Hey Brides! Are you planning on seeing your groom before the ceremony? This topic sparks many debates among brides & grooms, family & friends. The tradition of the bride and groom not seeing each other at all before the ceremony dates back to the time when arranged marriages were custom. Back then, marriage was a business deal between families. The bride's family didn't want the groom to see her before the wedding, possibly find her unattractive, and then cancel the wedding (aka business deal). *Side note: this is also the reason that brides originally wore a veil, to mask their appearance until after the "I Do's"
While arranged marriages are (for the most part) no longer custom, the tradition of the bride and groom not seeing each other has been passed down from generation to generation. A lot of couples still choose to wait and not see each other until the ceremony - this builds a lot of anticipation and excitement and can make the ceremony more memorable. BUT some couples have modernized this tradition by doing the "No Look" where the bride are groom are blindfolded or hiding around a corner, doorway, etc where they can then hold hands and say a few words, without ever seeing each other, before the ceremony. In Tristyn and Greg's ClarksvilleBrides.com Featured Wedding, Tristyn says "I was adamant that we would not see each other before the ceremony. Instead we had a 'No-look' planned that worked wonderfully. Greg was blindfolded...by his groomsmen and I was blindfolded by my bridesmaids. We were then led to a tree by them and stood back to back and touched hands around the tree prior to the ceremony. It made for some great pictures, and the touch was wonderful, but no peek!" -Tristyn & Greg Featured Wedding, ClarksvilleBrides.com
(No Look photo by Wallflower Wedding Photography)
One big wedding trend now is to drop the tradition all together and do a First Look. The bride and groom have a private meeting where they get to see each other before the ceremony. A lot of couples feel more relaxed after they've seen each other and are able to calm their nerves a little before the ceremony. In Leah and Will's ClarksvilleBrides.com Featured Wedding, Leah says "at first we didn't want to do that [a first look], but after talking with Shea [Leah & Will's photographer] we decided it was best to go on and do it; that way when our ceremony was over we could go straight to the party! However, looking back now, I tell future brides to do a first look regardless, because it's so magical and sweet, and 200+ people aren't staring at you during that moment." -Leah & Will Featured Wedding, ClarksvilleBrides.com
(First Look Photo by Shea)
Whether or not you choose to see your groom before the ceremony, just make sure it's what you two want. Don't feel pressured either way, because at the end of the day, it's about you and your soon-to-be husband and what makes you two happy.