FICTION! To understand, first I want to explain why people do a first look. Many think it is just to get more photos or to see your soon-to-be spouse sooner. Though that could be the reason for some people, I don’t find that to be the usual case. Rather, most couples opt to do a first look because it lowers your stress on your wedding day and let’s you enjoy every moment. The best way to explain why people do a first look is to give you two timelines of a wedding day – one with a first look and one without. To start, I’ll go through a wedding day without a first look…
Both the bride and groom wake up and get dressed separately (this is the case for both scenarios). You go to your ceremony and expect that your groom will cry when he sees you walking down the aisle looking all kinds of gorgeous. But ladies, we know our men. They are either criers or they aren’t. Most men do not cry in front of large crowds. If you are worried that if you do a first look he won’t cry when you walk down the aisle, than I think this is a wrong reason to say no to a first look. In fact, your groom is most likely to get emotional when it is just the two of you because he is most comfortable being vulnerable with just you around.
Continuing with your timeline if you opt out a first look… ceremony is complete and now it’s time for family portraits. Most often my brides tell me I have one 45- 1hour to take photos of you and both of your whole families, the bridal party, and husband/wife portraits. PHEW! I lose my breathe just thinking about it! Don’t fret. I can do this and have done it several times (for more info on family portrait time check out my blog post about Planning Family Portraits). But let’s be real; you’re hungry and you want to rush through the photos so you can sit down, eat, relax, and party with your new husband. So during this time, you’re stressed and I don’t want you to feel that way on your wedding day! You should be enjoying every second. Then when you get to the reception all your guests what to say hi and congratulate you (rightfully so!) because they haven’t seen you yet. By the time you catch a break it’s time for the dances, cake cutting, and finally the exit. Just like that your wedding day is over. Ask any married couple, they will say it flew by like the blink of an eye.
Now let me offer you a different scenario, one that has a first look.
2 hours prior to your ceremony, right after you just finished your hair and makeup and slipped into your dress, I set your groom up in an agreed upon location and escort you to him. Before he sees you, you tap on his shoulder and he gets to see how extraordinarily gorgeous you look! This is all while I am a good distance away that way it is just the two of you experiencing each other. These are the photos that you print, hang on your walls, put in your album, etc. First looks are possibly my favorite part of weddings because of its raw emotion; something about it is just so pure when just you and your groom embrace one another before saying “I do.”
After that sweet moment, we spend 30 minutes taking photos of just the two of you. For another 30 minutes I have the bridal party join us and take photos of you with each bridesmaid and him with each groomsman, combos – whatever you want. The possibilities are endless. Then for another 30 minutes we swap out the bridal party for family and we tackle the family portraits (click here for Planning Family Portraits). Then for those final 30 minutes we tuck you both away for final touch ups before ceremony and to just relax. Just like that all those photos are done and there was no rush.
Ceremony comes around and then after you can join your guests at cocktail hour where you can say hello to each guests and even eat all the yummy snacks that you picked out during your tasting. Then you go to reception and you can sit down in peace with your husband as you dine on your dinners.
There are both scenarios – with and without a first look. At the end of the day, it’s up to you and I will support either way (if you are a hard-core traditionalist, check out these other “first look” options). I just want to make sure you enjoy your day fully and never feel rushed or regret anything at the end of the day.
If you have further questions about a first look, please feel free to reach out!