I’ve had couples tell me that getting ready together was one of the best things they could have done on their day. Anticipation about getting married is stressful enough, and having your partner by your side helps ease all kinds of giddy nerves.

Did you know the tradition of not seeing your partner before your wedding ceremony actually came from when brides and grooms only met for the first time, on their wedding day. Back when weddings were more of a business transaction and dad's didn't want anyone doing a runner - we are talking ancient history (okay not really - maybe more like 100 years ago).

There is nothing wrong if you want to take either route. Despite it's beginnings, the tradition can hold a lot of sentiment and be special if that's what your heart is set on doing. I'm just here to highlight the pro's of getting ready together.

It’s romantic as heck

On the day that you are marrying your best friend, how sweet would it be to help each other get ready. You get to wake up and share breakfast together and can even use the time to say special words of appreciation for each other. I’ve seen some couples use this time to read letters they wrote for each other, or exchange sentimental gifts.

Jake helping Kaleisha put on her flower crown before they elope mt baw baw

It’s calming (as heck)

I relate this one on a spiritual level. I can over think a lot and I’m not sure if my wedding day will be an exception. All I’d want is my best friend by my side to walk through it together, to talk through it together and journey together. It would be nice to share some quiet time with them before the day picks us up and sweeps us off our feet.

Nick Kissing Eden as they get ready together before eloping

‘Together time’ can be rare on your day

Yes, you read that right. Getting hitched is a wild ride. While I shoot a lot of elopement's where the couple genuinely get to spend most of the day with just each other and maybe a few choice friends, I’ve done my fair share of decent sized weddings.

Not only is there a lot of lead up and planning for a big wedding, sometimes it can mean you don’t get to really let it sink in and savour it with your partner - which is crazy because it’s about you two. Then on your wedding day you have guests to greet and thank, group photos, speeches, dances etc. Sometimes the first time people are truly alone with their partner is when they drive off at the end of the night.

Just like a first look, getting ready together gives you that important time to look at each other and say ‘we did this. Time to truly look back at the incredible life you have built together and cherish one another for it.

Eden's elephant tattoo

It doesn’t ruin the ‘aisle’ first look

If anything sometimes it makes it more emotional. You’ve been able to bare your heart to each other and know how significant that moment is when you walk down. It does not take away from this at all, if anything your calmed nerves means you can truly take in the moment you say 'I do.'

Sometimes there are things you want to say to each other but it’s just not possible in front of a congregation and a ceremony to get through, and it might be hours after the ceremony you can even say those things as usually group photos follow, bridal party photos, reception and so forth.

Maybe as you’ve been reading this you are thinking that all the points are good, but you still want to get ready separately, I’ve got a few ideas that can help.

1. Write a letter

Both write a letter to each other to read on the morning of your wedding day. Talk about how much you love them, how proud you are of them and what you are looking forward to in your future. This can sometimes really help ease nerves and comfort you just as you are starting your day. It can also be used in your wedding photos and become very sentimental when you look back.

Nick writing his vows before him and eden elope

2. Pray together back to back

If you want a moment together but don’t want to ruin seeing them I’ve seen couples who have met up but only back to back or at the corner of a wall so they can’t see each other but allows them to hold hands. This has given them time to pray, or say some sweet comforting words to each other before going into the biggest day of their lives.

3. Do a first look

If you still want to get ready separately, maybe because of your bridal party - you can opt for a first look. I AM A FAN, these are some of the sweetest moments. First looks give you that alone time you need before your big day and they are so personal because it’s just you and your partner.

Also on a timeline level these help incredibly with portrait photos, you can do bridal portraits straight after the first look session. Not only will you be looking your best because you just got ready, but it also takes pressure off later on the day when you’ve got guests all around you. Means you only need to sneak away for 10-15 minutes at sunset for some gorgeous dusk lighting.

First look in St Kilda with Tom & Friedi
First look in St Kilda with Tom and Friedi
Tom's excitement as he sees his wife for the first time first look

Whatever you decide to do, remember it’s your wedding day. Choose the moments that will make it special to you because that is what matters most.