Seeing the Bride Before the Wedding

June 13, 2013
Words by Jennifer Stein
Photos courtesy of Grant Oakes

Supposedly modern science dispels superstitions, but as for me, I will hold dearly onto the beliefs that bad things happen in threes. You must kiss someone at the advent of a new year to ensure those affections will continue throughout the next 12 months, and, most importantly, the groom must not see the bride before the ceremony on their wedding day.

The week of celebration is culminating in your ceremony in a few hours, and you are elated. But thoughts are lingering about in your head: “Did I really hear that I am supposed to . . . ? or “What is my lovely bride up to this morning?” or “What about . . . ?” Superstitions came about from observations of events over a period of time; it is best to heed their warnings. Planning has gone on for months. Fine details have been combed over. Therefore, do not see or trouble your bride the day of the wedding. She has boundless things to accomplish and does not need to be bothered with trivialities or other matters that could be answered by a myriad of others. Bad luck begins with misunderstandings and curtness from a frazzled bride and a clueless groom.

The question then becomes, “What is a groom to do before the wedding?” Really this time should be a celebration of fraternity. Your friends have traveled far, and this is the one time during the fervor of the week that you will have time with them without the distractions of civilities and protocol. Make the most of it by making a plan for these hours. Begin your day by having breakfast with your groomsmen. Not only will this allow time to fuel up, but it will also allow those who may have ingested too much cheer the night before a few minutes to catch up.

After that, take off for something of interest or adventure. Be sure when planning to capitalize on the wisdom of locals. Explain to them what the aim of your morning is, and often they will have suggestions for and connections to off-the-beaten-path attractions that will create memorable experiences.

While organizing, take into consideration the following:

1. Limit alcohol and risk. Risk can lead to physical harm, while alcohol can do much worse later in the day. These two bring black clouds to any wedding day. 

2. Ensure you and your groomsmen arrive in a timely manner to all appointments. Lateness has a way of creating a domino effect with later happenings. 

3. Solicit the help of a wedding coordinator, family member, or friend who will tend to the details of accoutrements and etiquette for you and your groomsmen including clothes, flowers, refreshments, and other details important to you. Provide them a list of particulars, and let them do the worrying – not you. 

4. Do not forget the gifts. This time is ideal to give your men a token of your friendship and appreciation of them being with you that day. If possible, add the nice touch of giving a gift that is not only useful and meaningful, but that also ties in with your activity. 

Finally, you may be wondering why I choose to believe in those three superstitions. Believing that bad things happen in threes keeps hope going during dark times. Kissing someone on the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve marks a moment when all things are new and there is only anticipation for the best ahead. A groom not seeing the bride before the wedding not only allows the bride to focus on her many affairs of the day without distraction and the groom to be with his men, but this short absence also culminates in a breathless moment when she appears at the end of the aisle. May she take your breath away in that instant. 

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