It's a CONTROVERSIAL issue...
Often times I hear that a couple has chatted about it, but there's usually one party that thinks it's not a great idea and that the "spark" or energy will be different if they see each other before the ceremony. Yes, seeing each other during the ceremony for the first time on the wedding day can be thrilling, exciting & exhilarating. Some of my favorite groom reactions have happened during the ceremony... but some of them happened even after a first look. Let me dive in a little deeper to point out some pretty good reasons to at least consider a first look on your wedding day.
Reasons for a First Look
- You ACTUALLY get to spend some time alone on your wedding day! Most couples don't get a moment alone on their big day. Most of the day is spent with your photographer, videographer or family & friends. If you want to have a moment on your wedding day alone with your spouse - a first look is the WAY TO GO. During a first look, I usually photograph the look itself and then let the couple have a few minutes to chat and catch up before heading into couples portraits.
- You get a chance to be yourself. This is the perfect time to show your personality during your first look. If you know your other half won't react without a funny mask or a butt pinch from you, then let's do it!! Be yourselves, enjoy your time together and be goofy!
- You get to join your friends & guests much sooner! When you do a first look, you can get most, if not all, your portraits done before the wedding ceremony. Couples portraits, wedding party portraits and family portraits are all or mostly done when cocktail hour comes around. After the ceremony, you may have to take a few family portraits with grandma & grandpa and then maybe 15 minutes of additional couples portraits, but then you get to CHILL. This is soooo rare for a bride and groom on a wedding day. Grab a beer or a cocktail and mingle with your guests or have your caterer make up some small plates for you & your honey and get ANOTHER private moment together by eating together before introductions & first dances.
- The spark will NOT be gone. I'm honest. It may even help you feel less anxious and more excited for the rest of your wedding day. The excitement you feel during the first look will still be there when you have all your guests watching.
- If you have anxiety in front of large groups or just really want to see each other ASAP on the wedding day - First Look ALLL THE WAY. You get all the butterflies out so that when you get to the ceremony, you can be more focused on the love of your life walking towards you and you'll have a better chance of actually remembering the beginning your lives together.
A first look is ultimately up to the couple. A first look can help to make the timeline flow a little better, allow for more couples portraits & let the couple enjoy more time with their guests. I highly suggest a first look if you don't have your photographer booked to cover the entire wedding day, if you're getting married in the fall or winter months (when the sunsets earlier in the day), if you envision getting LOTS of couples portraits taken on your big day or if your ceremony start time is close to or at sunset. This way you're not running around trying to desperately capture portraits while the sun quickly leaves the sky. Stressing out on your wedding day is not ideal. That's why you should chat about this wedding day option early on and make sure to create a timeline that can accommodate everything you want from your big day!