Insider's Tips: Tip #11 - See Each Other
See Each Other Before the Wedding
Yes, this is one of the most controversial topics, and I guess I understand why. I really am a pretty traditional girl, but when it comes to breaking this tradition, I am all for it.
We hear lots of reasons why a couple wants to see each other before the ceremony starts and even more about waiting.
The biggest reason for waiting is that a couple doesn't want to take anything away from the magic of the moment when the doors of the church first open and he is standing up at the alter and she is walking down the aisle. When you think about your ceremony, this is usually the moment people think of - that emotional walk down the aisle.
The reasons for seeing each other before are obvious - more time with the photographer and videographer, less stress than trying to get all of the formal pictures taken after the ceremony (while your guests are waiting on you at the reception), to calm your nerves, less hysterical crying at the altar (there are still a lot of emotional tears by both the bride and groom, but less sobbing heard on the microphone) - these are just a few examples that we find.
When you choose to see each other before, typically what happens is that the photographer recreates the moment for you by setting up a few minutes of alone time in the sanctuary of the church or some other meeting location. Your groom is waiting for you at the altar and you take your walk down to him. He turns around to see you, and this wave of emotion hits both of you. It is real and true and documented by your photographer and videographer (if you so choose). You are in a world that no one else exists at that moment. It is just you and your groom (and discrete cameras). You show him your dress, your hair, and makeup. You cry, he cries. Sometime during this, all photographers and videographers will quietly leave the area and it will just be you two alone, taking it all in. This precious moment of pure emotion is documented for all time.
My personal reason that I was glad that John and I chose to see each other before the wedding is that he is my rock. You have this very stressful day, it is nerve-wracking, crazy, everything. If it was any other day, who would be the first person you would want to talk to about it? Your fiance. It is almost inhumane to take him away from you on such a crazy day. So on our wedding day, I was stressed and nervous and worried, but then I saw him, talked with him, hugged him, kissed him (my rock), and I was calmer. Then I could stand in front of hundreds of people for the ceremony. Then when you walk down the aisle, you might still cry, but you don't have the flood of tears.
And you know, we hear on the groom's mic for the camera that he is still is overwhelmed by seeing you. He still gasps.