It's a decision that affects your Wedding Day timeline, photos, guest experience, and the moment you have dreamed of forever (no big deal). Should you do a first look?
What is a first look and why do people do it?
A first look usually happens 2 to 3 hours before the ceremony begins. The bride and groom are whisked away from their respective groups to see each other for the first time. Typically, the entire scene is captured by the photographer, and they directing the moment. They may create a "ceremony experience" where the groom is told to turn around right as the Bride hits the top of the aisle, or they may decide to meet up completely off site. Either way, it can be intimate and beautiful. Brides and Grooms usually decide to do a first look to save time after their ceremony, but it’s not for everyone! Let’s look at some pros and cons.
Pros of doing a First Look
TIME!! After your ceremony you could save 45+ minutes that you would be spending doing your Bride + Groom shots, and full bridal party pictures, helping you make it to your reception quickly, (more partying for you) which also means your guests aren’t waiting for over an hour to eat (no hangry cousins).
I hear Bride after Bride say after her first look, that she feels so relaxed going into her ceremony. Seeing the groom and getting those pictures over with can be great for taming the butterflies and helping you to feel unrushed and calm for the most important moment of the day: saying “I do.”
You can get creative about where you do it! Sometimes it's not practical to have your ceremony and all your guests outside, but you can get your first look shots outdoors, in some wildflowers, beside your favorite downtown spot-wherever your heart desires!
Con’s of doing a First Look
You don’t get that iconic moment of the groom seeing you for the first time as you enter the ceremony, *Cue teary eyed groom pic* And this may be a moment you have imagined since you were making a veil out of toilet paper and parading about in Mom’s heels while holding a bouquet of weeds. Just me? Ok cool...
You won't have as much free time the few hours leading up to Ceremony to chill with friends and family.
You may be breaking tradition if this is very important to your family, which is worth talking through! Ask your Mom if she has strong feelings about it, AND the groom for that matter, and then try to come to an understanding.
Building Anticipation and Keeping it Memorable
If you choose to do a first look, there are ways you can still build anticipation and facilitate a memorable, beautiful moment (and pictures!).
Write letters to each other! Tell your fiance how much this day means to you, how much you are looking forward to your new life together, and how much you love and can’t wait to see each other. This will just add to the anticipation of seeing him for the first time.
Similar to the letters, give gifts before your first look, and photograph.
While your groom is coming out to meet you, keep him blindfolded or turned around.
Take your first look pictures at the ceremony site, with you walking down the aisle and him standing at the altar
OR go somewhere completely different and secluded. You will have these pictures forever, take time to make the moment what you want.
Get creative and make it personal. Tie in memories of how you first met, or another important token or moment.
Here’s the truth. At the end of the day, you will be marrying the love of your life. Logistics of the day will fade, but you will remember the first moment you saw each other. It's an important decision! Go with your gut on this one, and don't feel pressured either way. This is just about you two.