I have been getting a ton of brides asking, "What is a first look?" A first look is when the groom intentionally sees the bride directly before the wedding. In some cultures, this is an old must-do tradition because the groom needs to confirm that the bride is, in fact, the right bride! In other cultures, it is seen as bad luck to see the bride before the wedding. After explaining this trend, the next question I seem to receive is, "Should I do a first look?" To me, this is a highly personal question so in an effort to guide my brides, I have devised 5 reasons you should and should not consider a first look.
Good Reasons to DO the First Look
1) It makes the timeline less crunched for bride and groom portraits- If you want more time for portraits and less stress of a crushed timeline, this is the best route
2) More time for bridal party photos- Again, it is less stressful and gives you more photos
3) Overall, more photos during daytime and more time with guests- You can go straight to the cocktail hour after the ceremony as can your bridal party
5) It ensures the bride & groom look their best and haven't melted in the heat/snow/rain- Let's face it, no one is perfect and the elements start to take their toll as the day goes on!
6) You can choose your ideal setting- Outdoor pictures tend to be more flattering. You can choose a nice garden for your first look instead of a dimly lit church.
7) There is usually a better photo of his reaction- In a first look, the photographer can get closer and capture the moment better. I also find the first look is more intimate because it is just the couple alone.
8) Takes pressure off of the stress of the day- Seeing the person you are going to spend your life with melts all the worries of the day completely away.
Bad Reasons to Do a First Look
1) My photographer suggested it- YIKES! Don't let anyone else run your big day!
2) My friends want to get the photos done with so they can drink- If this is ever said, then you need new friends.
3) I am worried about making my guests wait to see us at cocktail hour- Again, it is YOUR day, you cannot please everyone.
Good Reasons to SKIP the First Look
1) Tradition- If you feel you want to stick to tradition, avoid the first look!
2) Certain religions may frown upon it- Again, this falls in line with tradition
3) You pictured his or her first time seeing you being at the altar- Some things just need to be the way you envisioned it!
4) You want to build excitement- Not seeing your intended can be a little exciting the day of!
5) You think it will be more genuine- I have gotten some great shots of the groom's or bride's reaction up on the altar!
Bad reasons to SKIP the first look:
1) Tradition you don’t agree with- Why do something you don't personally agree with just because it is tradition
2) Your parents told you it is not acceptable- It is YOUR day!
3) My photographer told me to- Do not let anyone dictate the way you proceed with your day
4) Fear of weather- You can't control the weather. If you planned on the first look, it can be stunning inside or outside