Though definitely not new, first looks have remained as one of the top “trends” among newly engaged couples. And now that you’re one of those newly engaged couples (yay!) the thought about including a first look has probably crossed your mind as you begin to plan your wedding. Is a first look worth the hype? Or should you go the more traditional route of waiting until walking down the aisle?
These are the questions we’re going to explore in this blog post by taking a look at the pros and cons of having a first look!
What is a first look?
First, before we get into if you should do a first look, we need to talk about what a first look is, in case you’re not familiar with it yet!
A first look is a moment before the ceremony starts when the bride and groom plan to see each other for the first time in their gown and suit. It’s meant to serve as an intimate and special moment shared together before the day begins and the guests arrive.
Though it’s considered more traditional to wait until the ceremony to see each other, first looks have become so popular over the years that we would consider it an equally significant wedding tradition.
Now that you’re familiar with what a first look is, let’s explore the question, “should I do a first look at my wedding?”
Should I do a first look at my wedding?
The answer is… It depends! As wedding planners, we are and will always be an advocate for making your wedding day truly your own. While there are traditions and “do’s and don’ts” lists, ultimately, your wedding is only
supposed to be a reflection of you and your partner’s personalities. So while a first look is definitely a tradition you can include, you also have the power to decide not to do it!
With that being said, you’re most likely still on the fence about including a first look in your wedding since you’re here reading this blog post. So, let’s go over some of the potential pros and cons of first looks!
The pros of including a first look at your wedding
1. It lets you and your partner have some alone time.
As you may have heard from friends and family who have gotten married, you’re going to be spending most of your wedding conversing, celebrating, and dancing with all your guests. This is why we recommend getting in as much alone time as possible with your partner — to really soak up the moment with just the two of you.
Including a first look is the perfect opportunity to have an intimate moment alone with your partner to celebrate this new chapter together. Yes, there technically will be wedding photographers there as well, but they will make sure to stay out of the way while capturing the special moment!
“Seeing each other at the aisle will always be a special moment, but many of our couples like to have the first time they see each other on their wedding day be a private, emotional moment where they can share an embrace, hold each other’s hands, and gush about how cute they look! When you wait to have this moment at the aisle, you don’t get the opportunity to do these things as the ceremony is in full swing! We’ve noticed that many of our couples try to be very stoic at the aisle because they know all eyes are on them. But during a first look, everyone is more relaxed and open with their emotions, which creates beautiful moments for us to capture. Plus, as an added bonus, doing a first look usually means you can attend the cocktail hour, spend more time with guests and enjoy your wedding day a lot more!”
2. It allows more time for photos.
A first look comes before the celebrations “officially” begin, so you’ll have more time for photos! After the first look is over, you could gather your bridal party and closest family and friends to join in for photos. Plus, this could mean more time for cocktail hour and mingling after the ceremony.
3. It can calm your nerves.
Your partner is likely your ride-or-die, the one who calms the chaos for you, and the one who has been there to support you through the gloomiest days. So it only makes sense that during a nerve-wracking day, seeing your partner will help ease those nerves! It can remind both of you that you’re in this together and at the end of the day, this is a celebration of you both.
The cons of including a first look at your wedding
1. You have to get ready earlier.
Though this doesn’t seem like a significant con at first, hair and makeup do
take quite a bit of prep. So just be warned that if you decide to take your photos earlier on in the day along with your first look, you’re going to have to start your day much earlier than usual. Here’s what Kristen Weaver from Kristen Weaver Photography had to say about giving yourself enough buffer time for your first look moment:
“As a good rule of thumb, we would plan your first look about two hours prior to your ceremony. This gives you enough time for both portraits and wedding party photos, and then still gets you hidden before guests arrive for your ceremony. If you have to travel to the ceremony or photo location, you may need to add even more time. Your photographer will be able to draft up a tentative timeline for you that your hair and makeup artist can use to determine your official start time!”
2. The lighting may not be the best.
Depending on the time of day and where you take your photos, it could be difficult to get photos taken so early on in the day when the sun is high in the sky and harsh. Of course, with a great wedding photographer, this won’t be too much of an issue. But it may slow down the process while they try and find the best spot to capture that emotional moment.
Here’s what Kristen Weaver had to say about this potential obstacle:
“Don’t get too stuck on specific spots for photos (we sometimes curse Pinterest for this!) because photographers know that beautiful light isn’t location-dependent! We may need to change angles or locations at a moment’s notice because a cloud swoops in or the sun is hitting perfectly just over a building. And just remember — although we can sometimes work a little magic — we can’t change Mother Nature or keep the sun out. So stay flexible and trust the photographer you hired because they’ll know how to direct you for a great wedding day photo experience!”
3. It takes away from the first look as the bride walks down the aisle
A little self-explanatory, but it is something you have to consider! Would you prefer to share that moment alone, or would you like to share it with all your guests? This is highly personal, so there’s no right or wrong answer here. It simply depends on how you would like to share that first look moment.
Hopefully, after reading this blog post, you have a clearer idea of whether or not you want to include a first look at your wedding! We would love to hear what you decide to do, so tag us in your Instagram stories with your decision!
Feeling like you need just a bit extra help? Get in touch with our team! We would love to see how we can make your Florida wedding dreams come true.