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Stop thinking with your Rabbit’s Foot! | Wedding Traditions Good or Bad? | First Look?


Did you know it’s Bad Luck to have your Wedding on a Saturday?  Here are a few other Wedding Traditions you may want to reconsider.

Ancient Romans studied pig entrails to determine the luckiest time to marry.

In some countries couples traditionally cross-dressed to confuse evil spirits.

The Catholic tradition of “posting the banns” to announce a marriage originated as a way to ensure the bride and groom were not related.

If the younger of two sisters marry first, the older sister must dance barefoot at the wedding or risk never landing a husband.

 A bride who sees a nun or a monk on the way to her wedding is said to be cursed with a barren life dependent on charity.

Back when a bride could be forced by a captor to marry, the groom would have to carry her against her will into her new home. (Hence the tradition of carrying her over the threshold)

In the early 1900’s a guide for society women noted that in addition to bringing terrible luck, Saturday weddings were terribly unfashionable.

A woman was once considered her father’s property until she married, and then she was her husband’s property. At the wedding, the Dad would literally “give her away,” transferring ownership to the husband.

And finally…

The “First look”

During the time of arranged marriages if the couple saw each other before the ceremony it would give them an opportunity to change their minds if they didn’t like what they saw. The groom could back out if he thought his bride was… well… ugly.

So, Are you going to have a Wednesday wedding instead of a Saturday? Do you think any of these traditions are absurd? 

Let me add one disclaimer before we continue. You can probably get away with not doing photos prior to the ceremony if any of the following are true.

  • If your wedding is taking place in more than one location. (And you have more than an hour before the start of the cocktail hour to compensate for travel and settling in.)
  • You have an extra 45 minutes between the ceremony and cocktail hour.
  • You do not have formal family pictures to capture and you have no bridal party.
  • You have a 90-120 minute cocktail hour.
  • You have no desire to mingle and celebrate with your guests and don’t mind spending the cocktail hour away from everyone.

Typically, ceremony start time and cocktail start time are right on top of each other.

eg: 4:30 Ceremony-5:00 Cocktail hour-6:00 Reception

If the above is similar to your proposed schedule, It’s not really OK to inform your immediate family and close friends that they cannot participate in the festivities because of Family Picture Time.  By the time the ceremony is over, they’ll be ready to relax and imbibe and will not be joyous over standing for pictures for another 20 minutes.

An answer to this might be, well, the caterer will be bringing over some hors-d’oeuvres and drinks.

So, you’ll be eating during pictures? (Which will cause this time to move even slower than usual.)

Most if not all photographers require 15-30 minutes for family formals and 10-15 minutes for bridal party which leaves about 15 minutes for photos of the two of you. 

However, what does happen and what will happen is that you’ll have to use the restroom, as will your bridal party and family. You’ll lose one or two family members to the bar and have to send someone out to capture them. You’ll end up losing about ten minutes there. (If we’re lucky)

What we’re explaining here is based on experience and history, its based on the many hundreds of weddings our Photographers been a part of. And yes it happens regardless of how “Type A” you are or how organized your family may normally be.

Typically with most weddings, a day will go like this:

2:00 Hair and makeup complete, Time to get dressed.

2:30 Couples Portraits

3:15 Bridal Party Pictures

3:30 Family Photos (You will have about 30 minutes to refresh and relax prior to the ceremony.)

4:30 ceremony

5:00 Enjoy Cocktail Hour

With the above schedule, everything is smooth and easy, there is no rushing and frantically herding family as they dip into the champagne and canapes. No one is looking for Grandpa and your niece isn’t throwing a sleepy three-year-old fit.

In all honesty, we’ve never heard one couple regret the first look. However, we have heard couples regret NOT doing a first look. You know it doesn’t make sense logistically, but traditionally….. well, the tradition is what you’re struggling with here- isn’t it?

You have to look at it logistically. If it doesn’t make sense, why would you do it? You really don’t want to miss any portion of your wedding if you can help it. And you can help it. It’s time to stop thinking with your rabbit’s Foot and start thinking with the clock in mind.

Also, it’s very important to mention that you hired an artist to document every moment of your wedding. Give them an opportunity to capture those moments. It’s a huge injustice for you not to allow yourself the time to really be in the moment and have those moments captured. Your wedding day is first and foremost your wedding day. NOT a photo shoot. By allowing time to thoroughly enjoy your day and the events, you end up with photos of not just you and your family and friends, but you, your family and friends enjoying each other.

If you’re afraid that you won’t have that special moment. You will, and you’ll have two! And you’ll be going into the ceremony together, as a team.

Also, please note that this is NOT an “Anti-Tradition” post. You can certainly keep these “traditions” alive. As long as you plan, anticipate and schedule for them appropriately. Remember: On your wedding day, things that may normally take ten minutes, will take thirty. The arms of the clock will spin faster than you’ve ever seen and before you know it will all just be a memory. And sadly a wedding day does not include “Extra Hours.”

Make the most of your day and most of all, trust your professionals. Your photographer will always guide you in the right direction regarding your photos and timing in general.


First Look Thoughts from Couples…

  • “Our first look was an amazing experience. It gave us 30 minutes together just for us and added 2.5 hours onto our wedding day that we actually got to spend together. We had an entire hour prior to the ceremony where we got to relax together with each other, and our parents because we had already seen each other. We all got to wait in anticipation for the ceremony together, and it was very special.  We also have pictures of my husband looking absolutely thrilled to see me walking down the aisle, so I can’t believe doing a first look ruined that moment at all.”


  • “It was important to both of us to read our own vows, but I was so nervous that I wouldn’t be able to get the words out. The first look helped to get some of the jitters out of the way. Plus, it was a perfect, intimate moment that gave us lots of great pictures!”


  • “It was mine and my husband’s favorite part of our day. It was such an honest and raw moment between us. There wasn’t the pressure and anxiety of hundreds of eyes watching us. Still brings tears to my eyes.”


  • “I started off firm with no first look, as I felt there’s something so magical about the opening of the church doors and seeing each other for the first time. However, we did decide on doing the first look, and it was the best choice ever! It allowed us to enjoy more of the day together and with our bridal party. Plus, it allowed for our amazing wedding photographer to spend more time and take even more amazing images of the day!”


  • “We did a first look and it was awesome! While I am a fan of tradition and the groom seeing the bride for the first time at the ceremony, this made more sense as we did photos beforehand (would have been too dark after) and I’m really happy we did. We got to spend time together afterward, and the photos are super cute and emotional.” 


  • “I’d say that 80% of my couples do a first look. That “down the aisle “ thing is nerve wracking for everyone, it goes by in a nanosecond. It’s tough for photographers (and some of this is because all your friend’s cell phones are competing, and it pretty much forces you to spend all day without your partner.) A few my couples have said that their first look was literally the only time they had to spend alone with each other. The end of the aisle is still highly emotional, significant and lovely.”


  • “I just did first look May 25th and I’m soooo glad I did! My fiancé (now husband) cried seeing me and I’m glad we had that moment. It was so special and did not take away from walking down the aisle at all. Im happy we did it.”


  • “We’re doing a first look because I want to get all the pictures taken care of before the wedding, so I won’t have to worry about missing the cocktail hour. I just want to spend my entire time with friends and family!”


Cheers! CCCW