New trends come in and out of every industry. Some stick, and some do not. A trend that is slowly becoming the more dominant choice in the wedding world, and dare I say it…tradition, is what is referred to as the First Look.
Essentially this is an opportunity for the bride and groom to see each other before the ceremony. Gasp!! I know to some, this seems like the perfect idea, and to others it can seem like the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Life. I am with the former group, and actually chose to do a First Look for my own wedding. It was gaining some serious ground 2 1/2 years ago, and when I read about it, I just knew it was the right choice for me. Jared is my best friend. And on my wedding day, the one person I wanted to see the most…was my best friend. End of story. Some of our friends raised their eyebrows, and most of our family didn’t get it, but it was the absolute right choice for us. Let me tell you why, as a bride not a photographer, it is a wonderful choice…
Bryan & Brandy.
There are a lot of reasons to choose a First Look, but the main reason we chose it was because we wanted an extended period of private time and we knew seeing one another would calms nerves and we would actually be able to HUG one another when we saw each other for the first time. When you walk down the aisle, and you reach the end, you can’t reach out and kiss and touch your soon to be spouse. There is an order to follow, and touching and kissing only comes at the end of the ceremony. When you do a First Look, you can kiss, laugh, hug, spin around, whisper about how beautiful or handsome they are, or even shout how gorgeous they are. Basically, you get to behave how you actually feel! It is so liberating and freeing! And, bonus… your photographer is there to capture all of that. Wahoo!!
Chris & Kim.
Some of the other big reasons include salvaging your timeline, and getting a LOT more portraits. Stress and wedding planning tend to go hand in hand. A huge stress normally comes from the timeline. Once you realize all the things that you need to cram into 8-9 hours, you might start sweating. You might also start weeping because you will not be able to attend your cocktail hour. And, lets be honest here, the cocktail hour is one of the best parts. By doing private portraits before the ceremony you also are able to complete wedding party portraits, and even most if not all family portraits too. How amazing does that sound? Yeah. AMAZING.
Jason & Laura.
I mentioned that you will get a lot more portraits if you chose a First Look. As a previous bride, and a photographer, you just realize that things normally run late. So, if things are running behind, and you finish up the ceremony and immediately get started on family formals, then you need to do all your wedding party images, and then finally get to your portrait session… you might begin to feel a little rushed. You may even have bridesmaids, or family reminding you to hurry up because you need to be introduced into the reception. I am not sure about you, but that doesn’t sound very happy, healthy, or romantic to me. Portrait time should be one of the most fun parts of the day. And because doing it after the ceremony can make it feel rushed, you may not get as many portraits if you do them with a First Look. The First Look is relaxed, and it comes first, so there is plenty of time to capture everything!
Steven & Lara.
Now, to allay the biggest fear…how will it change your reactions when you walk down the aisle? Because I have been a bride, and experienced both the first look and walking down the aisle I can confidently say that doing a First Look only made walking down the aisle better. Doing the first look calmed me down, and made me SOOOOOO excited to walk down the aisle towards Jared. I had picked out the perfect song for me to walk to, and you know what? When I rounded the corner and saw Jared, I couldn’t hear anything. I don’t remember hearing the song. I don’t remember anyone’s faces along the way, I don’t even remember holding onto my dad’s arm. I remember seeing Jared’s face, and his tears, being so ready to be his wife. He looked so handsome. For me, the reason why walking down the aisle was so special wasn’t because he saw my dress, hair, and makeup for the first time… it was because these were the few moments right before we made a lifelong covenant to each other. It was special because my dad was holding my hand and walking me toward a man he himself loved and knew would take care of me. It was special because we were about to be married.
Joe & Tina.
Choosing a First Look was the perfect choice for us. It’s not going to be the perfect choice for everyone, but I think making an educated decision about it is better than just doing something because of a tradition that no one knows the true origin of. Even if you choose to not do a First Look, at least you can know and understand why. I will say, Ive never met a Bride or Groom who did a First Look and regretted it.
Matt & Emilia.