Surprises and Secrets – Part 2


Just when I thought I’d wrapped up one topic (for now), something comes up so inexplicably close to my last post that I couldn’t help but continue the trend of writing about surprises and secrets. I’ve read about this bridal industry trend before (one that some photographers like and some hate, apparently) and this is one thing that I actually haven’t formed any opinion about. In some ways, I kind of like the idea and in some ways, we’d be breaking tradition and going against what a lot of people think is the “right thing” to do.

Yesterday, Alison at the Knotty Bride posted about a photo called “the First Look,” taken just before the ceremony. The bride and groom meet each other privately before they walk down the aisle to see each other and share a special moment without the eyes of hundreds of family and friends watching their every move.

More “First Look” photos from yesterday’s TKB post

These photos are so sweet, and I love the idea of the bride and groom being able to share a private moment on their day…which will probably be a rarity during the entire time of the wedding with so many guests to entertain. It’s not necessarily about just the photos (which are gorgeous and emotion-filled and real), but also about taking the edge off of the ceremony. I have a feeling both Shaun and I are going to be very emotional the first time we see each other.

Of course, those of you who read on Tuesday know that this is exactly the opposite of the advice that I’ve been given by many, many people. Those who know me know my inability to keep a surprise for long, so they keep reminding me how wonderful that moment will be when Shaun first sees me walking down the aisle. But the thing is, I still have to keep everything a surprise until the day of the wedding. It’s just a matter of when we see each other first. And I’ll be just as excited to see him all spiffed up as I’m sure he’ll be to see me.

It bucks tradition, though. And while Shaun and I aren’t quite wild enough to qualify for Offbeat Bride, there are several things that we’re doing (or not doing) that are already causing a little bit of a stir in the family. My family is Catholic, so the fact that we’re not getting married in a church was surprising to many people. The fact that we’re getting married outside took that one step further. And our officiant is a woman. None of this may seem earth shattering to most of my friends, but these seemingly little things can be a big deal when you’re the first to do them (at least where the family is concerned). My mom even told me that we’d probably have more family members at the ceremony than usual because “they’re nosy and want to see how all these different things turn out.” I know Shaun and I will be happier at the end of the day for doing things in a way that suits us both. Which brings us back to this “first look” vs. “not until the aisle” debate, and whether it’s yet another element of tradition that we want to do away with. At this point, I’m not sure.

To sum, I’m not sure where we stand on this. Shaun and I discussed it once and he said, “sounds cool. I like the idea of seeing you before, but it’s up to you.” If that answer doesn’t sound genuine…that what I’m worried about too. I really want this day to be just as much about him as it is about me, but sometimes it’s hard to get his honest opinion. One final thought on the topic, and hopefully we’ll discuss and then put “secret and surprise” posts to rest for a while: Alison put it this way in her post yesterday, “Oh, and if you’re worried that the high level of excitement, anticipation and raw emotion will be lost for the ceremony…It won’t.  In fact, you’ll be a bit more relaxed about the whole thing, so you can actually fully enjoy and be present for it, mentally.  But that’s just my two cents.”


3 responses »

  1. I didn’t realize that you guys aren’t getting married in a church! Good. I mean…I don’t plan on getting married in a church unless one set of parents really insisted on it. So I love the thought of an outside wedding, because I want to get married in my parents garden.

    Also, I’m obviously not traditional in most senses. Living with Chris before we get married (eventually….), getting married outside, most things in my life. But I don’t want to do the first look thing. I want the first time he sees me to be when I walk down the aisle. I want it to be kind of a build up. I want him to just stare for 20 seconds. I want to look down the aisle at him until I get to him. I know what ever you decide will work for you. That’s just what I see for myself 🙂

  2. I definitely understand where you’re coming from with the first look, Princess! That’s why I’m having trouble deciding with this one. I can see both the pros and cons of each. I think I might just have to leave this one up to Shaun and make him decide whether he wants the photo or the aisle. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Getting Some Perspective « Wedding in the 920

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