Facts About the First Look: To See or Not To See?

Tradition states that the groom should not see his bride until she is walking down the aisle. But more and more these days, couples are bucking this trend with the first look: sharing a special moment between just the two of them (and a photographer/videographer) before the ceremony.

First LookPinThis initial reaction is undoubtedly one of the most emotional moments of the entire day, and personal preference will dictate when the bride and groom want to see each other. We’ve created a list of pros and cons of doing a first look to help you decide which approach is the best approach on your big day.

The pros:

  1. With the exception of a few vendors, first looks offer more of an intimate setting, as you place your eyes on your bride or groom-to-be.
  2. For us ladies out there, bridal hair and makeup will be fresher earlier in the day.
  3. It will quell the nerves that come with prepping all day for your wedding.
  4. You can enjoy the time together without having to jump right into the wedding ceremony – plus, you might be able to remember your ceremony better if you aren’t so focused on seeing each other for the first time!
  5. You can choose to involve your bridal party or your family for that special moment – it’s totally up to you!
  6. There will be plenty of time to take photos, allowing the photographer to be creative with different locations.
  7. Doing the first look before the ceremony will allow the new bride and groom more time to mingle with guests before the reception because most of the photos will have already been taken.

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The cons:

  1. The bride, and her bridesmaids, will have to start their day much earlier in order to be ready for the first look, which usually takes place about two to three hours before the ceremony.
  2. It may make your walk down the aisle feel anticlimactic because you have already seen each other.
  3. Having the photographer and videographer may make the moment feel staged.

Whether you decide to do a first look or wait until the ceremony to see one another, the moment is going to be special. Consider the amount of time that it requires to take pictures, and allow that to be one of the deciding factors in your ultimate decision. Consider who you want to be present when your groom first lays eyes on you. And think about what you want that moment to feel like.

Regardless of when your “first look” occurs, and the best part of all, the photos will last a lifetime – so you can relieve that moment over and over and over again!

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