That is the question.
A first look is a moment before the ceremony in which the bride and groom plan to see one another for the first time, and is my favorite part of the wedding day. There’s usually some tears and lots of laughter. This private moment is so special, and is likely the only time the bride and groom will share alone during the entire wedding day until the end of the night.
Here are a few reasons why a first look may be for you.
Wedding days are filled with all the emotions, and your future spouse is likely one of your biggest comforts. This time allows you to stop and savor the moment. It’s best to choose a location where you two can be alone, without the distraction of foot traffic and other guests or family members. You’ll want to soak up every second of this time!
Wedding day timelines are a guide, but often the time needed for certain parts or vendors are underestimated, and sometimes the weather can be a major factor. By having a first look, you get portraits when you’re fresh and not being rushed. The group and individual photos with bridesmaids and groomsmen can be taken after, which leaves the window of time after the ceremony for family formals. Without a first look, all of these portraits would be taken right after the ceremony while the other guests are at cocktail hour. If you forego a first look, plan on spending the full cocktail hour on portraits, but keep in mind, if the ceremony starts late it cuts into time for photos with the photographer. Capturing those natural light portraits is a photographers race against the sunset.
With most of the portraits being completed before the ceremony, and only family formals to be taken after, a first look gets you, your wedding party, and family to your reception quicker to enjoy the celebration. After all, your big day passes by in the blink of an eye!
Your significant other seeing you pre-ceremony doesn’t take away that sweet reaction when they see you walk down the aisle. With the audience of family and friends, the venue, and all the details that make up the special day, it will still weigh on the both of you in that very moment.
Are you still deciding on personal or traditional vows for your wedding? If the crowd has you second guessing your public speaking abilities, consider reading your personal vows or a letter to your love during the first look. This makes for extra special photos that capture all the feels!
Each couple and wedding is unique, so the first step to making a decision would be to discover what you and your partner value. Is keeping with tradition important to you? Are you wanting enough time to create those evenly-lit bride and groom portraits to cherish forever? Is attending your cocktail hour something you look forward to? What do you value?
Perhaps instead of a first look, a “first touch” moment may be a more meaningful alternative option. This is a great opportunity to create more lovely and interesting photos of the two of you, while also sticking to tradition. You can even read your vows during this first touch moment to make it extra special!
Are you thinking about a first look? Did you have one on your wedding day or do you wish you had? Comment below and share your thoughts! I would love for this little corner of the internet I’ve created to be a space for sharing ideas, and for helping other couples in this process of wedding planning.