For ages, the wedding ceremony has focused on the special moment of the bride walking toward groom up the aisle. But in recent years, this tradition has received a new spin, which has couples raving as to the beautiful moment it creates. It’s called a first look, where in a quiet moment before the ceremony the groom gets to glimpse his bride as they enjoy a private moment together.
So, as a bride, what should you do? Stick with tradition or embrace the new? What makes each one special? In this post, we touch on 3 pros and cons of the first look so you can make the best decision for your special day.
Pros and Cons
Pro #1: You get a special moment with your groom before the ceremony.
If you are the kind of person who prefers smaller, quieter moments of intimacy, the first look offers you the opportunity to soak in the moment with your groom where you are able to exchange sweet nothings before the structure of the ceremony. And it creates some sweet pictures in whatever setting you desire.
Con #1: You don’t have the element of surprise walking up the aisle during the ceremony.
If you have dreamed of that moment of walking toward your groom, and seeing the look on his face, as the room watches on in awe, then the first look may not be for you so that you can maintain the element of surprise.
Pro #2: You are able to get your couples photos taken earlier in the day, leaving more time during the reception to spend with your guests.
Now it’s no surprise that it takes time to get your photos taken and lots of brides and grooms, while loving the moments of photos together, wish they had been able to spend more time with their guests during the reception. If spending more time with guests is a high priority for you, you may want to consider doing a first look.
Helpful Hint: Since the ceremony hasn’t taken place yet you won’t be wearing your wedding bands, so if that is important to you in your photos, take that into consideration!
Con #2: You’ll have to move your day-of plans earlier to accommodate photos before the ceremony.
If you are not a lover of early mornings and desire a long, luxurious morning to prepare and soak in the day, take note that in order to fit everything into your day-of plans, you will likely have to get up earlier to be ready for photos before your scheduled ceremony start time.
Helpful Hint: Depending on the time of year of your wedding, take into consideration what the daylight will be doing when you take your photos. If you’ve always dreamed of that golden light right before sunset, and you’re planning an afternoon wedding, you may want to take photos after the ceremony. But if your wedding is in winter and you have an evening ceremony, you may love having the opportunity to take photos before the ceremony to take advantage of the daylight.
Pro #3: You’ll be able to get some of your jitters and emotions worked through before the ceremony.
Some brides and grooms feel restrained in showing all their raw emotion before friends and families during the ceremony itself and would prefer to experience the precious tears in intimacy with just their beloved. The first look is a perfect way to do this as you’re in control of who all is at your first look.
Helpful Hint: Think through what level of privacy you would like with your groom. How close do you mind your photographer? Would you prefer close-ups or do you want them to be out of earshot for those first moments? Do you mind your wedding party looking on? Or is this a bride and groom moment only?
Con #3: You may not have the same emotional response walking up the aisle
If you’ve always envisioned walking towards your groom during the ceremony and watching his face as he takes you in for the first time, whether his response is tears or big, bright smile, you might not want the first look, as often, those emotion-filled moments were experienced earlier.
But what if you really want to save the first look for the ceremony, but want to somehow still experience a special moment with your groom before the ceremony? Well, here are some compromises that give you the best of both worlds.
#1: You can have a “first touch”, instead of a first look
This is a way where you remain hidden from each other’s view, but you are still able to hear each other’s voice and know the other is near before the ceremony. Whether standing back to back or holding hands around a doorway and praying together, this moment can help get some of those jitters out of the way, while still maintaining the surprise of the ceremony. (It also still makes for some fun photos!)
Helpful Hint: Writing a letter to one another, that is read on the wedding day is a fantastic way to feel close to each other on the big day if you love the idea of not seeing (or touching) each other before the ceremony.
#2: You can save parts of your wedding attire to put on after the first look
If you really want to do both, consider saving parts of your wardrobe to put on after the first look, whether that be your veil, special earrings, a sash, etc. It will still give your groom an element of surprise at the ceremony, but you are able to enjoy your first look.
Tied With a Bow Weddings is a boutique Colorado wedding planner creating beautiful luxury weddings throughout the Greater Denver Area and Rocky Mountains. Looking to plan your Colorado wedding? Learn more about me here, or contact me for your complimentary consultation!
Photo Credits: Bremnes Photography