Seeing each other before the ceremony

Wedding Photography- Seeing Each Other Before Ceremony

One of the big questions that brides always ask me is whether they should see each other before the ceremony to take photos. Indeed, that question is the popular cause of doubts , headackes and confusion! Should you sacrifice the grand effect of your husband-to-be gazing at you, gorgeous, at stunning white dress, walking down the isle with tears in your eyes? After all, maybe that’s just the moment you’ve been waiting for your entire life! Well, your grandmother might tell you to do it the old-fashioned way {she also tells you to EAT while you are starving yourself to fit into that beautiful dress..:)]), but as a photographer, I say – Common! -Just Do it! – See each other BEFORE the ceremony!
Here’s why. First of all, let’s face it.. Deep deep inside you might feel a tiny bit nervous about that whole photo-session deal. Maybe your fiance is super-stiff and you don’t know how many posed shots he can handle before getting irritated; maybe you are afraid that you won’t be able to help it but put that tense fake smile on your face. Maybe you both are camera-shy or just hate being in front of the camera [You are not alone here!:)]. If either of these apply to you, I advise to use good old wisdom – Overcome your fears as soon as possible! In other words, – get it over with early in the day, and enjoy the rest of the time worry-free.:)
But that’s not the main reason why do it this way. The main reason is Timing! Couples that don’t see each other before the ceremony are on average left with only 40-50 minutes to take ALL their “posed” photos. Usually, the average “mid-size” family shots can take good 15-20-30 minutes. If both sides have siblings and large extended families, then even 30 minutes estimation is a bit too optimistic. (Look for an upcoming post about family-photos tips.) And then there is your bridal party! All those girlfriends of yours in the cutest matching dresses… You want some photos with them too, don’t you? Last but not least [even First!!!] you would want some photos of just the two of you.. You- walking, talking, kissing; you – standing there looking at the camera [yes, that's a cliche, I know, but your grandchildren will want to see that one!:)] And, did I mention that you would miss a big part or all of the cocktail hour? Some people don’t mind it at all, but if you were working hard on hiring a famous chef, and meticulously arranging the menu list, it’d be a pity to miss it.

Here’s the bottom line If you don’t see each other before the ceremony, you are putting yourself on a very tight timeline. Tight timeline is stressful by definition. If seeing each other while walking down the isle is really important to you, then – go for it, but plan well your photography time during the coctail hour. Otherwise, if it’s semi-important… Do see each other earlier! Do give me more time to take your photos, and not because I just love doing it, but because you’ll have more beautiful, relaxed and natural photos to last you a lifetime!

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