• Kerry Paradis

To Reveal Or Not To Reveal, That is the Question?

This question comes up a lot and there are some pros and cons.  Keep in mind that things have changed.  Traditionally, it was unheard of to get a first glance of the bride before the wedding, but things are changing.  My reasoning for the reveal is a little bias.  Being a photographer I am all about getting the pictures.  The more time I have, the more pictures I am able to capture.  So from a photographer’s point of view, I'm all about the reveal. 

What is a reveal?

A reveal just means that you get to see the bride before the actual ceremony.  It still happens the same day, just not the traditional way.  I make the reveal special and trust me, it is still just as exciting when we do this reveal than it would be to see the person at the actual ceremony. 

Here is a list of some of the top 5 reasons why you should consider the reveal:


If big crowds make you nervous and uneasy and you get anxiety about being the center of attention, the reveal is a good option for you. I have found that people are very nervous just before the ceremony.  There are so many thoughts that are going through your head and so much leading up to this moment that you can’t live in the moment.  Doing a first look can dramatically cut down on this anxiety.  It gives you piece of mind to know that your significant other has seen you already and is still wanting to marry you.  I know this sounds ridiculous, but it is true.  Once that initial reveal takes place earlier in the day, brides say it feels like a million pounds has been lifted off their shoulders. 


You tend to forget how many moving parts go into a wedding.  A lot of that is out of your control, but never-the-less, it can affect the pictures and your stress levels (notice how I put the pictures first, that is how you know a photographer wrote this :).  Your wedding day is not guaranteed to flow smoothly.  There are many variables like guests running late, weather, missing rings, sun setting, etc.  These things are all out of your control.  Any one of those may cause things to run behind schedule which cuts into other time.  If you get the pictures ahead of time that day, you at least know that part is out of the way and if things are running late, it is not the end of the world. 


My feedback from several couples on why they don’t want to do the reveal is because it will take away from the special moment during the ceremony.  This couldn’t be farther from the truth.  Trust me, it would take a lot for anything to take away from your special day.  You have all your family and friends there getting you all pumped up, you won’t come off the wedding high for a few days to a few weeks.  You will still get the butterflies when you see the groom standing up there waiting for you and completely forget you saw them a few minutes/hours ago. 


If you are like most brides, you go on Pinterest and look for all kinds of pictures you want to take.  The one thing you don’t consider at this time is how much time you will actually have to get all the pictures that you want.  Think about the following scenario, you spent months on Pinterest and looking at friend’s galleries, clipping and pinning those nice, bright wedding pictures with the natural light and the sunset. You have a 5:30 p.m. ceremony time and the sunset is 6:45 p.m. sharp (you can’t tell the sun to wait because things are running late), which means you still have about 10-20 minutes of available light before things start getting too dark for natural light. It sounds like enough time but what happens if the ceremony doesn’t actually start until 5:30 p.m. (ceremonies run late all the time). That leaves you with 20-30 minutes for the ceremony and 30 minutes or so for family, bridal party an