If there is one question I get asked often, it’s whether or not my couples should do a first look. First looks have become so popular and for good reason. I actually googled when the first ‘first look’ happened at a wedding and believe it or not nothing came up. It’s almost as if first looks have always been a part of wedding tradition, even if it is seemingly untraditional.
Bridal Guide takes the time to go through some wedding superstitions and it was so interesting to me why it was bad luck to see the bride before the ceremony. According to Bridal Guide, traditionally brides did not see their groom before their arranged ceremony because the Father of the bride feared that if the groom didn’t find the bride attractive… he would call off the wedding.
The more I thought about this the more I wanted to convince my couples to see their partners before the ceremony. What do you mean call of the wedding? Isn’t this funny to think about in this day in age? I mean, you have seen your person in their best and their worst, nothing is more beautiful to you than them. Why does this tradition still exist?
Most of my couples who side with the traditional walk down the aisle want to keep tradition because they want to have that BIG, heart-wrenching, I-can’t-believe-our-day-is-here look! I am here to tell you that that moment definitely happens during a first look, AND again during the walk down the aisle. In my experience the first look never downplays the walk down the aisle moments and only makes it that much better. Why? Because the nerves are mostly gone and now you can enjoy this time in the now as you commit yourselves to each other for life.
There really are no cons to doing either a first look or a traditional walk down the aisle, however, there are way more pros to a first look than you would think 🙂 I never push or require my couples to do a first look, but having photographed many weddings, this is something that I have seen succeed over and over again and here is why.
Benefits of a first look
- It is completely natural for you to experience nerves before your ceremony. You’ve been waiting for this day for months, maybe years and the moment is finally here. With all that build up, the butterflies in your stomach are ready to escape and you may or may not be dizzy with excitement. The first look really allows you and your partner to have a moment alone, just the two of you, to embrace, to kiss, to reminisce on why you are here. The first look allows you to let those nerves out and take a deep breathe. You are here in this moment and everything makes sense.
- More photographs together! Believe it or not, when we plan for a first look this gives us two opportunities for portraits of the two of you! All of the photos in my house are portraits, so trust me when I say you will love having so many options for wall decor.
- Time with your bridal party before all of the shenanigans happen. Typically after the ceremony it is crunch time for portraits including family, bridal party, and romance shots of just the two of you. When first looks are incorporated, we are able to not only get romance shots of the two of you but also fit in time for the bridal party portraits, too. This gives us more time to spend with family after the ceremony AND more time for sunset photos.
- If you are having a late ceremony, first looks allow us to get natural light portraits. Some venues only allow ceremonies to happen at certain times. When winter comes around, this means portraits will feel rushed as we try to crunch in family, bridal, and romance shots all before the sun sets. This one is crucial, and a situation that may be a pain point on the day of.
- Bonus: You can read more personalized vows intimately and it is so so sweet!
And if you are still unsure about a first look, you could always opt for a hand touch or blindfold!