Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

Photos before the ceremony?

Hi, my name is Mitzi and I am getting married in October 2010. We have recently met with some photographers, and one of them suggested that we take pictures before the wedding ceremony....Now, I dont believe in the bad luck with the groom seeing the bride before the wedding, but i do wanna see my groom's reaction when i walk down the aisle. On the other hand, doing the pictures before the ceremony would probably help because this way we can enjoy our reception a little more.

Has anyone considered this? Or done this at their wedding? Help! I need to know if its worth it.


Re: Photos before the ceremony?

  • I am considering it as well. One photographer told me that they can still make the moment special by having it be just the two of you and you can start walking towards him and he can turn around (or vice versa) or one can be waiting in a room (bridal room perhaps?) for the other and they can still capture the moments of the "first look". 

    They also say it can help calm  pre-wedding jitters. 

    Not sure if I am on board, but this is what I was told by the photographer!
  • My photographers suggested the same thing to us and I think we will do it this way.  They told us that couples are almost always grateful to have done it this way because it does calm nerves and it can be a private moment.
  • It was a hard decision because I wanted to wait until the whole walk down the aisle for FI to see me for the first time. But we're having our ceremony and reception at the same location so if we waited to do pictures after the ceremony we'll not only be missing cocktail hour but also probably making the guests wait for the reception to start. So after our photographers suggestion and advice from friends who recently got married, we decided to do our pictures beforehand. FI is actually more comfortable this way because he's shy and doesn't want 130+ people staring at him to see his reaction as he sees me for the first time. We both decided this is a private thing, and our photographer is going to capture our "private reveal" before the ceremony which I actually find to be more special. 

    I also don't believe in bad luck, it's a silly tradition. Our marriage will be built on love, mutual respect, and trust and there's no way we'll have bad luck just because we decided to have a more special private moment between just the two of us and not miss a chunk of our wedding so we can do pictures. 

    HTH! Whatever decision you make, make it with your FI and what works best for you. 
  • FI and I toyed with this idea as well. He actually wound up making the final decsion saying he wanted to feel the rush of seeing me for the first time as I walked down the aisle.

    We're also having the ceremony and reception at the same location. Our photog told us that as soon as the ceremony's over, he's going to get the formal family/BP pics done and then after that the ones of just me and him. Our guy has done many weddings at our venue, and he's said that unless we want super-elaborate B&G photos (We don't, we just want a few nice, simple ones, but we don't want 1/2 of our shots to be just us, pre-reception), he should have everything done where we can enjoy the last 30 minutes of cocktail hour.

    We also didn't really care about giving up cocktail hour time. Some people make a big deal about it, but we're having a little less than 100 guests, so we'll have more than enough time to mingle with everybody.

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  • We are sticking with tradition and not seeing each other til I walk down the aisle. We decided on that together. We will do some pics beforehand as far as him & GM, me & BMs, etc. Then do our group pics after. 
  • Thank You Ladies!! ...your input really helped =) ill keep you posted on what we decide.

  • We did pictures before hand and it was the best choice we made!  We had plenty of time to get pictures.  We did a "first look" where it was just him and I together outside.  It was great and the pictures were just as equal to the "first look" you get coming down the aisle, if not better because the photographers were able to get close! 

    We got all wedding party and family pictures done before the ceremony.  We did a few more pictures in the church afterwards and got to enjoy our CH with our guests. 

    It was a lot less stressful too.  Knowing we had the extra time before hand to get the must have pics!  I had a girlfriend walk around behind the photographers and marking off the "must have list".  When we were stumped on what to do next, my friend suggested another picture off the list.   That worked great too!

    I would do it again, hands down!  Do it, you won't regret it and your guests will love you for not keeping them waiting. 

    I would allow two hours to get everyone done before the ceremony.

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  • Photos before the ceremony are the norm now here in the Seattle area. It allows the couple/wedding party/families to take hours of photos if wanted, without keeping the guests waiting. Couples do a private "first look" somewhere, so the photographer captures it. When you walk down the aisle, the photographer won't get to capture BOTH of your faces the moment you see each other for the first time. It also allows the two of you to react (and cry, if it comes to that) naturally without having to worry about maintaining your composure in front of your family and friends. I've seen many photos of "first look"s, and they usually look very tender and genuine.

    I've never been to a wedding/reception with a gap in between - at least not more of a gap than would be required to get from point A to point B. I think that's really inconsiderate of guests' time. And a cocktail hour isn't enough time for all the photos I want. Many people here also do photos at a couple of different locations, which would be difficult to do between ceremony and reception without keeping guests waiting for hours.
  • I will not do that. I love the element of suprise! We have 2.5hours inbetween the ceremony and the reception. 1 hour for just us and the other hour for the whole wedding party.
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  • I'm sticking with the element of surprise :) Can't beat seeing that face for the frist time during my walk.
  • We will also be taking pictures before the ceremony.
  • As a guest to a lot of weddings, I always like to take a quick look at the groom as soon as he sees the bride (and yes, I have been doing this long before 27 Dresses came out and the woman talked about doing this). Having pictures done after the ceremony gives guests a chance to get to the reception cite and settled before they introduce you two. Another option, is having your pictures taken after you return from the honeymoon. IDK if people still do this, but I know that's what my parents did when they got married.
  • My friend did pre-ceremony pictures in the church, and for the private first look moment, she walked down the aisle toward him.  But when the doors opened and she walked in for the ceremony, the groom's face still lit up.  Even if he sees you beforehand, that moment will still be special.

    We never considered not doing pre-ceremony pictures.  Logistically, it just makes infinitely more sense.  Plus, I love the fact that the first time he sees me will be unescorted, like I've always pictured, but my dad can still walk me down the aisle.

    As a guest, I really don't like waiting on the bride and groom while they take pictures, because in my experience they usually run long and the guests get really antsy.  We're only doing about 20-30 minutes of formals after the ceremony, and the bar and buffet will already be open so the guests aren't waiting on us.
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    Sometimes I feel like people think that brides are delicate little flower princesses who get all dressed up and pretty for one special moment of their dreams, when really they're just normal people who just happen to be getting married. Things shouldn't have to be sugar-coated for grown-ass women. -mstar284
  • My mom is a photographer and I have helped her with many weddings.  We are taking pictures before to save time.  It always seems to take longer than expected to take pictures after the wedding and the bride and groom are anxious to get to their guests. 

    We will have the first look privately (just us and the photographer) and he will give us a few minutes to ourselves.  This will be the only time that we will have a moment to ourselves until after the wedding.  I will try to get as many pictures before hand, and after take a few with the family members that I don't feel need to be there 2 hours before the wedding just to take a picture.
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