First looks. I’m not talking about the moment you first saw your future spouse and just knew they were something special. It’s kind of similar though. I’m going to go over the two sides of doing a first look at your wedding. It kind of throws tradition out the window, which may be awesome or a no way jose decision for you.
A first look is when you and your fiance see each other right before the ceremony. Usually, it’s a private moment and just the two of you and your photographer. Occasionally family or bridal party will be present but my personal (and professional) opinion is that if you are going to do one, it should just be the two of you. One of the images below is actually from a bride doing a first look with her dad as well. Which is another type you can do and is a great option if you might like the idea but want something more traditional for you and your main man/lady.
The two main advantages of doing a first look are calming nerves and timeline. My husband and I did a first look when we got married, and I’m glad we did. I’m not a person that likes to be center stage, and I was nervous that 175 people would be looking at me walking down the aisle. When our photographer suggested the idea of a first look, originally I was against it. I had always envisioned a more traditional entrance where Zack saw me for the first time that day when I walked down the aisle. You know with Canon in D playing and doves and tears? Wait.. no that’s not me at all. I walked down the aisle to the Beach Boys. Anyways, she told us how it can be nice for people who are nervous because you see each other and get all of the anxiety out of the way so when you are actually coming down the aisle, you are just excited. That’s exactly how it played out.
The other big advantage is from a timeline perspective. When you do a first look, you are able to do a lot of portraits prior to the ceremony. This frees you up to enjoy some or even ALL of your cocktail hour! You won’t have to worry about trying to wrangle your bridal party back from the bar to get things done. You will be done, and can mingle with guests and spend a little more time with the people who came to celebrate with you.
This isn’t to say if you don’t have a first look your wedding is going to be a fun sucking nervous nelly time. It’s not, it’s still going to be awesome! Not doing a first look is definitely for couples who are desiring a more traditional day. If you want to keep the tradition and have that moment where the church doors open and that is the first time you see each other – don’t do a first look. Because of the added anticipation, I will say I usually see more emotion during the ceremony of couples who haven’t seen each other. Additionally, while you might not get to enjoy as much of your cocktail hour, having all of the photos done after the ceremony gives you a little bit of time together to enjoy and celebrate before you have a bunch of people all vying for your attention.
Talk to each other and decide what the best option for the two of you would be best. Base it on your desires and personalities, how you see the day going. Don’t let vendors talk you into anything you truly don’t want to do. Make your wedding how YOU envision it, and representative of your love and it really will be the best wedding ever!
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