When I first start discussing timelines with my brides, one of the very first questions I’ll ask is: “how do you envision seeing each other for the first time on your wedding day”? The answer is usually one of two things: in a ‘traditional entrance’, as the bride walks down the aisle; or in a private ‘First Look’ moment, hours before the ceremony.
Now, this is when I start getting strange looks from grooms, ‘…We would see each other, before the ceremony??…Isn’t that bad luck?’
Honestly, the idea of a First Look is still fairly new, and many people have still never heard of it. The First Look is a moment on a wedding day when a bride and groom see each other for the first time in their full wedding attire, in a private moment away from guests. If you can get past the traditions and the risk of ‘bad luck’, there are so many great reasons to see each other before the ceremony.
Now this isn’t to diss the ‘traditional look’ in any way – I still love those moments and keeping this tradition on your day can be lovely! Let me preface this by saying that you are in no way expected to do a First Look, but there’s a reason why 90% of my couples (and even my husband and I!) planned for this moment before the ceremony.
In today’s The Friday Five, we’re talking about 5 reasons to have a First Look! Are you still tossing between a Traditional vs. First Look wedding?
1. BREAK THE NERVES
It’s no secret that the morning of your wedding will be stressful. With all the expectations and new things to learn (I mean, guys, how many of you have ever pinned a boutonnière??; and ladies, do you have those vows memorized??), there’s no doubt that nerves will be high.
The most valuable thing I can tell you here is that the one person who will understand those feelings in that moment is your fiancé. A First Look gives you the opportunity to break some of these nerves earlier in the day, and help loosen you up for what’s to come. If you’re shy in front of crowds, or you know that nerves will get the better of you, the First Look might be a great option for you.
2. REACT FREELY.
Picture this: you’re walking down the aisle; your nerves are high; everyone you care about is staring right at you; and you can’t hug, touch or talk to your fiancé once you reach the end of the aisle. For me, this was my number one reason for opting for a First Look. I wanted to be able to react freely without expectations and nerves. I wanted to be able to hug my future husband and tell him how my day was going. This is the perk of the First Look: you get to hug, talk, twirl, kiss and say ‘I love you’ without restrictions.
3. MORE TIME TOGETHER.
To put it simply, if you see each other before the ceremony, you’ll get to spend more time together on your wedding day. On average, couples will start their First Look 2 hours before the ceremony, which means most couples get hours more time together if they opt for a First Look.
4. MORE TIME WITH GUESTS.
The beauty of seeing each other for the first time before the ceremony is that we can now take the majority of your portraits before the ceremony as well! Bridal party portraits, bride and groom portraits, and even family formals can now be taken before the ceremony. This means, that we won’t have to rush off for portraits immediately after the ceremony, and you can plan to enjoy your cocktail hour with guests! Cheers to that!
5. TWO MOMENTS.
When I hear doubt from brides about the First Look, it’s usually from a fear that the ceremony will feel ‘less special’ as a result of seeing each other beforehand. Now, I can’t speak for everyone here, but from my own perspective, I can tell you I was just as excited to walk down the aisle and become a wife; even having seen my future husband earlier that day. A huge part of this comes down to having some time apart again during the drive over to the venue, and building up that suspense again before the big moment. Looking back, it was as though we had two incredible first look moments – one completely private, the other with our closest friends and family – and I cherish those parts of the day above all else.
Friends! Remember, this is in no means meant to pressure you away from having a ‘traditional aisle entrance’ if that’s what your heart is telling you to do. If you’ve been on the fence about having a traditional vs. first look moment on your wedding day, I hope these tips have been super helpful!