In ancient times, arranged marriages and dowries were the norm and couples often didn’t meet before the wedding ceremony. Hiding the bride from the groom before the ceremony and veiling her, likely became a tradition out of a fear that the groom might bolt if he found her unattractive. If he wasn’t able to see her until he lifted her veil at the ceremony, it would be too late then to refuse her.
The likely origin of this tradition might be worth considering when deciding whether or not to see one another before the ceremony. While both choices lead to beautiful and unique images, we often find that bringing the bride and groom together for a quiet, intimate, and more private meeting before the ceremony creates more emotional pictures than if they see one another for the first time as the bride walks down the aisle. We also find that bringing the bride and groom together to photograph many of their posed pictures before the ceremony means a much more relaxed and comfortable day, freeing up more time after the ceremony to slow down and celebrate the day with loved ones. However, the time of day of the wedding should also be considered, as late afternoon/evening light (4 pm or so in the winter and around 6 pm in the summer) is often the preferred time for many of the posed pictures of the bride and groom alone. If a wedding is in the early to mid afternoon, it might make sense to schedule time for some pictures before the ceremony, but the majority of pictures should still probably be completed afterwards.