A few weeks ago we talked about how to make your wedding uniquely yours by kicking tradition to the curb. This week, I’d like to take that one step further! We know weddings are crammed full of rules, traditions, and clichés that have very little to do with the modern lives we lead today. The “it’s bad luck to see the bride before the ceremony” superstition is definitely one of those worn out traditions, and I’m here to debunk it!
Many years ago arranged marriages were the norm. The fathers of the bride and groom would use their children as business deals, trading brides for things like land and cattle. The “I do’s” sealed the transaction, so they kept the bride hidden until that very moment. The reason for keeping the woman hidden was so that the groom wouldn’t know if she was attractive! If the groom spotted the bride before the kiss and didn’t like what he saw, he still had time to run. By keeping her hidden and veiled until the deal was complete the fathers could keep their business transaction from being spoiled. Flash forward to 2015! How does this philosophy make you feel? Today, we would NEVER trade our children for cows, or force anyone to spend their life with someone they didn’t love. As a former bride and current human being, I think breaking this tradition is 100% acceptable. In fact, I encourage it, and here’s why: Weddings are hectic. The wedding day is always a very busy day for the bride and groom. The couple goes about their morning separately, getting ready and spending time with their bridesmaids and groomsmen. Then the wedding happens and there is a schedule to be kept, hands to shake, and babies to kiss! Between the preparation phase and the actual ceremony, there’s usually that moment of calm before the storm, which is the perfect time to see one another for a final embrace before becoming man and wife.
The first look is exciting! I love to have the bride sneak up behind the groom and tap him on the back, while I stand off with my long, telephoto lens to capture the moment. For Ariel and Michael’s wedding, we did this a little differently. Since she was eight months pregnant at the time, she wanted to do as little walking as possible. So, I had her sit in a swinging chair at the lovely NYLO hotel. Michael spun the chair around gently and laid eyes on his beautiful bride for the first time that day. It worked like a charm! I’ve never seen two people so happy to see each other! The way they gazed at each other was unbelievable and so full of love!
Isn't that what love is all about? The first look is about documenting that amazing feeling of being in love, and knowing that from this day onward, you’ll have each other forever. All you see is one another, and nothing else matters. Just look at his reaction! It’s an easy time to be yourself. When it comes to love, men generally don't show emotions in public as easily as they do when they are alone with their girl. While the bride is more likely to cry as she walks down the aisle and watches his eyes light up, the groom is more likely to show real emotion in private, with no one else around. That is what the first look is all about! As soon as he turns around there is a flood of emotions to capture, and that’s exactly what I do.
You’re freshly dressed. In addition to getting in a few minutes of authentic alone time, you also get to enjoy one another in your most polished state! At this point the bride and groom are primped and ready to go with fresh hair and makeup, and a well-pressed tux. Looking flawless makes the first glance so much sweeter, and the photographs that much more fabulous. Everyone loves looking like a movie star in their wedding photos.
Capturing love in its purest form always makes the best photos. Throw off the veil of tradition and do what feels right for the two of you! If you want to see your future spouse before the ceremony, do it. Being true to yourselves will make you exude happiness and confidence in every single photo. As always, happy planning! —Ambreen