When Should The Groom Get His First Look?

By Dana LaRue, Published Feb 27, 2012

According to ye olde wedding tradition, the bride and groom shouldn't see each other on the wedding day until the actual wedding. While there is plenty to keep the couple in their separate corners on the morning of the wedding, many couples feel that this idea is a little dated. Truth be told, I had a delicious brunch with my hubs on the morning of our wedding. Looking back, it was a nice and relaxed way to start our big day - and it certainly hasn't jinxed us so far. 

Many couples arrange for a "first look" on the wedding day - an intimate, semi-private moment BEFORE the ceremony where they can see each other in their wedding garb for the first time (and have their wedding photographer capture the special moment). This is a super sweet idea - and I've seen some adorable "first look" photos on the wedding blogosphere. But I wonder - does a "first look" put too much pressure on either party to react a certain way?

We polled our Facebook audience about the "first look" photo sesh vs. the old school "no peeks pre-ceremony" viewpoint, and we received some most interesting commentary! Reader Sara H. said "We took all of our photos before the ceremony, but arranged to see each other in the chapel privately before the photo sesh. I don't regret a thing! It gave us more time to celebrate and enjoy what we worked so hard to pull off." Reader Jade M. expressed a similar viewpoint: "We plan on doing the first look. It gives us the opportunity to catch the emotion without getting in the way of the ceremony. Also it gives us a chance to enjoy our cocktail hour and mingle with our guests." A valid point - we hate to miss out on ANY cocktail hour, ever. 

I was perfectly fine with seeing my man the morning of, but I didn't want him to see me in my wedding dress till I was trotting down the aisle - you know, so he could be smacked in the face by my INTENSE beauty...interestingly enough, our brides told us that many of their grooms had strong feelings about NOT seeing them before they walked down the aisle. The ladies were all open to the idea of a "first look", but their men wanted something a little more traditional. "My hubby to be doesn't want a first look. He's very traditional." said Victoria W. "He doesn't even wanna hear about what the dress looks like!" Other grooms had less well-defined thoughts about the whole thing. Jessica A told us:"I just asked me fiance and he just said 'I dunno. I want to be surprised, I guess.' But he IS playing Mass Effect 2."

But what do you think, brides? When should a couple see each other for the first time on their wedding day? Is the "first look" something that's here to stay, or is it just a fleeting photog trend?

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