You may have heard the term “First Look” while browsing Pinterest for your Wedding planning. Do you know what it is? We always ask our Brides & Grooms if they are considering this during our discussions before their wedding day. Some know exactly one way or the other, and some are like “What’s a First look???” A “first look” is when the Bride & Groom see each other prior to the Wedding Ceremony. Why? Well there are a number of reasons the Bride & Groom would consider this option, versus the traditional “Groom seeing the Bride for the first time when she’s coming down the aisle.”
One reason: the ugly cry. Yep, we said it, because we’ve seen it! Oh, and it wasn’t just the Bride! Grooms can ugly cry too! For the brides & grooms to be, the wedding planning has been a roller coaster of emotions and now the big day is finally here. This can be a little overwhelming, but in a good way! This also allows for make-up touch ups for the Bride if the emotions made your make-up less than perfect. And maybe your make-up artist would be willing to stick around for a few extra minutes to help if needed.
A second reason, and one we can attest to as well: you won’t get much alone time during the wedding/ceremony. Yes, the day is celebrating the love between two people, but it’s much more than that. It’s a family/class reunion, a dinner party and a night out dancing all rolled in to one giant event. You will be pulled in a million different directions, and we often see the Bride & Groom separated after the ceremony, by no fault of their own. For example: the Bride’s mom pulls her aside to introduce her to the table full of her co-workers. The groom disappears with the Groomsmen outside to light some cigars. You blink and it’s last call. The First Look allows you to take a few moments before the ceremony to enjoy each other’s company and a little calmness in all of the chaos.
Lastly, this allows for more time for photos before the ceremony (ok, maybe we’re a little biased on this one!). If you opt for a “first look” this lets everyone know that hair & make-up need to be completed earlier in the day than a traditional wedding day timeline. We can complete some of the family/bridal party photos before the ceremony, thus leaving more time to focus on the Bride & Groom photos after the ceremony. Your bridal party will also love this, since they can go enjoy the cocktail hour while you’re having photos taken!
Before you decide if a First Look is right for you, there is also the “Modified First Look” or as we often refer to it: the “First Touch”. This is a nice compromise for those that want the traditional aspect of the surprise of walking down the aisle, but want some of the benefits of the first look. We’ve had several couples elect to do just that this past year. We find a location at your venue and set you both up on either side of a wall, a doorway or even a large tree. You can reach out and hold your partner’s hand and then either exchange letters or spoken words to commemorate your day. You don’t see each other, but you get to experience each other’s presence, again to enjoy a quiet moment before the whirlwind of the day continues.
If neither of these “Looks” sound appealing to you, that’s ok. It’s YOUR wedding. You’ve had a ton of opinions thrown at you throughout the entire process (use this vendor, pick this color, choose those favors) that this is one decision you can make based on what is best for your relationship and your wedding day.
Of course, we have some examples of the First Look, the Modified First look, and the traditional “groom seeing the bride for the first time coming down the aisle.” In any case, it’s all about capturing the emotion and excitement of the day so that you have memories to last a lifetime!