Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Thursday, June 26, 2014

To See… or Not to See? That is the Question!

The top reason many couples today seem to keep this tradition alive is because they believe it builds up the mystique before the walk down the aisle. However, more and more couples recognize the time management benefits of seeing each other before the ceremony – meeting earlier for photos gets you to the party quicker. So… photos before the wedding or do you wait for your eyes to meet on the aisle?

ToSeeOrNotThe idea of not seeing each other before the ceremony comes from the days when marriages were arranged and the groom might never have seen the bride. In some religions and cultures the option of seeing each other before is simply not allowed. The wedding symbolized a business deal between two families. Not too romantic, right? There was a chance that he might take one look at her and bolt – so it was often safer for them to meet for the first time at the altar. Most admit it’s a bit old-fashioned.

There’s more… the veil the bride wears – its original purpose was also to keep the groom from finding out what the bride looked like until the last possible minute, when it was too late to back out. Brides still often wear veils, however they are usually draped behind the brides head.

It’s typical that most brides and grooms totally miss out on the cocktail hour. Usually they are out taking photos with the photographer immediately after the ceremony. If you choose this way to take photos, remember to give the photographer a complete list of the photos you want taken and stick with a strict schedule. It’s rude to keep your guests waiting too long after the wedding for the reception to begin.

Not seeing each other before the ceremony makes most bride’s more stressed out. There is always the worry of seeing each other accidentally.

First Look is gaining in popularity. Whether the groom sees you in your dress or not has nothing do do with the magic of the moment. Prior to the ceremony, flowers, hair, make-up, clothes, and moods are at their very best. The emotion is still there. By scheduling a “First Look” or “Reveal Moment,” before the wedding ceremony the photographer will be able to capture your special moment of seeing each other privately for the first time. It’s your private moment. From a photographer’s position, there are usually many more pros to seeing each other beforehand than cons, but what it comes down to is your personal decision. Most brides and grooms have anxiety about the ceremony, however, when they choose the “First Look,” once they are together at the ceremony, the jitters melt away and the day becomes much more fun.

You’re able to schedule in extra time to drive to a great location, time to get a wider variety of shots and just have a more relaxed photo shoot. You will enjoy the First Look time privately, away from the crowd, where you can feel free to enjoy sweet sentimental moments together. Meeting before the ceremony, when you’re free from the often strict timelines of the ceremony itself, gives you more personal moments and experiences together, which adds wonderful memories to your day. The bonus is that you can take your formal pictures before the ceremony when everyone’s hair and makeup are going to look a lot fresher earlier in the day.

It can be extremely comforting to have a quiet word and a hug from the most important person in your world as your stress level is mounting before the wedding. Most claim that 10 or 15 minutes alone with their partner calms them for the main event. Having the First Look and spending that quality personal time together earlier on your wedding day ramps up and fuels the emotions to brimming for when the magic moment comes you see each other at your ceremony. Obviously First Look gives you more experiences and adds memories of your day; and in a very heightened way too. Clearly everything that happens during the First Look is a unique experience you wouldn’t have had if you didn’t take that personal time to be with each other. And… that makes your ceremony even more full of excitement, passion and Love.

Another photo-related consideration is light. Many of my wedding ceremonies are outdoors and about an hour or more before sunset. This concern is legitiment. Rounding everyone up for photos after the wedding can be a major chore, one that may mean you might be taking some of your photos after the sun goes down.

Most brides that have chosen First Look at my weddings tell me it was their most favorite moment of the day because it was just about them. If you are a traditionalist and love to play “hide ‘n seek” you may want to save the First Look for when you walk down the aisle. 😉

Never let anyone pressure you on how to make this decision. There are no rules governing when you see you first see your partner, except perhaps one: “Whichever route you take, make sure it is determined solely by ‘your’ vision of your wedding, and nobody else’s.” ~ Lauren Ragland, Wedding Photojournalist Association

BONUS Articles: The Reveal
Should We See Each Other Before the Wedding?
Are You Seeing Each Other Before the Wedding? – “No way!”… However…
Seven Reasons to See the Bride Before the Wedding

CelebrateIntimateWeddings

Click logo to go to Wedding Website!

Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

comment2Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Are You Seeing Each Other Before the Wedding? – “No way!”… However…

When brides hear the question, “Are you seeing each other before the wedding?” – “No way!” or “Not at my wedding!” are typical responses. More and more, brides and grooms are tossing aside the “no see before the wedding” tradition in favor of a special moment where the bride and groom first meet before the wedding with the photographer.

Although they will most likely be on a strict timeline after the ceremony, by scheduling a “first look” or “reveal moment,” before the wedding ceremony the photographer will be able to capture your special moment of seeing each other privately for the first time. From a photographer’s position, there are usually many more pros to seeing each other beforehand than cons, but what it comes down to is your personal decision. The idea of not seeing each other before the ceremony comes from the days when marriages were arranged and the groom might never have seen the bride. There was a chance that he might take one look at her and bolt – so it was often safer for them to meet for the first time at the altar.

“That quiet moment that couples share the first time they see each other in private before the ceremony is the one time all day that they get to be alone and reflect on their true emotions.” ~ Marnee Marriott, MarriottPhoto.com

firstlookHere is how to set it up. The bride and the groom get ready separately. While your hair and make-up are still fresh, you and your photographer stage a time for the bride and groom to see each other for the first time. At the exact moment that you see each other for the first time, you’ll completely forget the photographer is snapping away some very special and intimate moments.

If you think that it will make walking down the isle or saying your vows any less special, I promise you it won’t. You will inevitably have lots of emotions on your wedding day – enough to spread out through the entire day.

If you are having an outside wedding at sunset, most photographers want you to allow no less than 1 1/2 hour from the end of the ceremony to the beginning of sunset. Lighting is one of the most important factors for getting great photographs. If you’re having a sunset wedding, there is a good chance that there won’t be any daylight remaining after the ceremony for photos unless you plan for it. By doing a first look, we’ll be able to do your “formal” photos and couple session BEFORE your ceremony in the gorgeous natural light!

“If the bride and groom are very traditional, they won’t see each other before the ceremony. But photographers will encourage it because the bride’s makeup is fresh and her hair is done so they can get a lot more photos done before the ceremony. Afterward, they can take a few family shots and enjoy the cocktail hour.” ~ Elizabeth Todd, wedding coordinator at Blackstone Country Club, Peoria, Arizona

I like the “first look” idea because you will get more and better photos when you give the photographer the time to go above and beyond the call of duty. Taking photos before the ceremony can often be so much more relaxing as well. And I’ve never met a couple that wasn’t in a hurry to get to their reception. You’ll also be giving yourselves some extra time right after the ceremony to take a few brief photos, then join your guests at cocktail hour or spend a few alone minutes together to take in the special moment you just shared.

Most couples do a “reveal moment” well before the ceremony. This gives them an opportunity to greet each other in a more secluded area away from the guests. A couple may choose to do this if they would like to do formal and family pictures before the ceremony rather than after, giving the couple more time with their guests following the ceremony. They may also choose to do this to relieve a little of the pressure of the wedding day.

Make sure everyone is ready when the photographer is scheduled to arrive; dressed, hair and make-up, etc.

Larry’s Note: A special “thank you” to Cory Ryan, Photographer, Austin, Texas for his contribution to this article.

Photo Credit: Real Photography, Inc., Black Forest, just outside Colorado Springs, CO.

BONUS Article: The Bride and Groom’s “Reveal Moment”
75 Reasons to Have a First Look
16 First Looks You Don’t Want To Miss
Seven Reasons to See the Bride Before the Wedding

CelebrateIntimateWeddings

Click logo to go to Wedding Website!

Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

comment2Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Monday, May 10, 2010

The Bride and Groom’s “Reveal Moment”

Here’s a great idea. Take nearly all your photos “before” the wedding. It’s called the “reveal moment.” Some call it, “first look.”

Traditionally the bride and groom do not see each other before the wedding. This tradition often causes problems. It originated in arranged marriages where bride and grooms had never met each other, let alone seen each other before the wedding. It was considered bad luck if either party saw each other.

reveal1More and more, brides and grooms are tossing aside the “no see before the wedding” idea in favor of a special moment where the bride and groom first meet before the wedding with the photographer.

Most couples do a “reveal moment” well before the ceremony. This gives them an opportunity to greet each other in a more secluded area away from the guests. A couple may choose to do this if they would like to do formal and family pictures before the ceremony rather than after, giving the couple more time with their guests following the ceremony. They may also choose to do this to relieve a little of the pressure of the wedding day.

reveal2The photographer will set it up. They will pick a special place for this photo opportunity. The groom with his back turned will be waiting. The bride walks within a few yards of him. The groom then turns around for the “reveal moment” as the photographer snaps away. The two of you will see each other for the first time all dressed up on their wedding day.

Having a reveal moment is the perfect way to freeze a moment in time when you get that first look at each other. Its a memory you will cling to when you remember your wedding day.

This gives the couple a chance to have some intimate time alone together on their wedding day. The rest of the day is filled with craziness, a little chaos, and mobs of family and friends rushing them at all times.

One bride said, “We only took photos after our ceremony because my husband insisted that he not see me until I walked down the aisle. After the wedding, he felt differently. We built in a time buffer between the ceremony and cocktail hour, however, we still spent a significant portion of our cocktail hour taking photos. If we could do it again, we would definitely take most of the photos prior to the ceremony.”

reveal3Doing the photos ahead of time is when the bride and groom are the freshest, look their best, and it gives them the option to go straight from the ceremony to the cocktail hour to mingle with their guests, then the reception and not leave their guests waiting for an hour or more while they take photos after the ceremony.

A private, romantic meeting – before photos with the wedding party – creates the first of two exciting “reveals”. It is an opportunity for the couple to exchange wedding gifts alone if they want to. It may be the only time they have together the entire day. The second heart-pounding “reveal” moment is walking down the aisle. It will always be a memorable moment for both of you even if they’ve seen each other earlier.

I had a wedding where the bride and groom kept their guests waiting for about an hour and 45 minutes while their photos were taken after the ceremony. Several guests left before the reception. I can imagine the shock when they finally received the cocktail hour bill. It’s thoughtless and rude to keep your guests waiting that long.

Taking photos and having a special “reveal moment” for the two of you before the wedding seems to make all photos go more smoothly and allows everyone to be a little more relaxed.

BONUS Article: Seven Reasons to See the Bride Before the Wedding
75 Reasons to Have a First Look

NOTE: Congratulations to: Katie Waldman and Evan Holdsworth – Married @ 6:30 p.m., Saturday, May 1, 2010 – Camelback Inn, Paradise Valley, AZ. There is great example of a “Reveal Moment” about 5 minutes into this video.

Larry’s Note: Photos by Marcia Mauskopf, Marcia The Art of Photography, Phoenix, AZ. These photos were taken at The Boojum Tree Hidden Gardens, Phoenix. Hold your mouse over the photos to see what’s going on.

Larry’s Note #2: Old traditions are hard to break, but bridal couples must be mindful that just because something has been around for a long time, doesn’t mean that fashioning new rituals isn’t perfectly acceptable and perhaps even preferable.

marriotphotography

Above photo by: Marnee Marriott, Marriot Photography, Scottsdale, AZ.

Another great “reveal moment.” Click here!

Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 445 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (95 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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