The Tradition of Not Seeing Each Other Before the Wedding

April 30th, 2014

Wedding couples hear traditions all the time; we accept it because it's tradition.  Wedding traditions happened for a reason.  We never think to ask because we don't dare question tradition.  Sill we decided to answer it for you.  Where did that superstition come from?

In countries where arranged marriages were custom marriage wasn't about love.  These marriages were business arraignments to gain something (countries, power, wealth, etc) and fathers of the brides wanted to make sure nothing messed it up.  The fear is if the groom saw the bride before the wedding, they would cancel the marriage due to the bride's appearance.  It would bring shame and dishonor to the family if this were to happen.  This tradition was set in stone in hopes that one party doesn't change their minds prior.  The bride and groom doesn't see each other at all.  When the bride goes down the aisle the groom would have no choice but to marry the bride.  It was a way to force their hand in marriage, and it would make the groom and his family look bad if he cancelled in front of everyone in attendance.

The tradition of not seeing each other before the wedding is also tied to the veil and the bride.  The veil is connected to the tradition.  The veil was a way to hide the bride's face until the ceremony began.  The groom would lift it up and see the bride after it became too late to back out.  Brides were not supposed to look at themselves before the wedding (no mirrors!).  The reflection will leave some of herself behind inside the mirror. 

This tradition is still around today, yet brides do get to choose who they marry and it's not by force.  Many couples stick with the tradition not believing that the person would leave them, but because it would jinx the marriage ceremony before it starts.  Others see the tradition as a element of surprise to make the day exciting and special.  However, many couples forgo this rule as well.  This is done to have portraits taken before the ceremony takes place and to relax the couple before marriage.  The veil is treated like an element of surprise today as opposed to hiding how she looked.  Not looking at themselves before the ceremony went out of style years ago due to the obsession with makeup and looking young.

Honoring it or not really depends on how the couple sees this tradition. Contact us for more information.

by Opie Janzer