Okay, this is one of the biggest decisions that impacts how your wedding day will play out. Maybe you’ve heard of the traditional first look down the aisle vs. the private first look before the ceremony and you aren’t sure which one you like more.
Well let me explain the three key reasons why a private “first look” is the way to go!
Number 1– You want your groom to feel free to express his emotions.
You have probably imagined your fiance’s face when he sees you for the first time. Will he cry? Laugh? Pick you up and spin you around? Unfortunately men tend to freeze up when large crowds of people are watching their every move. Men only cry in front of 150+ people 30% of the time. You want all of his attention on you. Not the hundreds of pairs of eyes that are fixed on him.
Now, when you have your first look before the ceremony with just you two and your photographer and videographer in the background, it is a whole different experience! Your photographers have a chance to spend some time and get amazing shots and perspectives of your first moment seeing each other as bride and groom. You are free to hug, kiss, pray, give a twirl. It is just a beautiful and intimate time that cannot be reenacted at any other time.
Number 2- Don’t leave your food and guests waiting!
One of the biggest benefits to a first look is the timeline. You are able to get all those time consuming portraits before the wedding even starts! I’m talking about the bride and groom portraits, bridal party portraits, and sometimes even family pictures. If family pictures are better done after the ceremony, they only take about 15 minutes instead of the 45-60 minutes you would need to get all of the pictures done. Doing it ahead of time gives you more time for a variety of portraits as well as more time with your guests right after the ceremony. I have heard sad stories of couples who finally finished their pictures afterwards only to realize many of their guests left without ever saying hello.
Plus, you want to enjoy that catered food and cocktails that you spent so much money on! 😀
Number 3- Some special alone time + gifts??
When you have your first look before the ceremony, you are able to implement some pretty special moments. Many brides and grooms decide to give their fiance a special gift during this time. That could range from a handwritten letter, to a special item such as jewelry, to a boudior album! You have enough time to talk together, pray together, and take a breath before the party begins. It just puts a sweet spot in the middle of the day and a chance for you both to slow down and just enjoy each other’s presence. You most likely won’t have any alone time the rest of the day!
Sam and I opted to have a first look beforehand, and I am so glad we did! They are some of my favorite pictures and memories of our wedding day.
I hope these tips are helpful for you in deciding whether or not to have a first look. I have photographed plenty of weddings who did and did not decide to have a first look. I obviously prefer the ones with a first look, but I know how to structure a wedding day schedule in the most efficient way even with a first look down the aisle.
Happy wedding planning!