One of the biggest trends in weddings right now are the First Looks with the groom. Where before your ceremony you set up a special place to see your fiance in a private setting. As a photographer, I can't even begin to tell you how much more amazing your day will be with a first look before your epic walk down the aisle, but I will try to!
I know what you are thinking," I want my first look when I walk down the aisle". This is the exact way I felt at my wedding, and possibly the biggest and only regret I had at my wedding was not doing a first look with Chad. So let me explain exactly why you should put those traditional thoughts, your mom, and anyone else telling you not to do a first look to the side.
First of all let's talk about how this tradition of the groom not seeing the bride before she walked down the aisle started. When they used to arrange marriages basically as a business deal between two families, the father of the bride would not allow the groom to see the bride until after they said I Do. That is why the bride would walk down the aisle with a veil and it wasn't until the " you may now kiss the bride" that the two were able to lay eyes on one another. (How Romantic) It was to make sure the groom wouldn't be scared away. Awful Right?
Now I know, Were in 2020 and totally not the case for us. I get it, not only is it the traditional thing to do, we want that WOW moment as we walk down the aisle and our groom sees us for the first time. The thing is, your groom will still be in awe of you as you come down the aisle. I have seen on multiple occasions where the groom actually cried more at the alter then at their first look hours before. That moment is so special for more reasons than the fact that you haven't saw each other since the night before.. BELIEVE me that moment will still feel special.
Even though the "First Look" is non-traditional it is AMAZING for so many reasons:
1. Your guest won't have to wait an hour for you to arrive at the reception.
When Brides and Groom go the traditional way, Not only do you have family portraits after the ceremony, but you will also have to carve out time for bride and groom portraits. That sometimes takes up to an hour after the ceremony, and causes the bride and groom to not even enjoy possibly the only moment of them two together of the night because they are stressing about returning to their guest. Doing a first look will allow you to take 20-30 minutes with family portraits after the ceremony and then go have fun at your reception.
2. Your first moment together won't be in front of 250 people.
Imagine seeing your almost husband in a private emotional moment hours before your ceremony. He'll have that moment to tell you how STUNNING you look, and hold your hand and pull you in just the two of you. It's also a great picture opportunity for me to capture this once in a life time moment. YOU WILL NOT get this moment walking down the aisle because he'll have to wait to tell you how beautiful you are until after the ceremony.
Let's also not forget about nerves. It is nerve racking to go out there. So many couples have talked about seeing their fiance before the ceremony actually calmed the nerves and allowed them to really take in the ceremony. The first look allows couples to embrace and just be together for a few minutes on their wedding day and that is priceless!!
3. You get A Lot of AMAZING Portraits.
Couples that choose to have their First Looks before the ceremony will have SO many more couple pictures than if you wait until the ceremony. It will even allow you to walk to multiple locations at the venue and get some different looks!
4. Saving your Timeline:
It allows you to free up your timeline. You get all the time you need for couple portraits, celebrating your marriage with family and friends, feel less stressed, and get a lot of pictures out of the way so that you can enjoy your celebration.
Late fall, winter and early spring brides, you will most likely run out of natural light for portraits after your ceremony….a First Look is a great solution for this issue!!
While I LOVE first looks, I never pressure my couples into doing them. I always tell them all of the reasons why it’s a smart decision but if you really aren’t interested, I drop it. It’s your wedding day! It’s my job to make you happy and to help you plan a great time-line for pictures, but ultimately, it’s your decision. Whatever you decide your day will be incredible and you will get the BEST pictures to share with your future grandkids ;) !