ericamay photography blog: thought studio.

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Wedding Traditions: The First Meeting! January 27, 2009

Okay, okay… I know what you’re thinking — since when is this considered a “tradition”? :) Most people would assume that the opposite — waiting to see each other until the wedding ceremony — is the tradition. And you’re right. But sometimes, new traditions can be so awesome… like weekly breakfast-for-dinner night at the Short house. So maybe we haven’t started this tradition yet, but after the breakfast food Jeff made for dinner tonight, I’m considering it. :)

Anyway, all I’m saying is that when you’re thinking about your wedding day and all of the traditions you want to incorporate, why not consider making amazing photography one of them? A big part of having fantastic photos of your wedding day — real, emotional, natural photos — is allowing yourself the time to be creative and be unstressed so your portraits are natural, relaxed and are a real portrayal of the JOY on your wedding day!

By seeing each other before the ceremony, you’re giving yourself time (and actually, it takes me LESS time to do all of the portraits before the wedding than to spread it out before and after!) and making a point to give you and your soon-to-be spouse some alone time. Think about it… wouldn’t you like a few minutes, by yourselves (and me, somewhere nearby) to just BE there and really soak in the emotions of your big day (and let out some of those nerves)? 

I read recently that the tradition of waiting to see each other as the bride is walking down the aisle has its roots in arranged marriages — where the groom wasn’t allowed to see his bride until the ceremony, because they had no choice but to get married! :) Now, I am definitely not one to tell you that you have to see each other before. I totally respect the choice to wait and to save that “first look” for the wedding ceremony. It’s a choice that you have to make… but while you’re considering, I thought I’d throw in my two cents!

Having a private first meeting makes for some of the BEST images of the type of joy that I’m there to capture on your big day. What’s that? You want to see some examples? :) Okay… I’ve given you three here — you know the drill! These are some of my favorite “first meeting moments” from 2008 weddings, and you get to vote for your favorite set!


#1 – Seth and Jessica. I love Seth’s nervous-yet-cool face, and the pure happiness in Jessica’s expression when they finally saw each other!



#2 – Nicolas and Julie. I love the progression here (there are actually several in the series) — smile, hug, kiss, smile, smile, smile… :)




#3 – Matt and Becky. I just can’t get enough of Becky’s expression in these photos. I love the location of this first meeting (that’s in the lobby of their church), and the princess-like feel of Becky descending the stairs!




Voting time! :)


If you’re one of my awesome 2009 couples and you’re trying to decide if you want your portraits before or after the ceremony, e-mail or call and we’ll talk about your wedding schedule with both options — so you can make the decision that works best with your vision for your special day!


4 Responses to “Wedding Traditions: The First Meeting!”

  1. Emily Beaty Says:

    Love that second image – how you’re peeking in from behind the leaves. I also love how you captured #3 descending the stairs. :)

  2. Rebecca Witte Says:

    I can’t imagine not having met up with Cody before the ceremony. The pictures turned out great and it really gave us time to work the crowd and greet all of our guests afterwards…because for us, that was the hardest part and we would have failed miserably if we hadn’t done our pictures beforehand.

  3. rachel Says:

    I always thought I would have wanted to wait to see Jonathan. But honestly, having that special time to talk, pray, and comment on how great the other person looked—well, it calmed any nervousness I might have had…and the moment I walked down the aisle was still as special as I had always dreamed it would be. :)

    p.s….i love the one of the girl descending down the stairs–shows off her dress wonderfully

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