Many many couples are conflicted about having a first look with their groom or bride to-be. Brides want their fiance to have that tearful, emotion-filled reaction when he sees her for the first time, so they decide against a first look. I honestly think that first looks are not always necessary but can definitely be beneficial at times. I am absolutely 100% not trying to convince anyone to have a first look if they are against it. HOWEVER, I do want to list the benefits to a first look so if you are unsure, this can help make up your mind.
If you do decide to have a first look, it is an amazing part of your wedding day! If you aren’t sure about this tradition, this will explain why, in some cases, it would be a romantic addition to your wedding day celebration that not only adds to the experience but also reduces stress. I truly think having a first look or not depends on your own relationship + unique personalities.
Some brides love “traditions”…. but what I’ve noticed a bride REALLY wants when it comes to her groom seeing her for the first time, is a REACTION. I understand, I absolutely want this reaction also. I want him to cry or get extremely excited and tell me how amazing I look and give me the biggest hug! Those who are not interested in a First Look usually think that by seeing each other beforehand, they will lose part of that reaction. They also assume that it will not be as emotional or as intimate as the ceremony. However, knowing your fiance’s personality and if he is typically emotional or not is so so important. If your man is not emotional typically, then it’s very unlikely that when he’s SUPER nervous in front of 100+ people staring at him, that he’s going to get emotional seeing you walk down the aisle. If he’s typically one to cry at the little things, then it’s safe to hope he will cry when he sees you walking down the aisle. I think the biggest thing with for sure not wanting a first look, but feeling pressured to, is that you just want to have enough time for portraits of just you two. If you decide to not have a first look, just make sure to extend your cocktail hour to 1.5 – 2 hours and you’ll have plenty of time for portraits without having a first look.
Alright, now let’s talk why you SHOULD have a first look!
It’s RIGHT before the ceremony that the gravity of what is about to happen starts to sink in and the calm, collected groom who was playing poker just a few short hours ago is now starting to feel a little anxious. So what happens next? The groom waits in a little room somewhere for his queue from the coordinator. It seems like it’s taking FOREVER. Finally, the coordinator leans her head in and hurries the groom to get ready. With clammy hands, the groom enters the ceremony and what does he find? …. he finds anywhere from 80-300 people and they’re all looking where? Right at his face… because everyone has expectations and anticipation about his first reaction. This is the farthest thing from a private, intimate moment. Most brides don’t realize that when you come down the aisle and totally SHOCK him with your gorgeous-ness… he can’t even tell you how amazing you look. He can’t touch you, embrace you or even SPEAK to you. You have to wait until 30 minutes later when the ceremony is over for him to react and tell you how amazing you look. And after 30 minutes of the ceremony, the reaction isn’t the same as the initial first glance.
Now picture this:
By the time your ceremony rolls around, your groom will be ready to ENJOY your beautiful day! You actually get to have intimate time on your wedding day with your man. He’ll see you for the first time is your gorgeous white gown + bawl his eyes out or get SO SO excited and gives you the biggest hug. First Looks allow you to be TOGETHER and alone on your wedding day. To cry and laugh and cry some more… putting you in the perfect mood for bridal portraits. When you have just shared your first look, you’re READY to love on each other, and I always capture some super sweet images during those moments!
You get rid of your nerves! I’d say, literally 1/2 of my couples who have decided to do a first look, the grooms were not fans of it at first. However, because they have never experienced their wedding day before, they didn’t know how nerve racking it can be and were so relieved to have done a first look to get all the pre-wedding jitters out!
Alright alright, so we get Julia is a fan of first looks with the bride and groom. What about other first looks though? UH YES! I absolutely LOVE father-daughter, bridesmaids, brother, grandma, whoever else first looks!
Father Daughter First Look: For all of the brides who have a sweet spot in their heart for their dad. I have to admit that Daddy/Daughter first looks make me a little teary. For a lot of dads, this is when everything feels real and it hits him… “My baby girl is getting MARRIED!” These are precious moments to photograph and I highly encourage any daddy’s girl to make time in their timeline for this moment. It doesn’t take long at all, just like 15 minutes! But this is most definitely my favorite “other first look” that I encourage all my brides to have!
Bridesmaids First Look: YES ANOTHER FAVORITE WITH YOUR LADIES! Alright so you probably went shopping for your dress with your ladies. Or sent them a bunch of photos of your beautiful gown. And you’re probably getting ready with all your ladies too. BUT we can definitely still have a bridesmaids first look! Once you are ready to get into your dress, we can grab just your momma or MOH or whoever is helping you zip/button up, and go into a different room without all your ladies. Then we’ll get you into your dress, put on your shoes and jewelry, take a few portrait photos and once you’re all ready, we can open the door and show you off to all your best friends! It takes just a minute or two and is seriously one of my FAVORITE parts of a day! I love ladies hyping each other up and just puts everyone in an extra good mood. And you get more cute photos with your ladies 😉
I really hope this helps you make your decision on if you should have a first look! Whether that’s with your groom, father, bridesmaids, or whoever, First looks are an amazing way to just have a few extra minutes with your special someone(s)!