What’s a First Look?
Traditionally on a wedding day, the groom is not supposed to see the bride before the ceremony. Each of them stay in their own suites and get ready for the day with their side of the bridal party and family. With a first look, the couple is able to have a private moment alone (along with your photographer/videographer). Essentially you see each other for the first time before the wedding ceremony. It’s literally the first time you look at each other on your wedding day before you get married.
Why Should I Do A First Look?
Take a moment alone
A first look is your opportunity to share a special moment together privately before the ceremony. A lot of times, getting prepared for the day is extremely stressful for couples and sometimes all it takes is to see each other for the tension to dissipate. You have a chance to talk with each other alone and let your worries melt away before you walk down the aisle. Use it as a time to relax and laugh together or simply slow down and be in the moment with each other away from everyone else.
The groom’s first look reaction vs down the aisle
Sometimes grooms don’t get emotional in front of large crowds. Most brides think that if they waste the first look on photos, their groom won’t have those same reaction when she walks down the aisle. This is going to depend on your groom. Is he the type of guy to cry in front of an audience? Would he show more emotion if it’s in a more intimate setting? This doesn’t apply to every groom. Trust me, I’ve done tons of first looks and often times if the groom gets emotional during it they still get excited when you walk down the aisle even though you’ve done a first look.
For timeline’s sake
Once you see each other you can check a lot more photos off the list pre-ceremony. This leaves fewer photo groups to finish up after the ceremony. Listen, I’m a photographer so its only right that I advocate for this. We want our couples to be happy. We want to take all of your photos in the most efficient way possible. I can’t tell you how many couples schedule a majority of their group, family, and couples photos after the ceremony. Those same couples are tired, hungry, and completely over it halfway through cocktail hour. The only thing is, there’s usually more photos to take. The first look helps break up the long list of photos that you’ve planned. That way, you’ll have more time in between and don’t have to do so many all at once.
What if I don’t want to do a first look?
Some couples still aren’t convinced and want to stay traditional. You don’t have to do a first look if you’re don’t want to, remember— it’s your day. If don’t want to do first look, you can always do a first touch or letter exchange. A first touch doesn’t won’t take away from the moment he sees you walking down the aisle. Usually reading letters privately is sure to bring out those emotions you’ll love to see in photographs. Even if he doesn’t cry when he sees you for the first time. Also, if you’re worried about making sure all the photos for the day fit within your wedding day timeline, make sure to get your photographer’s input before you finalize the day’s schedule.
If neither of those options feel right for you, there are some others where you don’t even have to involve the groom.
Click here to read about other “firsts” you can do on your wedding day.