As you plan your wedding, each decision aids in designing an experience not just for your guests, but for you as well. It’s important to keep in mind what you want those experiences to be because they will help guide you as you and bring clarity throughout the entire process.
The first look is a common topic that comes up for every wedding. If this isn’t a term you’ve heard before, a first look is simply scheduling a time to see each other before the ceremony. This is a private setting where there is no audience outside of your photographer and videographer.
This can be an interesting topic to navigate and often times I hear couples say that they just really want that “down the aisle” moment. I’d love to offer some points on this from what I’ve seen consistently at weddings.
Connectedness. One of my favorite parts of a first look is that it’s just you two. You’ve finally made it to the wedding day. After months of extensive planning, the day has arrived and there’s so much anticipation and joy happening inside of you. The first look allows you a moment to press pause and just be together. Alone. You get to actually embrace each other, say what is on your heart, and reflect on the day to come. You don’t have to wait until the ceremony and portraits to finish to feel like you can finally catch your breath and have a moment together.
As for that “down the aisle” moment. It still happens, and what you’ve actually done created a second moment. You have the moment you first see each other and realize that this day is actually happening, and then you have the moment down the aisle that you’re finally there. It’s really beautiful.
Time with guests. This is one of the most pressing reasons that couples choose a first look. After your first look, you will move directly into portraits together, followed by the wedding party and family portraits. By completing these photos before the ceremony, you free up time afterward to actually be a part of the cocktail hour and spend more time with your guests.
Stress Reliever. There’s something to be said about walking into such an important event hand in hand with the love of your life. The ceremony is often the pinnacle of your wedding day and can be the largest cause of anxiety. When a couple chooses a first look, there is a legitimate change in the air. There’s a sigh of relief and the anxiety melts away. At this moment, you are facing the day together.
All that being said, I totally understand that some couples really want to cling on to the traditional element of not seeing each other before the ceremony. Oftentimes I hear that the biggest concern, really, is the fear of losing that emotional moment of when you first see each other down the aisle. However, what I have seen time and time again, is that the first look actually creates an extra moment for you that you wouldn’t have had otherwise. As for that moment down the aisle, it still happens because it’s still the moment that your lives are being joined together forever.
So should you have a first look? Well, the reality is that there is no straight forward answer to this questions. This is when you go back to what YOU want to experience on your wedding day. If having a first look adds to that, then go for it.