On First Looks

Happy Belated 4th of July, gang!  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and could spend it celebrating with your families and friends…and to my overseas bloggies, I hope you had a great Sunday nonetheless! 

Today I want to talk about First Looks.  They are a recent addition to the wedding world, and photographers LOVE them.  “What’s a First Look?” My non-wedding-planning-readers may ask.  A First Look is when the bride and groom see each other for the first time BEFORE the ceremony…and BEFORE the bride walks down the aisle.  Oh, the horror!  The superstitions!  I know, I know.  But really?  The First Look produces some really wonderful photo opportunities, gives the bride and groom a chance to relax a bit, and can really help with the flow of your day by allowing you to get a lot of the posey-posey wedding party pictures out of the way immediately instead of waiting until after the ceremony.  In short, it’s a great way to help smooth out your schedule and allow you and your groom a few intimate moments together before the ceremony.  And it produces some great photos, like these:

first look 1

first look 2
(Source for above two photos, through this site and this site)

first look 3
(Source by this photographer)

All that being said, Dr. Groomy and I are not doing a First Look.

(Insert record scratching noise here)

I know…sounds like I love the idea of a First Look, right? I do, but…it’s just not for me.  I am not traditional about a lot of things, but when the bride sees the groom and vice versa is one thing that I am pretty certain on. I want that “moment” of walking down the aisle to be the first time we lay eyes on each other that day. I’m also pretty superstitious, believe it or not (ahem, remember how adamant I was about who holds the cake knife?!), and I think there is just something classically romantic about the bride and groom not seeing each other for the first time until she’s walking down the aisle.  I know, everyone who has a first look recommends it and still says that the aisle moment is meaningful…and I believe you, I do…but I also know myself and I know how I’ll feel if I’ve already seen Dr. Groomy.  So, First Look be damned, at least in our book!

Did you do a first look, or are you planning to?  What are your thoughts on this new tradition?

*My apologies if posting is a bit light this week.  I am swamped at the office right now and am struggling to catch up on some wedding projects at home…I’ll be back to a more regular posting schedule next week!

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9 Comments

Filed under Photography

9 responses to “On First Looks

  1. stephanie

    hi!!! ok, sorry to be cynical, but I kind of feel like the first look was invented as an apology for not waiting until *after* the ceremony to do the pictures.

    We waited for the ceremony to do the “first look.” We had to go outside during dinner and take pictures in the sunset, and as a result I didn’t eat much, but I feel it was worth the tradeoff to do things (what I feel is) properly.

  2. I feel the exact same way as you! We aren’t doing a first look either. By the time we get married it will have been almost 10 years of dating, so I really want the moment to be special, and it would be nice if we both were able to shed a tear or two 🙂

  3. I felt the exact same way. Until I thought about how much time we’d miss with our guests and how few pictures we’d get of us and of our bridal party (because I know I’d want to get to the party.) I am super traditional, but I gave in to doing the first look and I’m SOOO SO glad I did.

    I was so anxious/nervous/shaky the morning of the wedding, and seeing David made me feel so much better. He calms my nerves in a way no one else can. We also got great pictures of his face when he saw me for the first time, and we had an intimate moment before bridal party pictures. And it didn’t affect the feeling of seeing me walk down the aisle in the LEAST. I still had huge butterflies, I locked eyes with him, and tears started falling when I saw his chin quivering. He still cried. And that feeling was still just as incredible.

    Before I would’ve tried to talk brides out of it, but after experiencing it, I can’t recommend it enough!

  4. I love the idea of a first look. I love the pictures. I love the fact the the couple gets to spend more time with family and friends. And I love my husband…who did NOT want a first look. So we didn’t. We waited until I walked down the aisle. And it was so magical I couldn’t imagine doing it any other way. Before the ceremony or walking down the aisle…no matter which way you do it, the second he lays eyes on you will melt your heart and it’ll be wonderful.

  5. I posted pics of our first look last week – and video too which was my favorite! I think the photos lie a little bit 🙂

    I understand your desires to want to keep to the tradition for whatever reason and it really is dependent on the couple themselves…no right or wrong answer. But whenever there is a bride (groom) wondering or considering whether to do one or not, I absolutely encourage them to do it.

    For us, the main reason I wanted one was simply because I wanted *ALL* of our wedding photos taken before the ceremony so 1) we wouldn’t keep our guests waiting for hours and 2) we could actually spend the cocktail hour *WITH* our guests visiting and enjoying them and the special entertainment we had during this time of the wedding.

    I wouldn’t change a thing, and I still got a bit teary as we saw each other walking down the aisle, but I totally respect and understand your own decision.

  6. We’re doing a first look and I’m excited about it! It’ll be nice to have that moment together. I think couples should do what’s right for them, and either way, the first time they see each other will be special!

  7. Em

    We did a First Look and it was a great choice for us. It’s definitely not for everyone, but the way our day was shaping up we literally had no other choice. I’d say that I was even MORE emotional during the aisle look, though. I didn’t cry during our first look, but man, I nearly threw up walking down that aisle.

    Good for you for sticking to your guns, though! Everything will be emotional and special and all that mushy crap no matter what 🙂

  8. I think I would an emotional train wreck walking down the aisle and not getting to hold my lover beforehand. Just to say “hi” and hug and kiss (not with tounge or anything, save that part for the ceremony). I’ve seen brides who were sobbing as they have walked down the aisle and I would NOT want to be that bride, although even with seeing him before I would still be emotional walking down the aisle. You and Dr. Groomy are both strong, wonderful people and I’m sure that moment will be awesome!!

  9. kjpugs

    Our first look was great. It eased the nerves, made for some great pictures, and basically set the tone for a stress-free day. Sure, it would have been AWESOME to walk down the aisle and have him see me FORTHEFIRSTTIME. But not worth the extra stress everywhere else!!!

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