Planning a wedding timeline can be stressful when you have so many things crammed into the day. One of the most challenging decisions that you will make is whether you should do a first look. A first look is when the bride and groom see each other for the first time prior to the ceremony. A lot of couples choose not to do it because of their tradition and family expectations; they want their weddings more traditional, they want to have the moment when the bride walks down the aisle and sees the groom for the first time, and that’s totally fine. If that’s your decision and you feel good about it, that’s all it matters because in the end, it is your special day and only you know what you want.
However, if you’re unsure about it, we really want to stress the benefits of doing a first look. We want you to consider all your options and their pros and cons so that you make your decision with confidence, because once you do it, it’s done, you can’t get it back. There are far more beneficial reasons to do it than not.
I’m sure there are more reasons why you should do a first look on your wedding day, but here are three of the most important ones:
- Not miss out on cocktail hour – if you choose not see each other before the ceremony, the only bridal party photos you can get are the bride with her bridesmaids and the groom with his groomsmen. When you look at your wedding album or photos to hang on your living room wall, the most important ones are probably the ones of the bride and groom together. Doing a first look 30 minutes to an hour before the ceremony will free up some time for bride + groom portraits and once you’re done, you can enjoy your cocktail hour without having to worry about missing out on mingling with your lovely guests, as a result, I can get more candid photos as well.
- Control - First looks can be done anywhere. You have the option to choose the backdrop/scenery and lighting. You can also determine the energy around you, whether you want to make it very intimate, just the two of you, or you can have the bridal party surround you, which can be very energetic and cheerful, as opposed to seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony, where you have no control over lighting and everything else around you.
- More time - You have more time than just the 60 seconds that you walk down the aisle to really soak in this special moment that you’ve been waiting for so long. And to be able to take the time and say to each other “OMG, we’re getting married!”, it’s priceless; you won’t get the chance to do this during the ceremony.