To First Look, or not to First Look

July 26, 2011

Ever since I was a little girl, I had always been told certain truths that I was not to question.  “Always turn your car off when you pump gas or you will blow up the gas station”, “Don’t sit to close to the TV or your eyes will go bad”, and “The bride should NEVER see the groom before the wedding ceremony” were just a few of these nuggets of knowledge.

I have to say that I never really questioned the first two because these seem logical.  Plus, how hard is it REALLY to turn the car off while I’m pumping gas?  Besides having to pause the tunes of Ray Lamontagne, there is no real harm done.  The statement of the bride not seeing the groom before the wedding and vice versa intrigued me though as a wedding photographer.  The “first look” has become a popular element to the wedding day for modern weddings that some still view as going against the grain of tradition.  This made me wonder…why can’t the bride and the groom see each other prior to the wedding?

After some expert Googling on my part (yes I just used ‘Googling” as a verb), this is one of the summaries I found:

When marriages were arranged by family members, the newlyweds very rarely were allowed to see one another. Family members exchanging a dowry were afraid that if the Groom didn’t like the appearance of the Bride’s face, he might refuse to marry her. This is why the Father of the Bride “gave the Bride away” to the Groom at the actual wedding ceremony. Only after lifting her veil just prior to the ceremony did the Groom see the Bride’s face for the first time!”

What say what!?  Now that’s a tradition that I wouldn’t mind see flying out the window!  I’m sure in some places this might still reign true and I can see how that would be helpful.  However, I don’t believe this applies to most American weddings.  Paul and I believe the first look is a beautiful time that the bride and groom can have together prior to the wedding that is very special.  Once the hectic/awesome wedding day begins, they don’t have time to just be alone with each other until it’s all over.  Some of the best emotions come out during the first look and can easily be the highlight of any wedding day.

Anywho, just thought I’d share that with you today :)

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