Thursday, February 20, 2014

We Got Married-- Seeing Each Other Before the Ceremony

 Welcome to post #3 of the wedding series!  Read on to find out what Ben and I thought about doing a "first look," meeting up to see each other BEFORE the wedding ceremony AND the impact that it's had on our marriage.  Oooo...this is gonna be good.

JEWEL:  What did you think about the idea of doing a first look before we actually did it?

BEN:  I didn’t even know it was a thing that people did. I thought there was just the traditional “you don’t see the bride.” That’s what’s always in the movies. That’s what I saw growing up.  I didn’t know the first look was a thing until I heard it from Vicki, our photographer.  

I would say it was the same for me except since I had been doing research on wedding photography from the very beginning of our engagement, I knew that people did first looks.  So, when Vicki, first suggested that we see each other before the wedding, what was your initial thought and reaction to it?

That’s not what you’re supposed to do!  But she really sold it, you know?  When she actually dove into why it really made a lot of sense, it seemed like something I could get down with.  

I just remember her saying that it would be a really great way to get pictures of us together before the wedding and that it would also cut down on the time that we were doing pictures after the wedding.

I wasn’t so much worried about the time, but one thing she did say, stuck with me. And that was that it’s very difficult to capture the expression on the groom’s face or both the bride’s and the groom’s faces during the big reveal.  A) Because they’re 40 yards apart and B) because they’re in a room full of their peers.  The only way to get that honest reaction is to isolate them and have a private reveal.

JEWEL:  I think I definitely wanted to do it because it seemed like a great time to spend time together before the wedding. If you remember,  we weren’t really together by ourselves after that.   We came together and took our pictures, but then we were around the bridal party, then it was the ceremony and the family pictures.  And then it was the reception. And we did sit by ourselves, but you know the first look was actually one of the few times or the only times that we spent any time together.  

BEN:  That and the wedding night.

Um. Ok. So when you first saw me what was your reaction?

I wasn’t really thinking anything.  I just kind of turned around and there you were all dolled up.  And it was nice. It was a really nice feeling.  There was sort of that moment of realization that, yes,  you got dressed up and, yes,  you woke up and all your buddies were there and you have a purpose in mind.  But it actually doesn’t strike you that it’s your wedding day until you see your fiancĂ©, your bride.

When I first saw you I had a similar reaction.  I wasn’t really thinking anything.

But yeah I can wear a suit any day of the week.  But you don’t exactly see a woman wearing a wedding dress every day.  

That’s true.  And if I was thinking anything it was “Oh! Ben looks nice!”  If I was thinking any thoughts it was probably that.  And I also remember being actually, kind of nervous. I remember being kind of bubbly.

I might have been nervous for a couple of seconds when I was walking there. And I remember feeling hot and sweaty. And there was the back-to-back position we stood in, and your dress felt weird. And I was like, this is scratchy! How is she putting up with this?!  Because your poof was pressed up against my legs! There were a couple of brief moments of nerves.  But to have those out before the ceremony actually made the ceremony a more enjoyable experience.

Yeah, I’d say so, too.

I knew what to expect. And that’s that you weren’t going to come down the aisle a hot mess.  I wasn’t nervous. Everything was good.

JEWEL:  What impact do you feel like us seeing each other before the wedding had on the ceremony?

BEN:  I wouldn’t say that at any moment I was nerve-wrecked.  But if there were any nerves, the first look helped make everything a more enjoyable experience.  I wasn’t worried about anything.  I was pretty sure you were going to show up.

Pretty sure? Hmm.

Because you don’t want to waste money.  But yeah, it just made everything go smoothly. I was happy to get our pictures done before the second round with all the family.  

For the ceremony, I still felt nervous.  But it was mostly about walking down the aisle and seeing you, and I didn’t want to look you straight in the eye, even though we had just seen each other.  But for me, the first look didn’t really change anything. I was still really happy to see you and get married and I feel like the first look made me a little more relaxed during the ceremony.  Maybe even too relaxed?

Had you been drinking?

No!  I guess at the ceremony I felt like it was just you and me standing up there even though there were all these people around us.

I don’t know if the first look caused that.  I think it probably helped you get rid of any remaining nerves about us being up there together, though. And as far you being nervous about falling all over yourself and being worried about that, well that’s just, you know, your own personal issues.

JEWEL:  There is the tradition that says it’s  bad luck to see the bride on the wedding day, before the ceremony takes place.  Have you seen any signs of bad luck?

BEN:  Cats are bad luck.

Cats ARE bad luck.

I’m not that superstitious, so I’m really not worried about that.  The tradition was just somebody who once said the bride and groom shouldn’t see each other because that will make it more special. And that just kind of evolved into the modern day tradition. And that’s fine.  It’s special in its own way.  But it can also be special an hour or two earlier.

I haven’t really seen any signs that we’re headed for doom in our marriage because we saw each other before the wedding.

No, the doom is for other reasons. Not because of that.