Mary Dann, Guest Author
The belief that the bride and groom should avoid seeing each other before their wedding ceremony, though amusing, should remain as it is…an ancient tradition. The popular ritual dates back to when marriages were arranged and the bride revealing her face created the possibility of the groom making a run for it!
For whatever reason, however, many couples still partake in this peculiar procedure, expecting heightened anticipation, drama and excitement as a result. But why set yourself up for more drama on your wedding day?! I am happy to share 7 compelling reasons why the bride and groom should take pictures BEFORE the ceremony.
1. The first moment will be even more intimate for the couple. Scheduling pictures before the ceremony gives the bride and groom a chance to actually enjoy their first time seeing eachother, without the nervousness of ALL eyes watching them. Their photographer is able to better capture the special moment as well, as opposed to taking shots from a distance with numerous guests in the background. First moment shots are precious and often a couples’ favorite photo from the whole day!
2. Everyone will look better. Ceremonies can be long and emotional. Tears fall, mascara runs, dresses and tuxes wrinkle, and flowers droop. If the ceremony is outdoors, weather could create problems too…hair frizzes, people sweat, and outfits get dirty. There’s only so much a gifted photographer can retouch.
3. Taking pictures beforehand ensures that no one will be left out. It gives the family and the photographer time to find people who are missing and take as many shots as desired. Moreover, if anyone misses the round of pictures before the ceremony, specific shots can quickly be made up after. It creates two opportunities to get all the pictures the couple and family want, eliminating the worry of people taking off after the ceremony and having their own agendas.
4. Taking pictures before the ceremony also ensures that the couple and wedding praty will not miss out on the cocktail party/reception! Any additional pictures taken after the ceremony won’t take long. The wedding party will appreciate getting all the pictures before the ceremony so they can enjoy their dates, family and friends at the cocktail reception, and the couple will have time after the ceremony to relax, go to their room and enjoy spending time with eachother and their guests!
5. It gives the photographer more of a chance to be creative. Whatever shots he did not perfect before the ceremony, he can re-take after. During the ceremony, he can think of more ideas for pictures afterwards. Even the most creative people don’t flourish in rushed, high-pressure environments. Taking pictures beforehand relieves the photographer of unnecessary anxiety, allowing his/her work to be even more brilliant. The pictures will be less posed, more natural, and more real.
6. Anxiety will be taken away from the couple as well and consequently, the focus of the ceremony will be on what’s important. Couples who take pictures beforehand tell me that just seeing their spouse and spending a little time with them before the ceremony calms their nerves and puts them both at ease. Further, as the ceremony begins, instead of the bride worrying about what the groom thinks of her dress, or if her hair is perfect, the couple can enjoy the beauty of the moment with decreased anticipation. They also won’t need to rush right away to PICTURES after walking down the aisle.
7. Instead of one big hoorah moment of seeing each other coming down the aisle, doing things this way divides the magic into sections by creating several special moments. Ask any couple. Even if they’ve already seen eachother, they will still feel lots of excitement and emotion at the start of the ceremony when music is playing, the bride first walks down the aisle, and all of their favorite people are witnessing their every move.
A couple’s wedding day is on one of the most important, exciting, and happiest days of their lives. Why not make it even more enjoyable by taking away added anxiety and the feeling of being rushed? My suggestion to any bride and groom to be is that pictures begin two hours before the ceremony. The first half hour is pictures of the bride and groom only.
The second half hour includes the wedding party, and the third adds the couples’ immediate family. Following pictures, everyone can take a 30 minute pause before the ceremony to relax, have hair/makeup touched up, and attend to their own needs. After the ceremony, only 30 minutes or so will be needed for pictures of the extended family or people who were missing before.
Copyright © 2010 – Mary Dann. Reprinted with permission. Mary Dann, MA, Wedding Planner & Marriage & Family Therapist. As one of the most sought-after event coordinators in Southern California, Mary Dann and her team of wedding and party coordinators have been responsible for detailed event planning and creative party consultation to many corporations and families throughout the country since 1991. Visit her Website (http://www.MaryDann.com/) and BLOG (http://marydann.blogspot.com/)
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