Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

To see or not to see... before the Ceremony?

Looking for some thoughts/opinions regarding "seeing each other before the ceremony," specifically about taking pictures!

I was pretty steadfast on NOT wanting to see one another until we walked down the aisle, now I'm starting to change my mind.

Our ceremony and reception are in two different locations, so timing is a factor.

Thanks ahead of time!

Re: To see or not to see... before the Ceremony?

  • I personally am not doing it. We have our timeline planned accordingly so that the pictures with my and the girls, etc will be done before the ceremony (the guests will not see me before hand either).
  • Its a personal decision for everyone.   To me, when I was a kid, I always pictured my wedding with that moment where you see each other at the end of the aisle.  That moment was important to me.    Talk to your FI, talk to your photographer.   Think about what you want for your day.  
  • This topic comes up a lot on these boards. Here's a recent thread that outlines some of the pros, and some folks weighed in with cons. As others said, it's a personal decision between you and your FI and there's no right or wrong answer. 

    We chose to do a first look, and it was one of my favorite parts of the wedding. Getting to see my FH really calmed me down and we loved spending that time alone together. Plus, we were able to get all our photos done before our ceremony so we could enjoy our whole reception!
  • vmj23vmj23 member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 250 Love Its 5 Answers
    I considered doing a first look when we were going to have our ceremony and reception at the same place, so we could enjoy a bit of the cocktail hour but since we are marrying at a church and the pictures at the reception location, we will not see each other before the ceremony.   I am happy we are not doing a first look, I prefer the tradition of not seeing each other ahead of time.  
  • pinkshorts27pinkshorts27 Oregon member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    My parents took their pictures together before the wedding because that is just what was done in their community. They didn't take thousands like we now (all film). 

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  • We did and I am very glad we did. Those are some of my favourite photos of the whole day.

    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
  • I knew the more time I spent with H before the ceremony, the calmer I'd be.  I HATE being the center of attention, so the ceremony was tough for me.  We spent the night before together and went out for breakfast before going our separate ways to get ready.  We spent about 90 minutes, just the two of us, with the photographers and got all of the family formals out of the way before the ceremony.  Almost all of our favorite photos are from the first look part of the day.  We wouldn't have had time for anywhere near that many photos of the two of us if we didn't do the first look.  We also got to attend most of cocktail hour and mingle with our guests.  You definitely have to decide what works for you.  For us, the first look was a great decision.
  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    I think it's important to make the decision that feels right to you and your future spouse, and not worry much about what's expected of you. And while I definitely agree that a first look is excellent if you have a LOT of photos you have to take, and you don't want cocktail hour to run long, I want to emphasize that there are several other, very different sorts of benefits to a first look. And if you are not a fan, and you don't want a first look, then, "Oh, it's easier to get all your photographs without running long" isn't a good enough reason for you to change your mind. If that makes any sense.

    We are doing a first look. My partner did not want to do one for a very long time, but after coming around (because he wanted more time for photos), he's really excited (because of all the other benefits).
    now with ~* INCREASED SASSINESS *~
  • We saw each other before the ceremony.  We decided to do all pictures before the ceremony so that guests didn't have to wait on us at the reception.  I do wish that we had done a "first look" with just us and the photographer, but we were married before the "first look" became popular. 

    Our first look---DH in his tux, running around the church like a madman, working on last minute music details, running into me as I'm coming out of the ladies restroom, still in my sweats, no makeup, but with my hair done & veil on!  Nothing romantic about that!

  • sarawifenowsarawifenow Denver, baby! member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    We will be doing a first look and I am SO excited for it! I think it will give my FI and I a special moment together before all of the chaos and it will allow FI to actually show some emotion. (He is the non-emotion type). Also, it will make it so that we can get most of our pics done before the ceremony starts.
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • We're getting ready in the same room.  I hate the logistics of not seeing each other, it's so annoying.  We'll get ready and drive to the venue together, then do pictures.  I don't like making an ordeal out of dumb little things like clothes.
  • My FI and I are going to do a "first look" because I just can't imagine something possibly going wrong and missing the moment we see each other when I'm walking down the aisle to him. Plus we want to have a private moment to get all the emotions of seeing each other out before we have all of our guests staring at us! My FI does not like attention, and I feel that his reaction just won't be the same if we wait to see each other. I'm a little selfish, I want that moment all to ourselves hehe
  • I'm torn on this one. I've been dreaming of seeing my future hubby for the first time as I walk down the aisle but I'm so afraid that I'm going to get emotional. I think if we see each other beforehand that maybe I won't be so weepy.... Still up in the air on this.
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  • Originally, I was totally against seeing each other before the ceremony.  Then I learned that the ketubah (traditional Jewish wedding certificate) is actually signed before the ceremony begins (I'm Jewish and have never been to a Jewish wedding..go figure).  Since he's going to see me for that anyway, we might as well take advantage of the extra time to take pictures.  We will be doing a first look and, since we have a night wedding, enjoying some daytime shots with our bridal party.
  • kebebbkebebb member
    100 Comments 25 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    We're doing a first look because I'm a huge baby and cry over everything. I figure if we do the first look, I can get my crying done and my makeup fixed before the ceremony starts. We're also planning to do all the family and bridal party photos before the ceremony (excluding the BP photos we want done at the race track, those will come after).
  • windiewindie member
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    We are doing a first look partly because I want that private moment and because we have about 15 mins to kill before the ceremony.

    My ceremony is at a state park & I was able to get the conference room in the visitor center to use to get ready, but that reservation end 15 mins before the ceremony starts.... just perfect for a first look & a few pictures!
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