Trying to decide whether or not to do a first look? Old tradition says the groom should not see the bride until the ceremony, however a recently popular wedding trend is the first look. The first look is when the bride and groom break tradition and see each other for the first time before the ceremony. If you are planning your wedding, we are certain you are deciding whether or not to do a first look. We have compiled a list of pro's and con's to help you decide. In the end, there is no right or wrong way to do it, just go with what feels best for you and your partner!
The Pros of a First Look
1. The first look is an intimate and special moment for you and your partner.
Doing a first look allows you and your partner to have a private moment with just the two of you. This a very special moment for you and your parter prior to being in front of a crowd at your ceremony. The first look can remove some of the pressure of having an audience during your first look at the altar and allow you to release any emotions with the one you love.
2. This can allow for more couples portraits and time for photos after ceremony.
Most couples will plan to have photos scheduled for after the ceremony during cocktail hour. When on a tight timeline, this can be tricky and you may be pressed for time. If you decide to do a first look, this can give you more time to take couples portraits before the ceremony and leave the other time for family and bridal party photos.
3. First looks can ease your nerves.
If you have any pre-wedding jitters (which don't worry, it's normal), having a first look can help get those out before you meet at the altar. Having the chance to see your partner before the ceremony can help you feel more reassured and less worried about how the ceremony goes.
4. There is more time for you to enjoy your wedding.
Typically the bride and groom will be gone for the majority, if not all, of the cocktail hour to take pictures. Since a lot of your portraits will be taken during the first look, this gives you time to enjoy your cocktail hour and spend time with your guests.
5. You can get your emotions out before ceremony.
If you are worried about crying during the ceremony, choosing to do a first look can help you get all of the emotions out beforehand. You may also be able to do a few touch ups before walking down the aisle!
The Cons of a First Look
1. A first look breaks tradition.
Many people love following established wedding traditions and we totally get it! If you and your partner feel better with having the first look while you are walking down the aisle then skip the first look before ceremony.
2. You will likely have to get up earlier.
In order to fit the first look in, you will have to adjust your timeline a little bit. Having a first look will require you to wake up and be ready earlier than originally anticipated.
3. Guests will not get to see the first look.
While not all first looks are completely alone (a lot of the time the bridal party and family will be nearby), having a first look means the majority of your guests will not get to see it during the ceremony. This can be a very special moment to share with friends and family as you are walking down the aisle.
4. Your dress and makeup could be damaged.
Depending on where you choose to do your first look and the weather, there is the possibility that your dress could get dirty before the ceremony. If you are emotional during the first look, your makeup may also get messed up.
5. You might feel uncomfortable.
Since this is a very intimate moment for you and your partner, you may feel uncomfortable having a photographer documenting it. There may also be some pressure of expectations put onto this special moment that might make it feel awkward.
Still not hooked on the idea of a first look?
One alternative option to a first look is a first touch. This allows you and your partner a private moment before the ceremony without actually seeing each other. There are many ways to do this whether you stand on opposite sides of a door, blindfolded, or back to back.
If you are still thinking of a first look but not completely sure, consider doing a first look with the father and the bride. This way the bride can still have a special moment prior to the ceremony but keep the main first look while walking down the aisle.