Post # 1
I know there has been a lot on these boards on the question of whether or not to see the groom before the ceremony to take pictures. (Full disclosure, I am NOT seeing my fiance until I walk down the aisle).
I was talking to my aunt this weekend and she was reminiscing about her wedding. She met my uncle when she was 19 and married him at 19. They have been married almost 45 years and have a great, loving marriage. Completely unprompted, she told me that her best memory of her wedding is the image of seeing my uncle walking down the aisle, and the look on his face as he first saw her. She said if she closes her eyes, she can still see it – she lit up sharing this small memory with me.
I made the decision to forgo the more efficient path of pictures before the wedding 10 years ago when I saw my brother’s face when he first saw his bride walking down the aisle. It was amazing. I think this is still a very personal decision and the intimate first meeting photographers arrange might be a lot more meaningful for many than one shared in front of a larger crowd. But for those whose instinct is to want the moment while walking down the aisle, I wanted to share this!
Post # 3
I went back and forth about this and we decided upon photos before the ceremony for a few reasons:
1) The usual isses of convenience, etc., mostly that we wanted to spend as much time with guests as possible, so we didn’t want to miss out on the cocktail reception before dinner.
2) Personally, I think the distraction of having other people around as I am walking toward him would make it hard to have that ‘moment.’ I’m going to want to look around and acknowledge everyone, and take it all in, rather than zeroing in just on him (I know I won’t be able to take my eyes off of him during the ceremony!)
3) I am the biggest crybaby in the world and I hope that seeing him before hand will help to fend off the tears – and the ugly cry – until we get into our vows…
4) I’d like for our "first look" photos to have both of our expressions in them, if possible, and that’s just not possible if you do it walking down the aisle. Our photographer has taken some fantastic shots of other couples in and around our beautiful hotel – in elevators, etc. so I think we can have a neat first look moment that will be more intimate. I’m imagining something like FI being on one floor and me being on another, then riding down in the elevator and it opening up so that’s when we have our first look. Imagine the anticipation!
All that said, I totally understand how the aisle-walk first look can be beautiful and momentous, too. I wish I could have both! 🙂
Post # 4
Janna19, your words made me tear up a little (darn this wedding business making me so sappy). I also (very recently) made the decision to wait until I walk down the aisle to see each other. My FI and I live together and we are hardly separated. For the same reasons you said, I want to wait, and I can’t wait. And even if I do the ugly cry, sobeit!! All the negatives — It’s worth it to me.
Post # 5
I 2nd everything mtyf said… and to expand on #2, I’d like to have that "first moment" be aomething private that is shared between just the of us; something we can cherish and treasure on our own (minus the photog shooting from a distance).
Plus, my vision isn’t the greatest and I’d barely make out his facial expression from 50′ away.
Post # 6
<span class=”postby”>mtyf’s reasons are why I’m thinking about having our first look before the ceremony, especially her #2 and #3! I’m a huuuge crier, and don’t want to ugly-cry my way down the aisle. 😉 I also like the idea of that moment being ours and ours alone, without a lot of other people staring.
It’s such a personal decision, though, and there are certainly pros and cons to each way. No matter what, that first look at each other will be special and memorable, whether it comes while you’re walking down the aisle or not!
Post # 7
It was so important to us for our first moment to be when I walked down the aisle. Nevertheless, we saw each other before. And I am so happy we did – the second I turned the corner and saw him, I completely broke down, sobbing, ugly cry face, everything. Thank god we didn’t do that in front of everyone!!! I was so much more calm and able to speak during our ceremony. What we realized was is that moment of seeing each other is memorable, no matter where or when it is. The only thing he said to me was "wow" for like, 5 minutes….then he had to calm me down. And it was personal and emotional and just perfect. Yes, we wanted that traditional moment, but there was no way it would work for us. So we did what we had to do. And honestly, it worked out so much better than I think it would have if we waited, me being a basket case and all ; )
Post # 8
We waited until I walked down the aisle.. which I am so glad we did. My photographer did all of my bridal pictures and of me and my family and me and the bms.. so we didn’t have to do a lot of that after the wedding. The only thing was I was so nervous walking down the aisle I didn’t even think to look at my husband until I was half way down the aisle.. so I missed his first look at me! But I know several family members took pictures of him and my photographer took pictures of him when i first walked in and me after.
Post # 9
We’re waiting until I walk down the aisle. He thinks it’s a little silly and impractical, but luckily our photographer and everyone else has been on my side and helping me work it out! There’s certainly a lot to be said for seeing each other before, but like bearbride, we’ve lived together a loooong time. This is important to me.
The deal-maker was the same story – my uncle said it was a moment he would never forget. It’s going to make portraits a little hairy, but I think it will still be wonderful!
Post # 10
So funny to see this thread revived! I was married in June and *for us*, it was such a great decision. We had the glow of seeing each other for the first time and all that emotion throughout the whole ceremony. I was thrilled to show that moment with all the people who mean so much to me – and I got a lot of emails and photos after of people commenting on his look when I walked down the aisle. Now I can’t wait for the video!!
And in the pics we took after the ceremony we are so much more relaxed than in the ones before (with our wedding parties, etc.). Also, for me, its cool that the pics of us together are pics of us MARRIED!!! not waiting to be married. It was more carefree than the one we took before were, which is what I prefer.
Both ways have their benefits, I just want to offer support to those who are getting coerced into seeing each other before. We did pics during cocktail hour (bummer to miss, but I don’t regret it!) and we had 2300 pics for the night, so many of which are great.
Post # 11
I want that anticipation and anxiety and everything that goes with it in waiting to see him as I walk down the aisle!
We live together, so anything we can do to make the wedding even more special is worth it to me.
It’s kind of silly, but what finally made me make up my mind on this was a commercial I saw on TV. It said, "While all eyes are on you, your eyes will be focused on him," or something like that. It’s something that I really do want to focus on…being held in his gaze as I walk to meet him at the end of that aisle may be the only truly intimate moment we share during a celebration that is always said to go by so quickly.
Post # 12
Our reception is only 3 hours long, so we really can’t cut more than 30 minutes out of it for photos after the ceremony. We’re going to get group/family shots done beforehand (as well as "first glimpse" shots), then take a few minutes to be alone and get some "oh my gosh, we’re married!" couples shots. Then we’ll join the party. : )
Post # 13
We had our "first glimpse" moment before the ceremony. I am really glad we did it that way. First of all, there were enough people around at that time to share it – but they were just family and really close friends. The photographer got some great shots as well. But for both of us, we really couldn’t think of anything else when we had that first look – and luckily, we didn’t have to. Later on, walking down the aisle, I was able to concentrate on my dad, and our guests, and our fabulous music (a friend of the family sang) – which I know I would have mostly missed otherwise. He said it was also priceless to be able to watch everybody else seeing me and enjoying the moment, as well as watching me.
Plus, we ended up taking photos during the cocktail hour anyway – because my BIL showed up right before the wedding started with my little niece (nap issues). And we took some photos of just us after the toasts and cake cutting – outside – when it finally wasn’t in the 90s. And frankly, taking that time out of the reception really annoyed me! I didn’t think it would be a big deal, but we had 120 guests all wanting to spend time with us, and waiting for SIL to fix her hair or dad to get his tie straight seemed freakin’ endless. The time we spent taking photos during the reception, rather than socializing with our guests, is probably my biggest regret about the whole evening. The reception seemed to be over in a flash anyway – writing thank you notes I realized there were more than a few people I had barely talked to. If I had it to do again I would do ALL the photos before the guests arrived.
Post # 14
I wanted to add that there was still emotion when I entered the room from my husband – he was the one calm during our first moment beforehand, and then he cried when the doors opened, and we both cried during our ceremony…it just wasn’t my uncontrollable unable to breathe crying that I couldn’t control. I just think that no matter what you choose, every moment that day is meaningful. It was touching before, during, and after. And we also got to take married pics together after, but just the two of us, rather than try to wrangle a big group when its everyone’s turn to finally have fun. We started out really wanting that moment, but really, the whole night is one really long moment, and its all such a blur anyway. I just think that you shouldn’t worry about when you see each other, because at some point you do see each other and its memorable no matter what.
Post # 15
- Wedding: February 2009 - Small church ceremony with mountain-view log cabin reception
Awwww… I love this post! Mr. Champagne and I actually barely talked about this simply because he won’t budge. He doesn’t want to see me, and I’ve gotta respect he dude, right? Your words were touching, Janna, and I can see both sides!