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  • 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 and bride/groom pictures. If that is not a rush, I don’t know what is. Throw another variable into the mix and you may not even get to take the pictures with daylight.  I can’t stand when I have to use a flash for pictures.  I just don’t think the pictures are as natural as with daylight.  If push comes to shove, it is what it is, but not if you can control it. A reveal gives you plenty of time to get all of these pictures. 


Leading up to and during the wedding there are so many things/variable you have to take care/account for that you forget to live in the moment and take it all in.  The stress can be overwhelming!  I am not going to lie, I get a little stressed as well when I am looking at the timeline and start to fall behind schedule.  I plan out a timeline to capture all the pictures I wanted to get and what the bride wants to capture.  When things run late, it cuts into those pictures.  This stress on everyone makes things a little cloudy and you are not “Living in the moment” of your wedding day.  If you have the opportunity to relieve some of that stress, isn’t it worth it?  I want you to live in the moment and not just relive it through the photos. I want you to be present with your guests. A “Reveal” gives you the flexibility to get all your posed pictures totally out of the way so you can engage with the people you love the most


At the end of the day, I want the bride and groom to be happy.  I will accommodate you any way that I can.  If you don’t want to do the reveal, I am perfectly fine with that and respect your decision.  It’s not about me, it’s about you!  I have yet to have a bride or groom regret doing the reveal, but to each his own.  I am just happy and honored that you have allowed me to take part in and capture your special day. 

About Kerry Paradis Photography

I was born and raised in Perry hall (Baltimore area) and have been living in Harford County Maryland for close to 15 years.  I have two daughters that keep me very busy and a very understanding husband that helps keep me sane J I love all kinds of photography including Newborns, Weddings and Family.  For the past several years I performed shoots out of my house, but recently opened a photography studio in Joppa, Maryland next to the “The Great Hall” Wedding Venue at the Millstad.  My studio allows the perfect lighting to capture the best pictures and it is surrounded by 40 acres of property that is used by a ballet studio and gymnastics facility.  There are plenty of places to photograph! I also have some favorite beautiful spots in the area that I like to photograph at as well.  Whether you are looking to capture the first days of your baby’s life, the important times with your family, Senior Portraits for your High School Graduation, or walking down the aisle on your special wedding day, I would love for you to consider me!  I do not take any of my business for granted and feel blessed to do what I love for my career.  I invite you to check out my website and subscribe to my email list for exclusive discounts and updates.  I try and write these blogs in a way that might answer some questions you may have.  If you ever have any ideas for my blog, shoot me an email and I will be happy to see what I can do. 

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