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The First Look: Thoughts from previous brides

i’ve been asked several times about the “First Look” for couples on their wedding day.

this post is certainly not meant to dictate your wedding schedule or ideals.

this post is for those who are considering a first look but haven’t really had any direction as to why it is so beneficial:

first of all, let’s start by clarifying the tradition:

Long ago, not all marriages were marriages stemming from love. They were arranged marriages where families needed their daughters to marry to secure their finances. The placement of the veil over a bride’s face and the tradition that he should not see her prior to the wedding was set in motion to prevent the groom changing his mind before the vows were made. therefore, it was considered “bad luck” for a groom to see the bride prior to the ceremony because he might change his mind!

oops! not as romantic as we thought, eh?

let’s consider the option of the “First Look” as a special time that you get to spend with your husband – an added bonus to your love story. and a time when you’re both happy and excited about the events to follow. it gives him time to hug you and love on you. and tell you you’re gorgeous. you can laugh together. calm each other. and share that moment that you won’t get the rest of the day.

I realize, however, that i myself have never been a bride. so i am speaking from my perspective as a wedding photographer. When i first meet with couples, they seem to feel as though i’m only considering the first look for PHOTOGRAPHY purposes. and that couldn’t be further from the truth. When i approach you with the idea of seeing each other before the ceremony – it’s more than that.  I love that my couples who have decided on a First Look are able to laugh before the ceremony. that he is able to ask you to spin around. that he doesn’t have to wait until after the ceremony to tell you how beautiful you are. i LOVE that you are free to be yourselves and laugh and giggle and hug and cry and breathe. i love that this moment is 100% of the time – the moment where your embrace reinforces every moment leading up to this one. it’s almost as if you are instantly calmed and soothed and that the rest of us, the rest of the details and worries seem to fade – leaving only your union and love to focus on.let’s hear what some of my past brides thought about their experience with a “First Look”

“My favorite thing about seeing each other prior to the ceremony was exactly that! I knew that this would be our only time to actually be ALONE until the wedding was over. It helped me to let loose and it honestly proved *even further* that we were doing the right thing! (not that there was every any doubt)” – Mackenzie

“My favorite part about seeing my husband before the ceremony is that it gave us a chance to really talk and remind each other how much we loved each other and what an important day it was for *both* of us. Just seeing each other and having that alone time gave us the reassurance and calmness which made the actual ceremony much more special. Even though we had already enjoyed the First Look time together, the grand entrance still felt amazing with the music, our friends, and family filling the church and my husband smilng at me at the end of the aisle. In fact, Gavin and i have agreed that those minutes that we spent alone together were one of our favorite moments of the day. Of all my wedding pictures, I think i most enjoy looking at the pictures you took during this quiet time because the love and hope in our eyes and smiles really brings me back to the joy of our wedding day”  – Ashley

I was totally against this idea at first because i had always envisioned that moment you see in the movies! It took me a long time to finally decide on having a First Look. Seeing each other before the ceremony was one of the best decisions that we made. It didn’t take away from the “grandeur” at all. I still had the grand entrance i wanted, but instead, didn’t make my husband share this moment with our 400+ guests! We were able to see each other’s raw emotions without having the weight of everyone else’s expections of what it should be like when you first see each other. What i loved most about this was that my husband was able to see me and tell me how much he loved me and how happy he was before anyone else could! Seeing him brought me down from a nervous high and reminded me that this day was just about me and him and our love. Chriselda guided us to make our decision. It was one of the best decisions we made about the wedding day. We have no regrets! At the end of the day, looking back at our busy and eventful wedding, we were so glad to have had some alone time and have photos that reflect our true and simple love.”  Meg

i hope this will  help anyone who is considering the First Look. i truly believe it enriches your wedding day!

happy planning


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