A lot of couples contemplate whether or not they want to do a first look on their big day. Some feel that the first time the groom should see the bride is when she walks down the aisle, while others think it is better to have a more private and intimate viewing of each other before the ceremony starts.
So, should you do it? Before you decide, let us tell you about some of the pros and cons about doing a first look with your partner.
First, What is a first look?
The ‘first look’ is a newer trend that has surfaced in the past few years, so not everyone is aware of what it is. A first look is when the couple sees each other for the first time before the ceremony starts. It is typically in a private area away from the eyes of the friends and family of the couple. Usually the groom starts by facing away from where the bride will be. The bride will slowly walk up behind him and tap him on the shoulder to which he will turn around and see his stunning bride for the first time. A perfect picture moment!
Pro: You will have more time to enjoy the wedding
A big advantage to doing the first look is that you will have a lot more time to enjoy your wedding. Without a first look, most of the pictures are taken during your cocktail hour after the ceremony. Sometimes it is stressful trying to rush to get the pictures done since the guests are waiting on you. “That’s one great thing about the first look. The pair will have a lot more time to spend enjoying the wedding since a majority of their photos will be taken before the ceremony instead of after,” states Vanessa Escobar (Osprey’s Event Director). “Getting your pictures done beforehand will ensure that you have time to enjoy everything else.”
Con: You have to get ready much earlier
If you are planning to start your photographs before the ceremony, you will need to have a much earlier start to your day. You may need to adjust your timeline since you will need to have yourself and your bridal party ready to go a few hours before the wedding instead of right before it’s time to walk down the aisle.
Pro: It’s more private
One of the main reasons why a lot of couples decide to do a first look is because it is in a more private and intimate setting. Sometimes when things are done in private, there is more room for true emotion to come out. There is nothing to distract the pair from each other, they are the only person in each other’s focus, and it can make them more comfortable. At times there is pressure to react a certain way when guests are watching, but this wouldn’t be the case since it would just be the two, and their photographer to capture the moment.
Con: It won’t be as big as a surprise moment
If you decide to do the first look, the surprise element of walking down the aisle would be taken away. “I prefer the more traditional way to do the first look at the altar. It leaves that element of surprise for the groom when he gets to see the bride for the first time moments before they say ‘I do,’’ says Amy Domenech (Osprey’s Event Sales Manager). If doing the first look, the groom would already know what to expect since he’s already seen his bride in her dress, though this does not make the moment any less special. The groom’s heart will still burst when he sees his soon to be wife walking down the aisle.
Pro Tip: If you want to do the first look but do not want your look to be completely given away, wait to put on your accessories (veil, jewelry, ect) till right before you walk down the aisle.
Pro: it could calm your pre-wedding nerves
Lets face it, the big day can definitely be nerve racking. So much to do, so many guests, so little time. Doing the first look can help calm your nerves and give you and your spouse some time alone together before all of the chaos starts and all eyes are on you. Usually the bride and groom do not get as much time together during the wedding as they would like to. They are always in conversation with guests or being dragged around to dance or take pictures with loved ones. The time spent before the ceremony could be a great way for them to take each other in as they might not get many chances to for the rest of the night.
Con: you won’t actually be married in the photos
Since you would be taking the pictures before the wedding, you wouldn’t actually be married in the couples photos that you take. For some couples, this might be a deciding factor on whether they decide to do a first look or not, while others won’t care much at all.
There is no right or wrong answer as to if you should do the first look or not. The first look and walking down the aisle can both be equally beautiful and special moments no matter which you decide to do!
The first touch: if you decide not to do the first look, there is still a great way to connect with your partner without having to see them. The first touch it is called, is when the bride and groom are either faced away from each other, or have on blindfolds so that they can still be together without sneaking a peak!
“I think it’s cute to do a first look with the bride’s father,” Amy Domenech says. It is always a special and emotional moment when a father sees his little girl in her wedding dress. It can give the two a heart to heart moment before he hands his daughter off to the groom.