One of the decisions every couple makes when scheduling their wedding day is whether to see each other before the ceremony or not. It's a hard choice, full of considerations, tradition and opinion.
Today, I'm sharing my perspective as a bride who chose to see her husband-to-be before the wedding, and is incredibly happy to have done so. My stance is purely based on emotion and memories, not because of scheduling or practicality (though those were nice side benefits!).
Picture this: it's a beautiful August afternoon. My hair is done, my dress is on, and I feel fantastic. Out of the windows, I see my friends and family arriving. I hear laughter in the main room of the house as everyone enjoys themselves before the ceremony. I'm unbelievably happy, more than just a little bit nervous, and more than anything in the world, I want to see Nathan.
My photographer smiled reassuringly as she scooted my girlfriends out of the room and had me sit on the edge of the bed. She disappeared for a moment and brought Nathan into the room with his eyes closed, guiding him around to face me before telling him, "Okay, open your eyes!"
It was real! There he was, looking the dapper devil he always does, but complimented incredibly by his foxy gray suit. Above all of that, he was positively beaming at me. Beaming! Like a lighthouse on a shore glowing through the fog. It was glorious, and for the briefest moment, we just looked at each other.
And then we started to cry. The happiest tears ever.
I clung to him and smiled/cried through my tears. There he was. After all these years of change and challenge and happiness, here we were! There was no other place, no other time, just this moment in time now utterly frozen in my memory like it happened to me five minutes ago.
If that had happened for a brief second while I walked down the aisle toward him, it would have been special, too. However, I felt like I could savor the moment in a room away from all my guests. I could revel in the realization that it was all true and happening to me. Also, I have the photos. The photos are some of my favorites of the day, where there is no posing and nothing but raw emotion.
This is why I believe in the power of that moment, and why I love it when couples decide to save some time away for themselves to experience this. Everyone is different, and that moment at the end of the aisle might be what you choose, with equal joy. There is incredible and ancient power in that moment as well. Take some time to think about what best fits you and your style, and how you want to remember your day. I promise, you won't regret it.