Then we did a first look. I know there are plenty of strong opinions about the first look, but here are mine:
1. The father walking the daughter down the aisle while the groom looks on from the altar, seeing her there for the first time, is a modern invention. Or maybe, a reinvention of a really old tradition where the bride and groom met on their wedding day and the father didn't so much walk her down the aisle as drag her there. Either way, not really helping your case.
2. Both of our religions support the seeing-each-other-before-the-wedding custom. In Judaism this is called the veiling ceremony, where the groom literally inspects his bride and then puts the veil down on her before the ceremony so he can't be tricked into marrying the wrong woman (a la Jacob in Genesis, being given Leah when he wanted Rachel). In the Catholic tradition, the bride and groom actually walk down the aisle together as ministers of a sacrament, so they would have had to see each other beforehand.
3. It's our wedding, about our being together forever... why should we spend the entire day being forcibly separated?
ceremony together rather than cloak-and-daggerishly trying to avoid bumping into each other. Being around Dan makes me (naturally high strung and stressed out) calm, one of the many reasons I wanted to marry him anyways. (Mom calls him the lion tamer.) So there was no way I would have wanted to spend those very stressful pre-ceremony hours freaking out, when just having him next to me makes me calmer.
After the first look we took some wedding party and family pictures.
|With the parents!|
Then Dan and I went to take some other pictures before the guests arrived.
It was great to get the majority of the family pictures out of the way before the ceremony, so we had time to enjoy our cocktail hour and reception rather than be dragged off for constant pictures. We kept the family pictures close family only- parents, siblings and spouses, grandparents. Expanding it beyond that would have been huge- aunts, uncles, and first cousins made up basically the entire rest of the guest list.
|Dan's side of the family.|
The bigger family pictures for the most part didn't happen because corralling everyone during the reception was too difficult. If I had it to do again, I would have scheduled this more rigorously for cocktail hour and had the DJ call out family groups to meet us in whatever picture location, one after another.
We hired a bus to do a few runs between the hotel and the venue. Although they were near each other, we figured this way nobody would have to worry about drinking and driving, or getting lost. We had the bus get to the hotel at 5 and then go back and forth three times to shuttle people. I was nervous about the scheduling being tight but the last bus came about 10 minutes to 6, so we started the ceremony right on time at 6.
to be continued....