Should You See Each Other Before the Ceremony?: Tradition vs. Practicality

Beach wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

For most of my couples, tradition is not at the forefront of their wedding plans…except when it comes to walking down the aisle. While many couples are eschewing the usual wedding cake, bouquet toss, and especially the garter, several brides and grooms are holding to tradition by not seeing each other before they meet at the altar. In terms of your wedding photos, is there an advantage to seeing each other before hand?

Bridal portrait for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Quite simply put, yes. If you see each other before you walk down the aisle, you have the advantage of being able to take care of all of your wedding photos – from the bride and groom portraits to the family formals – before the ceremony even begins. This way you as a couple are completely free to enjoy your cocktail hour and reception without being pulled away from the party. With more time spent before the ceremony, you end up having more free time at the end to enjoy yourself.

In an ideal world, here is the amount of time it takes to shoot wedding photos:

  • Photos of the bride alone – 20 minutes
  • Photos of the groom alone – 15 minutes
  • Photos of the bride and groom together – 30 minutes
  • Photos of the bridal party with the bride and groom – 20 minutes
  • Photos of the family with the bride and groom – 30 minutes

These times will differ depending upon how large your group is (smaller family = less time, large bridal party of eight or more = more time), and if you have additional photo locations to visit (then factor in transportation time from location to location).

Beach wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Beach wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

If you want to still have a spark of tradition in your wedding portraits, then you can have what we call in the business a ‘first look’ or ‘reveal.’ This is where we have the groom located in a designated spot. The bride comes up from behind and taps the groom on the shoulder. The groom turns around, and voilà! He sees the bride for the first time in her wedding dress, albeit not at the altar. This is a real moment, but it is set up in a staged location (so I will call it quasi-documentary photography). The emotion and look of surprise is real, but the timing is perfect.

Now let’s say you are firmly set on wanting to follow tradition. I don’t blame you. There is nothing that can beat a groom actually seeing his bride walk down the aisle in her wedding dress for the first time. If you go this route, it does not mean you will miss your cocktail hour entirely. The trick is to get as many photos out of the way beforehand so that you only have the bride and groom portraits, bride and groom with bridal party, and full family formals left after the ceremony. This means that photos of the bride alone (:20), groom alone (:15), as well as of the bride with her bridesmaids and family (:20) and of the groom with his groomsmen and family (:20) should be taken care of ahead of time. The remaining time would be as follows:

  • Photos of the bride and groom together – 30 minutes
  • Photos of the bridal party with the bride and groom – 15 minutes
  • Photos of the family with the bride and groom – 15 minutes

It still takes more time, but it is absolutely not the end of the world. Remember, all photo problems can be solved with time. Invest in enough time to get the photos you will remember for a lifetime.

Beach wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Accompanying the post are photos from the wedding of Joelle and Joe, whose Cold Spring Harbor beach wedding was truly touching. Following tradition, Joe saw Joelle for the first time in her wedding dress as she walked in the sand to him. The reception was held at the Woodlands at Woodbury. Enjoy the photos!

Getting ready photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Getting ready photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Getting ready photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Getting ready photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Getting ready photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Getting ready photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Groomsmen portrait for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Groomsmen portrait for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Beach wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Beach wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Beach wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Beach wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Beach wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Beach wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Beach wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Beach wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams

Woodlands at Woodbury wedding photos for an article on should you see each other before the wedding by NYC wedding photojournalist, Kelly Williams


If you would like to see more images from my portfolio, such as these beach wedding photos, please visit my website – www.KellyWilliamsPhotographer

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.