The First Look. The debated question. To First Look or not to First Look? If you’re not familiar with what a First Look is—it’s a chance for you and your husband to see each other before your official wedding ceremony! It’s that magical moment when your soon-to-be husband first sets eyes on you, the beloved bride, and both your emotions come rushing out. So, do you want to have one or do you want to see each other for the first time as you walk down the aisle? Here are the pros and the cons of a First Look.
This decision needs to be one that you and your fiancé feel confident on. That first look, whether it be a special separate moment or the moment when you walk down that aisle, will take your breath away, and your heart will want to explode with the overwhelming wave of love that you’re both feeling for each other in that single moment of time. You may forget to breathe, or burst into tears, or simply be grinning from ear to ear; however you both react, this is one of the most intimate moments of your life together, so deciding if this moment will be before the ceremony, or as you walk down the aisle, has to be the right call for both of you.
You’re less likely to become an emotional mess when you walk down the aisle.
If you know you or your fiancé are going to be blubbering all the way through the ceremony, then having a First Look can help to take some of the overwhelming emotion out of the important “I do” part of the day. You’ll also be more likely to calm any nerves that you have. There’s no doubt that your wedding day can be nerve-racking, especially if you don’t like standing up in front of a crowd or being the centre of attention, so having a private First Look might make the wedding ceremony not seem as overwhelming.
The photographer and videographer will have more chances to capture photos of you.
By having a First Look, you’re adding more time with your photographer to get those unique shots of just the two of you. This also means your photographer will have more time to get that perfect bridal portrait of you both. A First Look is a practical choice when it comes to photography especially. With most weddings, an aisle reveal will mean you’ll need to schedule more time between your ceremony and reception which can keep your guests waiting.
It’s your only private and intimate moment all day.
You’ll spend the majority of your wedding day surrounded by other people — getting ready with your bridesmaids, saying “I do” in front of all your guests, posing for lots of photos with your family and, of course, dancing the night away with your guests. The First Look session is the calm moment during what can feel a little chaotic day. It’s an opportunity to remind you both that when it comes down to it, it’s just the two of you, for as long as you both shall live.
It’s tradition for your fiancé to see you in your dress for the first time walking down the aisle.
Generations of brides and grooms have waited to see each other until the ceremony. And for some, this is just too much of a break from tradition; that moment is so special, and you simply don’t want to take that away from each other. If you want to forego the First Look, an aisle reveal can be just as special. An aisle reveal can be one that you still capture beautifully with your photographer and videographer present, guests around, and no worries about breaking traditions.
You’ll have to be up and ready at a much earlier time on your wedding day.
Depending on what time your wedding ceremony is scheduled, this could be a deal breaker as those doing your hair, make-up, flowers and photography may not be available 2 hours earlier, or may not be prepared to start that early. So, if you want to have a First Look be sure to check with them first before you set your heart on it. And of course, you may not be early birds either, so consider what time you’d have to be ready if you want to include this in your wedding day timeline.
Your guests don’t get to see your first look moment.
For many guests, the moment the groom first sees his bride, is a magical moment for them too, and, particularly close family and friends, may feel a little ‘cheated’ that they only get to see your ‘second look’ after all the effort that everyone has put into the wedding (both helping and attending). Of course please remember that this is YOUR DAY not their’s—so talk things over with your fiancé and decide what’s best for both of you.
To have a First Look or not to have a First Look? That is the big question. For us, it’s quite a predicament. For our own wedding not too long ago, we chose not to do a First Look because it meant a lot to us to share the special First Look with our guests and family. We wanted to have everyone around while we saw each other for the first time that day. Plus, we’re both kind of suckers for traditional things.
However, as photographers and videographers we find ourselves guiding others into actually having a First Look. We love the moments that we are able to capture with photos and videos when we have those intimate First Look pre-ceremony sessions. We also love the flexibility that it adds to a wedding day timeline and schedule giving us more time before the ceremony for pictures and a more seamless connection from the ceremony and reception.
While our recommendation would be to have a First Look, please make this decision solely based on what you and your fiancé decide is best for the both of you.
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Northern Indiana Wedding and Family Photography & Videography | Joyful, Authentic, Timeless | Trevor & Danyell, a Husband and Wife Team Based Full Time in Winamac, Indiana & Partially in Kansas | Helping you commemorate your life's important milestones with beautiful photo and video | Memories captured
Danyell helps busy moms and families learn how to document their every day lives using easy and consistent methods.
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