First look, first touch, first prayer… these are all becoming more and more popular. The majority of our brides are choosing their version of the first look to help calm their nerves and I have to say I agree with them. As a faith based company many of our brides are traditional; they choose biblical vows and a lot take communion but it seems even the most traditional of brides are opting for some sort of “first look” with their groom. Our team wanted to offer some advice to help make the decision on a first look a little easier…
True story: I went MIA on my wedding day. Full blown MIA … no note as to where I was and no phone…for 3 hours.
Let me back up a bit.
I’m the very definition of an introvert. I turn 9 different shades of red when talking in front of people, each shade is brighter than the last. And being the center of attention makes me physically nauseous. So the idea of 275 guests staring at only me for what I imagined to be the longest walk I’d ever take, gave me a full blown anxiety attack. I woke up at 5am, called my fiance and begged him to go to the courthouse with me and get married before we were to actually be married in front of everyone.
He said no.
He said he wanted to say his vows to me in front of God and the people who loved us most. While his reasoning was incredibly romantic it didn’t help my anxiety very much.
So I ran away. I mean that’s what mature adults do right?
I didn’t get very far. I went to my brother’s apartment, climbed in his bed and cried for three hours straight. In between hysterics, I threatened his life if he called our mother. Again, super mature.
Now, when we got married in 2011 first looks weren’t a thing. I had never even heard of them. But I can assure you if I would’ve known about them I absolutely would’ve done one and it absolutely would’ve helped to calm my nerves. I just needed to see him. Seeing him would’ve reminded me that the rest of the world didn’t matter and that a million people could’ve been watching me but as long as his eyes were staring into mine everything was perfect.
So my advice? You should absolutely do what feels right for you and your fiance. Forget about what everyone else wants. Forget about tradition. Don’t let anyone else’s opinion cloud your judgment and influence your decision. First look, first touch, first prayer, or none of the above – whatever you choose will be some of your favorite memories from the day.
Don’t get me wrong I love tradition, but I am Pro first looks. Speaking from experience with my own first look they are the perfect way to calm both of your nerves and a way to get a HUGE bulk of your photos done so you have more time to party with your guests!
This is such an exciting time with your future spouse and a first look is a way to make this moment more intimate. To be able to have this time to just be between you two instead of in front of all your guests looking on can be magical. You will also be able to talk and love on one another, bask in this moment a little longer than going straight into your ceremony.
One thing I have noticed with our couples that they don’t always realize is, depending on the size of your bridal party a first look might be a must if you want all the photos you requested with enough daylight. Make sure to create a shot list of what pictures are the most important to you with your photographer and discuss the pros and cons of a first look.
I promise you it will not take anything away from your special moment of walking down the aisle and now you have amazing photos of the last few moments before you say I DO!
As someone who has seen and coordinated quite a few weddings, it seems to be that the weddings with first looks are the ones that tend to go a little more according to plan. Now, because we’re wedding planners, we might be a little bit biased, but we are always making sure that our brides’ (and grooms!) wedding day visions – whether it’s pro-first look or not – come to life in the best way!
Now unlike the rest of my team, I haven’t had my own wedding and can’t speak to my own personal experiences, but I can definitely understand that most us (guilty!) have sat knee deep in bridal magazines, just imagining what that big day is going to be like – including the moment your future hubby sees you for the first time, walking down the aisle towards him.
Nevertheless, I am here to bestow upon you my professional opinion! Because I’ve planned and coordinated many weddings, both with couples that opted in and out for the first look moment, I want to help you decide strictly based off a “logistics ninja” perspective. So here are my big reasons as to why I am most definitely PRO first look! (PS – they might surprise you!)
THE NERVES. ALLLLLLL THE NERVES!
I am a firm believer that those “first moments” between you and your spouse will help you calm the nerves that you’ve been feeling all morning. Let’s face it, your wedding day is probably one of the biggest (if not the biggest) day of your life and there can be a lot of stress leading up to the moment when you’ll get to see your future hubby/wifey. When you have a first look moment, your significant other is there to help you calm those nerves, and as your wedding planner, I can promise you that you will be able to sit back and enjoy the rest of your happily ever after, just as you have imagined it.
WAY MORE TIME FOR PHOTOGRAPHY
Now our photographers following along will love this one for obvious reasons, but I think we can all agree that after the cake is cut, champagne is drunk, and you’re living your fairytale, what you’ll have left to remember are going to be your photographs.
Alright, go along with me here…
You’ve spent the past 18 months planning this big day and you’ve set a 6PM ceremony start time, with sunset scheduled for 6:30PM – You only have a few minutes to capture that natural light before things go too dark. Without getting into the nitty gritty, you’ll need to have everything go according to your wedding day timeline, without missing a beat. As much as I want to say it always happens, I’m a realist – and it just won’t fly.
I get it. Big families. Lots of cousins. We want to make sure you get every photo possible with your new and current families! Now you could possibly do bridal party portraits separately and use your post-ceremony time for just family and newlywed portraits, but you’ll need to be comfortable with the idea that you might only have one time for your bride and groom photos. Let’s also keep our fingers crossed that the lighting and weather will be cooperative and ideal! Now this might work just fine, but my advice is to save yourself the frustrations and just plan on the first look.
Our wish is for this post to add some extra advice when it comes to this particular topic. So whether you decide to have a first look or not, there really isn’t a wrong answer! You and your future spouse need to do whatever feels right for you! Don’t worry about what tradition or friends or family say to you, this is y’all’s day and should be exactly how y’all pictured it. When it comes down to it that is all that matters!
If you are looking for more professional advice on wedding photography, check out this post on how to take the perfect engagement photo.