What is a first look?
A first look is when a bride and groom choose to see each other for the first time on their wedding day before the bride walks down the aisle. This is an intimate moment coordinated by your wedding photographer and/or planner. For a first look to be really successful you should absolutely have a second photographer on your wedding day so that you get photo reactions from both you and your spouse.
Why do we have first looks?
You've heard that it's bad luck to see each other before the wedding? That superstition originated from a time when arranged marriages were common. There was a possibility that if the groom didn't like what his wife-to-be looked like he would back out and the wedding would be off! That could be very problematic with dowries involved so the bride would be hidden from view throughout the day and even as she walked down the aisle with a blusher on her veil. This is not likely to be an issue today as you know what the person you’re marrying looks like so don’t worry, it’s not bad luck!
Pros to having a first look
- It allows for you and your future spouse to see each other for the first time on your wedding day in private, to have a moment to talk, without an audience.
- It allows you to get all of your photos before the ceremony so that you can get to your party as soon as it starts.
Cons of having a first look
- If you want the traditional moment where you see each other walking down the aisle, that is lost if you have a first look.
- Having a first look means that you need to be wedding day ready earlier than you may have originally planned.
The First Touch
There is one more alternative to a first look and that is the first touch. A first touch can be actual contact where you touch each other without seeing one another using blindfolds or standing on opposite sides of a door. A first touch can also be done with the exchange of letters or private vows.
Private Vow or Letter Exchange
First look with dad
Some brides opt to have a first look with their dad. It's a very special and sometimes emotional moment when the father of the bride sees his daughter for the first time in her gown on her wedding day. Your dad will see you before you walk down the aisle but you can document the moment forever by intentionally setting aside the space to make this happen.
First look with bridesmaids
Your bridesmaids have been with you for hair and make-up while you prep for your wedding day. Many brides choose to privately slip into their wedding dress with the help of an assistant such as your mom or maid of honor. It can be fun for you and the bridesmaids to document the moment they see you all put together for the first time on your wedding day.
Should you have a first look?
As a wedding photographer, I have no opinion on whether or not you should have a first look. This is your wedding day and my job is to document whatever is important to you. If you choose to have a first look I will help you to create the perfect moment, if you want to see each other for the first time walking down the aisle I'll capture your reactions then. However you decide to see each other for the first time can be extremely emotional for both of you. Whatever you choose, the moment will be special and it will be yours.
We've seen the groom cry when there has been a first look and when the couple waits to see each other at the end of the aisle, whatever his reaction is tears or smiles, the emotional moment is yours and we will be there to document it.