I’m sure you’ve already realized, but wedding planning can be overwhelming! Depending on how far along you are with the process, you’ve probably had people ask you whether you’re doing a first look or a traditional aisle reveal. The truth is, since for most couples this is their first time planning a wedding and there are so many variables that go into a wedding day, it can be hard to really know what would work best for you. I’ve laid out some of the pros and cons of doing a first look that can help you to decide, but keep in mind that this is a very personal decision and ultimately your preferences are the most important thing going into your wedding day.
What is a First Look?
A first look is the first time that you and your partner see each other all dressed up before the ceremony on your wedding day. There are old wives-tales that say it’s bad luck to see each other before you say your “I dos”, but in the last 10-15 years it’s become increasingly common. As with most things, there are a few pros & cons that come with doing a first look which I’ve laid out for you from my personal experience in the wedding industry. If you need any guidance in making your decision I’m more than willing to make some suggestions about what will make your day flow the smoothest, but I believe the decision on whether or not to indulge in a first look should come down to you and your partner’s personal values and what type of emotions you want to feel on your wedding day.
Pros of a First Look
Emotions are always high on a wedding day, but this is an opportunity to capture the emotions you feel together. Doing a traditional aisle reveal can be extremely emotional too, but you’re not together in those moments.
It’s becoming more common for couples to want to be able to enjoy their full cocktail hour and mingle with friends & family. If that’s something that’s important to you on your wedding day, I highly recommend considering a first look! After we grab a few portraits of you two together, we can move right into family and bridal party portraits with our remaining time to get them out of the way. Depending on the time of year and the size of your family or bridal party, if we forgo the first look and wait until after the ceremony to capture group portraits, we may have less than ideal lighting conditions.
Wedding days can be stressful. Some couples get anxious about things not going exactly the way they envisioned for their special day, but spending a few moments with your partner beforehand can be really grounding as it brings you back to the core focus: your love for one another.
Having a few minutes with each other before you vow to spend the rest of your lives together can really make for a beautiful moment. In addition to the romantic, emotional photos, it’ll also create a core memory from your wedding day to look back on.
Cons of a First Look
If you do opt to do a first look, you’ll need to be ready earlier than you planned, which also means hair and makeup will need to start earlier in the morning.
Since most first looks take place during the day, the lighting will most likely be harsh unless it’s an overcast day. Of course, as experienced photographers and videographers we can typically find a shaded spot or a nice neutral space indoors to avoid this from happening!
Things to Keep in Mind
Whether you choose to do a first look or not is entirely up to you and your partner. We’re here to do exactly what you have envisioned because it’s all about you on your wedding day! That being said, if you’re set on not seeing each other until you walk down the aisle and you decide on the day of that you need to see your partner, that is totally okay. As skilled photographers and videographers we can definitely adapt and make that happen for you! Take your time and think about what emotions you want to feel on your wedding day and how you want to remember it. Deciding whether or not to do a first look is a very personal decision, and either way, know that your day will happen exactly the way it’s meant to happen.