things are done regularly.  She may not like it or agree with it, but I do think showing her these things can help.

    My 4th DD gets married in June and just told me she has changed her mind and is doing a first look.  2 of her sisters did too and I think it is a stellar decision.

    This is something that is your and FI's decision.  Mom will  have to get over it.

    Some of you married dames on The Knot sure know your stuff ;-)
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    It's up to you and your FI, not your mother, whether or not you see each other or take pictures together before the ceremony.
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    We wanted to do a First Look, but since we had a morning ceremony, there was just no way to get it done. 

    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
  • H and I wanted a first look and my mom had a similar reaction as yours. I didn't really bring it up with her again. I talked with my photographer and worked it into our pre-wedding timeline, and my DOC was on the same page as well. An hour or so before the ceremony, DOC says, "okay, time for everyone but SKPM to head out of the bridal suite for a bit." H came in, we had our first look (it was more for nerves than for stylistic photos), and I don't think my mom realized what was happening until she was walking out the door. First look happened (so glad we did it!), wedding went off without a hitch, and Mom never got the opportunity to complain about it again.

    photo fancy-as-fuck.jpg
  • It's your decisions.  we considered a first look, when we planned on having the ceremony at reception at the same place.   I like the idea of that first looking be a more private/intimate moment, plus it gets the pictures out of the way to save time later.  We are now having a ceremony at a church, so we wouldn't be able to do a first look (photos are being done where our reception is, so wouldnt make sense to do a first look).    


    I'm learning my mom is very traditional, and her jaw has dropped on many occasions when she hears my plans...but in the end she supports me and is getting use to the "non traditional" elements.  It may help to show her some pictures online or pinterest for her to see how weddings have changed in the years!


    Good luck with whatever you decide!

  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mobkaz said:
    Some of you married dames on The Knot sure know your stuff ;-)
    Thanks. I was starting to think we were just a bunch of married old hags, with worthless opinions and husbands who should be pitied. 

    kmmssg is right. I have attended many traditional weddings, since I'm old. Some of my daughter's ideas sounded strange to me at first. We made idea boards, emailed them to each other. I really started to love her 'vision' and was able to help her find ideas and items that she loved. (She and her fi didn't want a first look, but that was their decision.) Send your mom lots of well done 'first look' pics so she can see where you're going with your idea. Some of those pictures are absolutely romantic. Communication is key, here. I think you can get your mom involved in your ideas. 
  • We're also doing a first look. I'm looking forward to the alone time, honestly, and getting it (as well as additional photos of FI and I) out of the way will allow us to attend some of our cocktail hour later, which is great. FI was worried about "ruining that moment" down the aisle as well, but I had him read a few articles about the practice and he's really on board with the idea now. At the end of the day, that first glimpse you and your FI will have of each other standing at opposite ends of the aisle will be just as special.
  • phiraphira Bahstin
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    Like folks have said, it's entirely up to you and your partner. If your mom doesn't get it, that's okay. She doesn't have to, and she can't FORCE you do forgo a first look.

    Like folks have mentioned, this is up to you ... and your partner. Together, you two have to decide what you want to do. My partner was against it for a while; he's been anxious about not feeling emotionally present at his own wedding and he saw the whole "bride walking towards the groom down the aisle" bit as something that would make him feel more emotional.

    As planning wore on, though, things changed. We suddenly could afford to have a photographer (whom we LOVEEEEE) several hours prior to the wedding ceremony. We didn't want to have to hide from each other while taking photos; I didn't want to hide in the bridal suite while guests arrived. And the first look became less of a spoiler and more of a way to have a private and intimate moment together before getting married in front of 100 people who are INTENTLY FOCUSED on us. When we're the center of attention, we turn to each other to calm down; without realizing it, we had been feeling anxious about NOT having that prior to the ceremony.

    And finally, what's worse than feeling so much pressure to have an emotional response seeing your almost-spouse walking down the aisle/standing at the altar? That situation with 100 pairs of eyes on you wondering why you're not emotional enough. That was enough to sell my partner on the first look; if he's not weepy and emotional about it, it's private and between us (at least until the photos are available online for guests to buy), and if he's not blubbering when I walk down the aisle, people can say, "Oh, it's because he's already seen her."

    I get that you're already sold on a first look, but it's not clear if your partner is sold as well. And these are some ways to explain to your mother why it's something important to you (the "photos" thing doesn't convince a lot of people, so it might be helpful to have a bunch of emotional, non-practical reasons).

    Finally, I haven't heard ANYONE tell me they regret doing a first look. I've only heard wonderful things.
    now with ~* INCREASED SASSINESS *~
  • Your mom's just superstitious because that's probably what she learned from her mom..It's up to you. If you think it will help to have a first look then go for it.
  • Thank you all for your comments! I hadn't talked this over with my FI  at the point of my OP, but now I have. He is more sold on the First Look than I am. But we have decided to not make it a point of contention. On our actual wedding day, we will be just going to do our FL but without telling our parents or bridal party. That way it can be about us. :)
    kmmssgSKPM[Deleted User]
  • We did exactly what you are thinking of doing. Our wedding was an evening wedding in the winter time (i.e. it was dark before it even started), so we did a first look and took ALL of the pics beforehand. It was the best decision! We didn't have to worry about anything except having fun after the ceremony was over. See what your FI wants to do, it's your decision as a couple.
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