Time and time again I get asked about the First Look on a wedding day? How do you know is a First Look right for you?
That moment the Bride and Groom see each other for the first time on their wedding day is magical. And this is true whether the couple chooses to wait until the bride walks down the aisle or chooses to do a “first look’ prior to the ceremony.
First looks—a private moment couples choose to see each other prior to the wedding ceremony—have become more popular over the last few years. About half of our couples this year have chosen to do a first look.
We consider ourselves people who value tradition, and wouldn’t make you choose either way. There is something so special and classic about that moment your partner walks down the isle and you see them for the first time. It is a classic tradition of the wedding day. And although I love this moment and I am usually right there crying with everyone for this sacred moment, there are definitely a few good reasons to consider a first look. Here are 3 reasons to consider a ‘first look’:
1. A FIRST LOOK CUTS THROUGH THE CHAOS OF THE DAY.
Once the ceremony begins, the day takes off quickly. A ‘first look’ is an opportunity to enjoy some quiet time alone, enjoy each other’s company, and take in the day together. Many couples are so happy that they got to experience all the memories of the day hanging out together. If you wait to see each other you are only spending around 4-5 hours of your wedding together.
Wedding days can be a whirlwind and they tend to fly by. There’s much to do, and a lot of people to see and to catch up with. We always encourage our couples to take a few minutes every so often during their wedding to stop and soak in everything that’s happening.
2. IT MAKES MORE TIME FOR PICTURES WITHOUT SACRIFICING COCKTAIL HOUR
When there is no first look, the majority of the pictures have to be taken after the ceremony. Family pictures are generally done as soon as the ceremony ends because it’s the easiest time to round everyone up. Next up is full bridal party, and then bride and groom portraits. This generally runs into cocktail hour.
A first look opens up time prior to the ceremony for full bridal party pictures and many bride and groom portraits (although we still like to grab you for a few more at sunset). This allows the couple to get most of the photos out of the way ahead of time, makes the rest of the evening feel less rushed, and doesn’t make you feel like people are waiting for you.
3. AVOID POSSIBLE BAD WEATHER AND/OR HAVE TIME TO FRESHEN-UP AFTER CRYING
If you’re expecting poor weather on your wedding day, it might be best to plan on a first look because it gives you more options for pictures. If it’s pouring rain after the ceremony, you’ll be thankful you had pictures done in advance.
And for all you cryers out there. If you know the tears are going to fly the first time you see your other half the day of your wedding, a first look will give you time to freshen up before the ceremony.
First look or not, the first time you see each other on your wedding day will be special. Please know that whether you see each other before the ceremony or not the moment is yours. It is your wedding day so don’t let outside pressure make your mind up for you. A good photographer and other great vendors will make the wedding day go smoothly with or with out a first look.
A pro tip to leave you with if you do a First Look but still want a great reaction from your partner at the ceremony:
Don’t wear your veil for the First Look. Save it for the ceremony. There will be plenty of emotions already because of the excitement and people staring at you/anxiety/etc, but there is something so bridal and beautiful and emotional about a bride with a veil. So if you have a veil…save that “jack up the look” as they say on Say Yes to the Dress and make that full bridal appearance that will shock your groom!