Many of the bridal couples that I meet with have the idea of not seeing each other prior to the ceremony. The bride typically expresses the idea of the groom seeing her for the first time as
she walks down the aisle. Well that would be great if there was a 2-3 hour break before the reception!
The majority of the "typical local weddings" that I photograph have a bridal party of 8-10 and several hundred guests at the reception which usually follows closely in time after the ceremony.
So when do we do all those beautiful portraits of the bride and groom together and with all the other members of the bridal party and family? Let's use logic! At some point in the day Harry will see Sally...it's a question of when! My solution is a "First Meeting Scene" Picture this, I put the groom in a position with his back to the approaching bride. When the bride is within 8-10 feet. I tell Harry to turn around. I capture his expression as well as the brides in one shot. They come together and Harry actually has a chance to tell Sally how beautiful she looks! After all it's not ceremony time yet!
This approach opens the door to putting the two main characters together with all the other important members of the bridal party and families when everyone is a peak freshness! There was a time when this approach was bad luck but that was in the 12th century and the marriage was arranged! In contrast, many brides who wait until the ceremony to see their groom for the first time are on sensory overload. The "First Meeting Scene" is a relief valve and puts the bride and groom in a position to enjoy the company of all the special people that are closest to them.
In the 30+ years I have been photographing weddings I have never heard of anyone regretting this approach. How many wedding tips are that solid?