Is the first look for you?
First look, for those who are new to the term, is a relatively new tradition where a soon-to-be married couple get to see each other before the wedding ceremony. There is often a reveal where the bride will sneak up behind the groom or something else adorable. She will then tap him on the shoulder, he spins around, his face is pure joy and the photographer takes all of the photos. So instead of having your first look at your bride/groom as they enter the ceremony space, you have a first look ahead of time.
Here are seven reasons why couples are for and against the first look:
YAY: The first look allows for photos beforehand
One of the best reasons to do a first look with your partner is it frees up time in your schedule. Most couples who don’t do a first look will have their ceremony, then go off and take photos for a few hours, and then head to their reception. But if you do a first look, you can take all of your photos before the ceremony, which totally frees up your schedule. You won’t have to leave in the middle of your own wedding to do a photoshoot.
NAY: You miss that emotional moment
By waiting to see each other at the ceremony, you’re following an age old tradition. And while we don’t believe in doing anything just because it’s tradition, there is something nice about going old-school. Plus, that emotional moment when you see your future spouse at the end of the aisle is something you will remember forever. You get teary seeing your partner for the first time at the ceremony looking their most beautiful.
YAY: You get to spend more time with your guests
If you can do your first look and take care of all of your photos pre-ceremony, you get to spend more time with your guests. Many couples will have a cocktail hour between the ceremony and reception. Only problem? The couple doesn’t get to attend because they’re away taking photos! By doing a first look, you get to spend more time with your people and enjoy the cocktail hour that you’ve paid for.
NAY: First looks can be awkward
When we see photos of first looks, they are always over the top emotional and joyous. The groom has his hands over his mouth in awe. The bride is tearing up and trying not to smudge her make-up. It’s a BIG moment. But what if your first look isn’t a big moment? What happens if you don’t cry or gasp? Sure, your partner looks awesome but you might not have a huge reaction. And that could mean some really awkward photos…
YAY: Help ease your anxiety
The first look can be really helpful for couples who are anxious about the “all eyes on me” moment of walking down the aisle. If you’re feeling nervous about not seeing your partner all day, the first look might be a good choice for you. It’s a great way to have a quiet moment of alone time between just you and your boo. And if you’re having a big wedding, this might be the only alone time you get all day!
NAY: First looks cut down your getting ready time
If you are planning to do a first look and photos before the ceremony, your getting ready time is going to be cut in half. Or, you’re going to have to get up really early in the morning to get it all done. This can suck if you have an early ceremony time and fitting in a first look would mean waking up before the sun. Plus, having relaxing getting ready time is awesome for bonding with your wedding party and getting in some awesome photos.
YAY/NAY: The compromise
Can’t decide if you want to do a first look? There might be a compromise for you. If you want to calm your nerves and do a pre-ceremony reveal of your wedding look but don’t want to see your partner, you could do a first look with your parents or with your wedding party attendants. If you want to do photos ahead of time but don’t want to see your partner, you can do a bunch of photos with your family and wedding party, and just save the couple photos for later. And if you’re looking for that quiet moment with your partner before the ceremony but still don’t want to see them, you can do a blind first look where you hold hands around a door, serenade each other behind a wall or hand each other letters. So many options!
Ultimately, like everything with weddings, there is no right way – there’s only your way. Whether or not you do a first look is totally up to you and your partner. Having a first look is awesome. But skipping it could be just as great. As we say, it’s your wedding, your way.
written by Riana Ang-Canning
Are you doing a first look with your future Mr or Mrs?