For centuries it was customary for the groom to not see the bride before the ceremony. It was often thought of as bad luck. After the ceremony the bride and groom would be rushed off to consumate their union. Flash forward a few centuries and the tradition was to take portraits with the family after the ceremony and then walk around to greet their guests during dinner so they could thank them for coming and recieve their gift. Decades later the tradition may have changed again.
The option for a first look has become about 50% Tradition and 50% Trend. Some couples still opt to not see each other until the cermeony while others want to get it out of the way. While we understand and respect tradition there is something to be said for a first look. It has it's benefits:
The first look is generally meant to be an intimate time between the couple. They will see eachother for the first time and it should be special and private moment. Though some couples have allowed their wedding party to be present. In some cases we have even video'd the first look and capture audio of them talking to eachother. The emotions that get captured are timeless and unmatched.
Seeing each other before the cermony allows the photographer to get all your potraits done earlier. Giving you more time to get the photos you may really want.
Getting your portraits done earlier allows the couple to enjoy their cocktail hour that they've paid for. Why should the guests be the only one to enjoy all the food and conversation! This allows you to say hello to all your friends and family as well.
Being able to visit with your guests during cocktail hour also means you have time to sit, relax and enjoy your meals that again you paid for. You'd be amazed at how many couples dont get to eat their meals because they are busy walking around saying hello to their guests.
So while traditions are fun (and we love traditions), your allowed to make new ones. If you still prefer to not see each other till the ceremony well there's no school like the old school. But whatever you decide to do, make it fit your style.