Did you know that not seeing the bride before the ceremony is rooted in old tradition? In the times of arranged marriages as business transactions, the father of the bride prohibited the groom from seeing the bride before the ceremony so that he couldn’t change his mind — crazy, right? Not seeing the bride beforehand didn’t have as much to do with bad luck as it did with dowry insurance.

Today, it’s become something that each couple decides for themselves. On the fence about seeing your man before saying “I Do”? Here are 5 reasons why, as a photographer (and married lady) that I think you should do them.

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  1. It gives you a protected, intimate moment with just you and your spouse! No one else around, just you two. More than likely, this is going to .be some of your only alone time during the craziness of your wedding day. A first look is a way for you to get extra time with your love!

  2. You can read your vows (or sometimes couples read letters) to each other beforehand. More often than not, couples today are writing their own vows, and a first look gives you an opportunity to privately read these vows (and practice saying them out loud) to each other before reading them in front of everyone. What a special moment!

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3. You get more pictures! Doing a first look beforehand allows you to not only have special moments with your boo, but it allows you to get more pictures together. When my couples do a first look, they get that special moment captured, but we also immediately go into couples pictures without the pressure of the impending reception to rush us. We can take our time :)

4. You have the option of doing bridal party and family pictures beforehand too! One of the things that unavoidably takes the longest is getting all those family pictures and bridal party pictures done after the wedding. They’re so important, but oftentimes stressful as you’re waiting for just a few minutes alone with your new spouse (because after the ceremony you do family pictures, bridal party pictures, thennnnn bride and groom pics).

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5. And finally….it ultimately provides more opportunity to hang out with your family and friends! Your time in between the ceremony and reception shortens, and you’re not left with that awkward time slot to fill for the rest of your guests! Bottom line: more. partying.

Ultimately, doing a first look is up to you and your fiancé. But the best part? It’s YOUR decision, and that’s the beauty of it!