In a traditional Christian wedding, the Bride and Groom don't see each other until the church doors fly open and the bride walks down the aisle. But over the years, weddings have become more diverse. So how do you decide if you want that traditional moment or if you should try something new?
What is a "First Look"?
The "First Look" happens before the ceremony. The Bride or Groom is waiting in a pre-determined (and pretty!) location with their eyes closed. The other walks up behind them. With a tap on the shoulder, they turn and look at each other. This is the first time the couple sees each other on their wedding day. After the First Look, you jump right into Formals (photos with the bridal party) before heading to the ceremony.
Here are the reasons why we chose to have a First Look
This is the best way for your Videographers and Photographers to capture that look on your face when you first see each other.
When you walk into the ceremony, there are tons of people, they all stand (blocking the view of the cameras), and there is no pausing for a "redo." With a First Look, everything is blocked out. You pick a location that looks beautiful and is away from people. You have a chance to walk in a few times before turning to look at each other - meaning multiple "takes" for the cameras to capture it perfectly. And with everything blocked out, you get photos like this:
You also get footage like this:
Having Formals before the Ceremony means you (and your bridal party) get to enjoy Cocktail Hour.
You're paying for cocktail hour, why not enjoy it! With formals before hand, you can plan out all the time you need for photos without making your guests wait around. You also don't have to rush to get everything done within that magic "cocktail hour" time frame. Plus, your bridal party has been running around like crazy all day. Give them a break and hand them a drink!
There is no time for your hair and makeup to get messed up.
I went straight from getting my makeup done to getting photos taken. This meant there was little time for my hair to fall out, lipstick to smudge, or my mascara to run.
Then why do couples choose NOT to have a First Look?
Weddings should be about the couple, and some couples rather have that "Cathedral Moment." While it is harder for your photographers and videographers to capture this moment with a camera, many couples rather just share that moment between themselves. But there are a few other reasons why people don't like photos before hand.
Many cultures and customs say that it's bad luck for the couple to see each other before the ceremony.
Whether you're superstitious or just traditional, there are many people who follow this on their wedding day. Why break from tradition if you don't want to?
People don't want to kiss before their "First Kiss."
While you can work around this with your photographer, wedding photos usually have the couple kissing. If you want to hold off on having your first kiss (of the day) after you get pronounced married, then you may want to have your formals after your ceremony.
There's too much going on in the morning!
Your wedding day is going to be crazy! Many cultures have events that happen before the ceremony, not leaving any time for a First Look. Or maybe you have 10 bridesmaids and 1 makeup artist (not recommended!), so you need as much time in the morning as possible. If having a First Look will make you feel rushed, then don't do it.
Basically, You do You when you say I Do! (I know I know, but I couldn't help myself!)