To do a first look or not? Doing a first look is a big decision for every couple. This is the first time you will see each other after getting dolled up and ready to get married. She will be wearing her gown and veil, with her hair and makeup done. He will be clean shaven and in a tux. Tears will flow, hearts will melt. While all this sounds beautiful for some people, some couples still want to stick with the traditional route and see each other for the first time as they are walking down the aisle. So which is the best way to go for you? I have asked some couples and photographers about the reason you should do a first look and then you can compare to the reasons to not do and decide which works best for you.
Photo credit: Natalie Bray Photography
1. MORE TIME TOGETHER
Some couples want to see each other well before the ceremony happens so they can enjoy more of the day together. They will get to see each other, exchange gifts together, have a drink together, do their photos, and really relax just knowing the day is all about them as a couple.
2. MORE PHOTOS AS A COUPLE
The day goes so quickly and there are so many photos to take. If you choose to see each other before hand you get about 45 more minutes of time for photos as a couple than if you waited until cocktail hour to do photos. If you do photos only during cocktail hour you drastically cut down on your photos. Family photos take about 20 minutes, then couple photos another 30 minutes and then you must cram in the bridal party photos in there as well.
3. MORE TIME WITH GUESTS
When you take your couple photos and bridal party photos prior to the ceremony, you get more time with your guests. If you do family photos and a few couple and bridal party photos after the ceremony you can join your guests during cocktail hour.
4. BETTER LIGHTING
Depending on the time of year you get married it may be a must to do a first look to get good photos. If you are doing a winter wedding the sun sets early. In order to take advantage of the natural light you may choose to do the photos prior to ceremony to ensure you aren't chasing daylight.
5. LESS NERVES
When I asked couples and vendors what another good reason to do a first look is, they all said the nerves. Couples are less nervous for the ceremony if they have already seen each other and spent time together. Remember the day is all about you two and spending it together.
Some reasons people choose not to do a first look:
Some couples want to stick with the traditional route of seeing each other for the first time as they are walking down the aisle. And if this is really important to you, I say do it that way! Again, this day is about your two and what makes you happy. Sometimes it is family members who are against it and not the couple. If it is family trying to sway you to one way, explain all the reasons listed above why it is a good idea. If they still aren't budging, remind them that this is your day and while you want to make them happy you want to do what is best for you and your fiance.
Some couples think the emotions won't convey the same on camera if you see each other prior to the ceremony. Just keep in mind that the first look is always emotional and intimate and since your photographer is there, they will be able to capture all those beautiful emotions on camera. Also, I have yet to see a couple not emotional as they walked down the aisle to their fiance even though they had seen each other prior. These moments are totally different and separate and the emotions will be captured both times if you choose.