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From booking vendors, finalizing seating arrangements, to piecing those final touches together for your wedding favors, the wedding timeline is all but completed, the time to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor has nearly arrived. That is, until someone asks if you considered doing a “First Look”. For those unfamiliar with this term, a First Look is a short window before the ceremony where the bride and groom can share an intimate moment alone, indulge in their reverie and release some of those pre-ceremony butterflies.
Perhaps you have considered it and already made a clear cut decision, or maybe it kinda just sat in the back of your mind like all of those first dance song ideas until the moment you were 10000% certain, which has still yet to happen. Well, don’t lose a wink of sleep over it, we’re here to help. You aren’t alone in stressing over what may seem like a simple decision. Let’s be honest, it’s not as easy a picking a song for the wedding. The decision to see each other prior to the ceremony will shape the rest of your evening. So, let’s take a further look into the have and have not’s surrounding the “First Look” decision. Should you do a First Look? Read below to find out!
Starting with a more traditional approach, let’s save the first look for the alter. A beautiful sentiment. One that allows your guests to be included in the love they are baring witness. All preconceived ideas of a wedding include this approach, it allows you to be vulnerable and show that love at first sight is far more than an expression. Everyone in attendance can feel the moment the bride and groom lock eyes, it’s a wonderful feeling. The walk down the aisle is quite literally the beginning of your new life together so the “it’s really happening” moment you knew would arrive, is finally here. As photographers, this approach allows us to capture genuine emotion. Those happy tears from your groom as he watches the love of his life walk down the aisle. The accumulation of love and happiness shine for all to see. But don’t just take our word for it! We surveyed our followers to see what they thought of First Looks. Let’s see what they have to say about saving it for the altar!
“We decided not to do it at our wedding because we wanted the ceremony to be very intimate, not just for us, but for everybody who was there. We only invited those closest to us and wanted to share that special moment with all of them.”– Rose L.
“No! (emoji) make it more special by seeing each other at the alter. But if the bride wants to avoid having to redo her makeup, then do a first look (emoji)”-Holly S.
“We did not because we wanted to experience the traditional moment from opposite ends of the aisle”– Ashley C.
“We’re not lol only because I have a few friends say it ruined their walk down 🙁 “-Breanna R.
“No. I feel like it takes away from that breathtaking moment! All that anticipation is intense!”-Alex G.
Now there’s more than one way to cut a wedding cake, or should I say theres no wrong way to throw a bouquet? Either way, let’s take some time to observe the benefits of a pre-ceremony First Look. This approach allows brides and grooms to share in one of the most personal moments of the whole day, allowing themselves to be completely present. There is something utterly breathtaking in seeing each other on this huge day. Some couples opt for this approach because they are seeking time alone to process all the moving parts of the day. Who better to assist in that process than your best friend, your confidant, your spouse to be. As photographers, this moment allows for some awe inspiring moments, void of anything outside of your love for one another. The encounter will take place in a beautiful setting to allow your alone time to be captured from a distance preserving the intimacy of this moment. Gathering before hand also allows you to grab some bridal party portraits prior to the ceremony, freeing up time for you to mingle with your guests at cocktail hour. Now who doesn’t love that? Let’s hear from those that are all for First Look before the ceremony!
“Yes! It makes the day more relaxed + the groom can react more authentically”-Stephanie M., Photographer
“I have mixed feelings about this. The traditional side says no. The other side says yes.”-Amanda D.
“I think if it’s a non-traditional wedding anyway why not go for it? Embrace the moment.”– Katie M.
“Yes because you have a) more time for photos and b) a PRIVATE moment together (emoji)”– Melissa B.
“Yes! So they can have time to take it all in!”-Johanna N.
“I love first looks. It’s the only time the couple have together alone. It gives them the freedom to express their emotions without the nervousness of everyone watching. Plus it gives us some amazing personal shots!”– Irma G., Event Planner
“It depends! But I leave towards yes. Every couple is different and every wedding is different. I think people tend to focus too much on what the expectations of family, friends and guests have that most of the wedding is for the guests and not the bride and groom (or groom and groom, bride and bride :)) The first look may be the only moment you get alone together the entire event. The only moment with no pressure or expectations. If you set aside time for it, it eases the nerves and might get some of the crying out of the way;) And of course, as a photographer it’s always a sweet moment to capture. Then I make a point to leave so they can continue with their last moments alone. It’s the last moment you have alone as a fiancé and fiancée. That’s pretty special.– Sarah G., Photographer
Your wedding day is one you will remember for the rest of your lives. The moments in between the rehearsal and the grand exit will always be a major part of the day, but solidifying your love for one another is what everyone has ultimately gathered for. Take some time to consider how the little moments piece together the entire story. Those building blocks for the evening don’t have to fit perfectly to make for a perfect wedding. If you have always planned for the anticipation to build for the walk down the aisle, we say saving the look for the ceremony. If you prefer to share in the intimacy with your best friend and shake out some of those butterflies beforehand, taking a moment before the ceremony for the first look sounds like it may be for you. No matter which approach suits you, we know you’ll melt for one another the moment you see each other and that’s what love is all about.