Your wedding day is getting closer! You’ve locked in your guest list, and figured out the dinner menu. As the list of vendors to hire dwindles, it’s time to start planning your wedding day timeline. One of the important decisions to your wedding timeline is deciding on a “First Look.”
First, what is a First Look?
The First Look is a moment staged with your photographer where the bride & groom see each other for the first time in their wedding attire, before the ceremony. Typically, this special moment is shared between you and your fiancé away from family and friends and captured by your photographer. It’s a fantastic opportunity reflect with your soon-to-be spouse that you’re about to be married!
So let’s dive into the Pros & Cons of having one.
• A Less Hectic Wedding Schedule
If you decided to see each other for the first time at the Alter, odds are you’ll need a couple hours after the ceremony to take pictures with your wedding party, family, and favorite friends. Seeing each other before the ceremony will allow you to space out important events of your wedding timeline. It also helps to cut down on the stress of rushing from the ceremony, to take pictures, to hurry for your grand entrance at the reception.
• More time to celebrate with your guests
You and your soon-to-be spouse to knock out most of your bridal party pictures before the ceremony. This means more time at the reception celebrating with your guests.
• Variety of pictures
A First Look allows you to have a few more variations of wedding photos by finding a different background from your ceremony. This gives you more pictures with different styles to cherish.
• Better Pictures (sometimes)
Photography is all about shaping light to make your pictures look amazing. If your ceremony is indoors or somewhere without shade, a First Look gives your photographer a chance to sculpt the light for pictures. During a ceremony, photographers often do not have this ability.
•A Special Moment
Seeing each other for the first time on your wedding day is a powerful and emotional experience. A First Look gives you a chance to enjoy that special moment with your fiancé away from family and friends. It can even be more intimate than until the ceremony.
A First Look is a relatively modern approach to weddings. If you love the tradition of waiting to see each other for the first time at the ceremony, a first look may not be right for you.
A first look can take anywhere from 15-45 minutes. Depending on your wedding timeline, you may need to start earlier to be dressed and ready for a First Look.
Seeing each other for the first time at the Alter can be an emotionally powerful moment. Trust me, I cried when I saw Erin for the first time at the Alter. A First Look can take away from that powerful moment.
•A Late Ceremony
Seeing each other before the ceremony means you have more things to do before the wedding starts. A later ceremony could mean hungry guests and cranky kids by the time the reception meal is served.
There are many reasons why a First Look is a great idea. It saves time, cuts down on stress, and gives you an intimate moment with your spouse. With that said, Erin and I opted to wait until the Alter to see each other for the first time. We’re just traditional like that, and we don’t have any regrets! It takes a little more planning with your photographer, and a little more organization with your bridal party, but if you’re traditional like us there’s no feeling quite like it. Trust me, I cried just after this photos was taken!
P.S. If you need help with designing a wedding timeline, we have a post about that coming soon!