You've heard it before, the Groom is not supposed to see the Bride before the wedding. It's bad luck. It's a tradition. You can't do it. And while there is plenty to do to keep the bride and groom in their separate corners on the morning of the wedding, many couples feel this is an outdated tradition (including me). Honestly, my husband and I not only saw each other that morning, we ate breakfast together with some of our guests and we had a few moments alone exchanging gifts and it was absolutely perfect. There was no pressure or work to keep us hidden. We did exactly what we wanted. And so should you.
The superstition/tradition originated from a time when most marriages were arranged and grooms didn't know who he was marrying (I can't imagine this). Back then, there was a possibility he might take one look at her and run...deciding not to proceed with the marriage. So the parents took charge and said the first time he should see her is at the altar, thus placing more pressure on him to marry her (isn't there already enough pressure?).
Now-a-days many people agree this is an outdated tradition. Many people participate in the "First Look" and it has become a very special moment on a very busy day - the Wedding Day. The First Look is often coordinated with the photographer to find a somewhat secluded, intimate or private space where the couple can meet and see each other before the wedding ceremony. You'll see many pictures of the groom facing one way as his bride approaches from behind to greet him. Once they meet, they can share a moment in peace that can be beautifully captured by photo and film - First Look by Studio Vieux Carre.
As a bride, this moment provided a chance to see my groom and look him in the eyes before all the crazy started. It allowed us to relax just a bit more. As a bride, it allowed me to take a quiet moment with my soon-to-be husband and just take in the moment. There was no rush to get pictures done between the ceremony and reception. There were no people wanting hugs or wanting to talk. It was just the two of us looking into each other eyes and taking in the moment.
As a coordinator, this eases tension because the bride and groom are dressed, ready and in the same place well before the actual wedding; therefore they're less likely to have logistical issues arriving to the ceremony on time.
By no means am I trying to convince any couple to do something they don’t feel comfortable with. If you're a traditional couple, go for it and wait until the ceremony? As I've said it before, it is YOUR day, so remember it the way you want.
As for me, I did it my way. I didn't care about tradition. I ate breakfast with my soon-to-be husband and enjoyed a moment or two with him again before the ceremony. I loved every minute of it.
If you choose to do the first look, it's important to coordinate this with all vendors and parties involved - coordinator, photographer, and videographer. Do you want your parents or his parents to see? Mine watched from an area which allowed us our moment but still allowed them to take part in it from a distance.