I love traditions. Even before I was engaged, I decided that I didn’t want to see John before the ceremony. I wouldn’t want to ruin the beautiful moment of him seeing me walking down the aisle for the first time.
Years later, now that I’m a wedding photographer and have gotten married, my perspective has changed. I did a first look at my wedding, and it is one of my favorite moments from the day. The choice of whether to do a first look is completely up to you. Below I have listed some of the benefits of a first look so you can make a decision as a couple.
1. It will calm your nerves and alleviate stress prior to the ceremony.
Before the ceremony starts, you are going to be nervous. You’ve been waiting for this day your whole life, and want everything to go perfectly. But if you’ve been separated from your significant other for the hours leading up to the ceremony, it might contribute to you feeling even more anxious and nervous.
The truth is that the person who can calm you down and make you feel the most relaxed is the “one you’re not supposed to see” before the ceremony.
If you are like me, and tend to feel nervous when it comes to being the center of attention, then I highly recommend doing a first look. It will calm your nerves and alleviate stress so that when you are walking down the aisle, or are standing at the altar with all eyes on you, you are more relaxed and in the moment.
I’ve photographed over 100 weddings, and have observed that brides and grooms who do a first look are just as excited to see each other and are far less nervous before and during their ceremony.
2. A moment alone together.
At your ceremony, you won’t be able to talk to each other except while reciting your vows. There will also be a lot of people looking at you during the ceremony.
A first look is a great opportunity to share a moment alone with each other. You not only get to see each other’s reactions, but you get to hear what the other is thinking at the exact moment you see each other.
The rest of your wedding day will be amazing, but it will also be hectic. The first look may be the only time throughout the wedding day that you and your groom are alone together.
3. You still get the aisle experience.
Some couples don’t want to do a first look because they fear it will ruin the moment of seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony.
Rest assured that a first look will not take away from your aisle experience. Many brides and grooms who decide to do a first look say that it didn’t make the aisle experience less special. When you walk down the aisle you are about to marry the person you love. There is nothing that can take away from that moment. A first look can only enhance your aisle experience, because you won’t be nervous prior to walking down the aisle.
Still don’t believe me? John and I did first look, and he still teared up when I walked down the aisle.
4. You will get more photos.
If you prefer not to see each other before the ceremony, it limits the amount of time for photos. By doing a first look, I will be able to capture the amazing moment of when you see each other for the first time. Immediately following the first look, photos can be taken of you both together.
A first look opens up your wedding day timeline, and allows for more photo opportunities. Wedding party pictures can then be taken before the ceremony. Family photos can also be taken beforehand as well. This means there will be plenty of time for photos of you both together before and immediately following the ceremony.
5. You get to your reception/cocktail hour sooner.
By getting the majority of the photos completed earlier in the day, you both can actually go to your cocktail hour. You know all those delicious appetizers that you chose and tasted? Well…if you’re at the cocktail hour you actually get to eat them 😉 This also means your wedding party and immediate family won’t be stuck taking photos during the entire cocktail hour. Trust me – they appreciate this! You will all have even more time to mingle with family and friends.
After seeing some of the benefits of doing a first look, I hope it will help you decide as a couple whether a first look is the right choice for you on your special day.
Did you find this post helpful or have any other reasons why a first look is something to consider? Leave a comment below.