To look... or not to look? This has turned into a pretty important question for brides as more and more brides choose to go the "non-traditional" route and do a first look! Personally, I am a big fan of first looks, so I'll try to explain why!
Alright... here's the thing. EVERY bride says to me "Can you make sure to get a picture of his face when I walk down the aisle?" Girl... of course! That's one of the most important shots of the day, and I be sure to get it whether or not you've done a first look. Here's the thing though... it used to be a secret that you should watch the groom when the bride is walking down the aisle, but that's not a secret anymore. EVERYONE looks at the groom now. So now here he is, the woman (or man) of his dreams walking down the aisle in a ball of white taffeta, he's got two cameras (minimum) trained on him, and now anywhere from 5-500 guests staring at him as well. If you have a nervous groom, 9 times out of 10 the poor guy is going to look terrified.
First looks ALWAYS help with nerves. A lot of people find so much comfort in their future partner, and doing that first look grounds them before the big production.
Alright, so it's no secret that timelines can be a total b*tch sometimes. You're trying to budget enough time for photos, to see your guests, and to maybe spend a second or two with each other as well, all while trying to stay in budget.
A lot of clients are now choosing a first look because it gives you the opportunity to condense your timeline a bit instead of having a full day of activities.
Most of my clients will do their first look around 2pm, spend a couple hours taking photos and hanging out, and then have their ceremony around 4-5 (later ceremonies have beautiful light if they are outside), and they they flow right from the ceremony into the reception, no disappearing for three hours and leaving your guests to their own devices.
This is a great option if you are having your ceremony and reception in the same location, because the excitement carries over the ceremony, and your guests aren't expected to entertain themselves for three hours. They don't have to be ready until late afternoon, and then they get to spend the rest of the day with you!
Personally speaking, I believe that the intimacy and genuine emotion that I get to see during first looks give me some of the most beautiful photos from the day. I don't let anyone else attend your first look unless you specifically ask for them (yes, I will actually tell your mama she can't come). I try to make it as private as I can.
In traditional ceremonies generally one person walks down the aisle, they get "given away," then you have a 20-60 minute ceremony where you look at each other, and then you share your first kiss in front of ALL of your friends and family.
Some people don't want that. Some people want the intimacy, they want that moment together before it all begins. They want to kiss and hold each other, tell each other how beautiful they look, spin each other around without the confines of a ceremony to attend to.
Look, I'll never talk crap about a traditional ceremony. I think there is an absolute appeal in the traditional first look and traditional ceremonies, and that approach is absolutely a must for some couples, and it turns out so beautifully.
I will say that if your fiancé is going to get emotional when you walk down that aisle, they will get emotional regardless of whether or not they have seen you yet.
Please get in touch if you have any more questions about first looks, or would like to chat about booking your first look with me!
Leave any pros and cons you can think of for first looks in the comments below!