I have a lot of clients that struggle with the idea of doing a First Look on their wedding day. And I get it!
If you're struggling with it, it's probably because you love the idea of your groom seeing you for the first time walking down the aisle like you've seen so many times in movies or read in books. He sees you and your beauty, gets emotional...what's not to like!
Or maybe you think that by doing a first look, it won't make the moment you walk down the aisle special anymore.
And it's not just the brides. I've had plenty of grooms that didn't want to see their bride until she was walking down the aisle as well!
Well, after photographing over 200 weddings, I'm here to say that if you're having reservations about doing a first look, DON'T!
Here are several reasons why I think you should consider a first look!
It Will Reduce Stress And Anxiety!
During the getting ready session at a recent wedding, I overheard one of the bridesmaids ask our anxious bride Jaime if she was ok. Her response was one that I've heard countless times:
"I just want to see Adam".
A year of stressful planning and excitement had come down to hours and minutes. You could see and feel her nervousness and stress. She just wanted to see her man!
Fast forward 45 minutes later to their first look. Adam turned to see his beautiful fiance and as they locked eyes, tears start filling his eyes. Within seconds I could see a feeling of relief on both their faces as the stress and nervousness melted away. They were able to cry, kiss and embrace without any distractions. And they were able to ENJOY the moment for as long as they wanted to...alone! No people, no on-lookers, just the two of them.
When else would you get the chance to be alone on your wedding day...this is it!
You'll Have Time For More Pictures AND The Party.
Take it from someone who's been married a long time. At the end of the day, all you have are your images and album to remember your wedding day by.
Think about it: you'll have hundreds of thousands of events entering and leaving your mind during your lifetime. After 15, 20, 30 years you're not going to remember what you ate, the songs that were played or many other aspects of your wedding day.
By having a first look, you'll have more time to to capture the important moments and people in your life. You'll be able to take your bride/groom, bridal party and immediate family photos BEFORE the ceremony. That means you don't have to rush and it gives you the chance to have FUN. You'll have fun because you'll have TIME to make them FUN. That also means that as soon as your ceremony is finished, you can enjoy your cocktail hour and the party since you'll have all the important photos finished.
If you don't have a first look, you're forced to quickly do your bride/groom photos, finish your bridal party and family photos all during cocktail hour. AND you're rushing the entire time!
Two Amazing Moments Are Better Than One.
A first look provides two amazing moments on your wedding day. Let me explain:
I've photographed many first looks and I've never had a groom tell me that the first look diminished his reaction upon seeing his bride walking down the aisle.
It's quite the opposite actually.
As a married man, I can attest to the fact that we men are all aware that every person attending a ceremony is looking at the grooms face for his reaction to the bride. Especially the women.
Every. Single. One.
That's a lot of pressure! You're already feeling anxious, nervous and the gravity of what is about to happen starts to hit you. You feel that if you don't cry or get emotional, people will judge you. That's a horrible thing to have on your mind at that moment!
But when you've had the chance to see your bride during the first look, you've already had time to get rid of the nerves and and stress so you can actually focus on that MOMENT when she walks down the aisle.
And it's a completely different feeling for a guy anyway. You know that during the first look, you're still not married yet. You get the chance to see your girl, share those moments alone and they are beautiful! When you're bride is actually walking down the aisle, it's now gotten VERY real and it's a completely different feeling.
It's every bit as emotional, maybe more!
Just Becasue It's a Tradition Doesn't Mean It Works For The Modern Couple
Weddings are full of old traditions:
- Something borrowed, something blue.
- Rain is good or bad luck (depending on your culture).
- Tossing the garter and of course, the bride and groom not seeing each other before the ceremony.
Most of us have absolutely no idea the reasoning behind many wedding traditions yet we follow them. For example, the reason a bride and groom used to not see each other before the ceremony dates back to the time of arranged marriages. People believed that if the couple saw each other before the ceremony, it would give them a chance to change their minds about the wedding! Wow, isn't that romantic!!
If it’s important to you to follow a tradition then you should do it! But I would encourage you to research it before you do it...not just because you think you should!
First Looks Aren't For Everyone!
I have to put this out there: My clients are NOT required to do a first look!! I always feel a little funny about sharing this point of view with my couples who are against it. But I've seen the benefits of a first look time and time again so I share it because I want the BEST for my couples. If you decide not to do one, it's all good. We'll prepare a timeline that will fit everything in for you!
I'm Here To Help!
There's so much to consider when planning your wedding and questions will arise on a consistent basis. Schedule a consult and bring your list of questions...I'm more than happy to help!