There are so many traditions when it comes to Wedding Days:
- Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue
- Bouquet / Garter Toss
- Carrying the Bride across the threshold
And, perhaps the most popular:
- The Bride and Groom must not see each other until the ceremony!
Well, folks, I'm here to tell you - traditions are a-changin' and I'm HAPPY about it! Especially when it means my couples choose to do First Looks!
Trust me, I realize that Brides want a REACTION from their Grooms. They want to walk down the aisle and see their Husband-to-be wipe a tear from his eye or see his jaw drop in amazement. I get it. But why does this reaction have to happen when he's at the other end of the aisle? Why can't it happen during a private moment between the two of you where you can experience it all in close range?
In my experience, couples who are hesitant to have a First Look feel so because they think the emotion of the ceremony will be lessened by seeing each other beforehand. I will tell you this - every single one of my couples who has chosen to do a First Look has said they still felt the excitement and emotion when walking down the aisle. And, in fact, it can be even more so. Here's why:
Wedding Days are stressful. The whole day is focused on the Couple. They need to look their best, they need to be on time, the groom has no idea what side the boutonniere is supposed to go on... It’s right before the ceremony that the intensity of what is about to happen starts to sink in and the calm, collected groom is now starting to feel a little nervous.
The groom waits in a little room somewhere for his cue from the coordinator and it seems like it’s taking FOREVER! Eventually, the groom enters the ceremony and what does he find? Oh, only 75-300 people 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!
By having a First Look, the Bride and Groom spend time together and with their best friends before the ceremony and the pressure is OFF. By the time the ceremony rolls around, you are ready to ENJOY your Big Day! The nerves are gone, which allows true emotions to be free.
Think of it this way... what if you took that nervous Groom to a private place? No on-lookers, no distractions, and you let his beautiful Bride, the love of his life, walk up to him and gently tap his shoulder. He would turn around and get his first look at his stunning bride and not only would he get to see her… he could embrace her… cry with her…. kiss her… and ENJOY that moment with her for as LONG as they wanted.
Another way to think about it... when the Bride comes down the aisle and WOWs him with her gorgeousness… he can’t tell her how amazing she looks. He can’t touch her, embrace her, kiss her. They have to wait until the ceremony is over for him to react and tell her how amazing she looks. The reaction 30-40 minutes later just isn’t the same as the initial.
Because they aren’t on a time crunch, they casually move into their romantic portraits. No one is around and there is no pressure. It’s just the two of them (and me), capturing the excitement and the joy of their Wedding Day. This is their time to be TOGETHER…and to be ALONE. Trust me, without a First Look, there is no time to be alone during your Wedding Day.
In addition to this special time alone, couples who opt for a First Look also enjoy the following benefits:
- With a first look, you get MORE portraits of the two of you! Keep in mind, the images of the two of you are typically the images you decorate your first home with!
A First Look gives you the best gift of all - TIME. Normally the wedding day would start when you come down the aisle, then the ceremony would end, you would rush through portraits so that you’re not late for the introductions and then it’s reception time. With a first look, instead of being rushed for your bridal party portraits, you actually get to enjoy them and have fun hanging out with your BEST friends on your wedding day. The first half of your wedding album is usually filled with images from this time together before the ceremony. Why not make it last???
First Looks allow your Portraits to showcase your LOVE. Let's be honest here. Your Wedding Day should be all about you. Yet, without a First Look, your portrait time after the ceremony starts with Family Formals, then Bridal Party. You as a couple get what's left. And, it can be hard to really get back into “lovey dovey” mode after all this, especially with family around! During your First Look, you’re ready to love on each other and snuggle with each other and it always leads to emotional, romantic images!
Of course, as much as I love First Looks, they are not required. It is totally up to the Bride and Groom, but I always make sure to share the amazing benefits! I’ve seen them come to life over and over again so I share this because I want the BEST for my couples!! It’s totally okay if couples choose not to share a first look! It’s just my preference to do one :-)