The most epic part of your wedding day- the moment you both lay eyes on each other for the first time. The question is- will you wait until the ceremony or do a first look prior? “Which one is better” you might ask? Well, there are PROS and CONS to both, considering what is a priority on your wedding day, as well as your personality types.
Let me first start out by saying, my husband and myself decided to wait until our ceremony to see each other. We’re both very outgoing people and it was a priority to share that moment with our loved ones who we had hand picked to be at our ceremony. We still LOVE having waited to see each other and treasure that moment & our ceremony most from our wedding day. From a photo perspective of a past bride myself, this did cut down the time we would have AFTER our ceremony to do photos, but it was worth the compromise for us on our special day. However, this is not always the case for couples. Here are some PROS, CONS and list of tips based on my experience as a past bride, as well as being a wedding photographer.
WAITING UNTIL THE CEREMONY is the traditional way for a bride and groom to first see each other on their wedding day. The scene is set, the processional music has begun and everyone builds with anticipation as they look back and forth between the approaching bride and the emotional groom. Theres truly nothing like it and quite honestly, one of my favorite parts of a wedding as a seasoned wedding guest, but is it the right choice for everyone?
Can lead to the bride and groom being more emotional & tearful when they first see each other, but not always.
Considered a special & magical moment.
Allows for family and friends to take part in the special moment.
However, can cut time short for photos after the ceremony.
Can prevent from being able to enjoy cocktail hour at all (due to doing all your photos after).
For those who don’t mind being emotional in front of their guests, waiting until the ceremony won’t be a big deal.
Outgoing personalities don’t usually mind waiting until the ceremony to see each other.
Can be overwhelming due to having a figurative spot light on each of you (then again, when is the spot light NOT on you during your wedding?)
FIRST LOOKS aren’t a new trend, but they’re definitely not traditional. With Pinterest & Wedding Blogs becoming an increasingly popular source for wedding inspiration, first looks have slowly started to become the norm for younger couples. Why is that? Well, the reasons range from easing nerves to having more time for photos and time with guests after the ceremony. Is a first look right for you?
If you want to ease nerves, but don’t want to see each other, a “No Look” prayer is beautiful & intimate moment you two can share.
Allows for more time for photos (flexibility to take photos before & after the ceremony OR all of them before).
Allow for natural light wedding portraits before the ceremony, if you have a late ceremony around sunset.
Some couples have expressed that their first look felt “awkward”, due to not knowing what to do- especially with the heightened expectation by Instagram, guests & sometimes the bride for most grooms to cry at the first look.
Can allow for a personal, private moment for a bride & groom prior to the ceremony.
Seeing each other before can ease nerves for couples who don’t like a lot of attention on them or don’t feel like they can get through their personal vows in front of their guests.
Good option for couples that are shy or quiet.
By having flexibility to get photos done before the ceremony, couples have the possible opportunity to spend time with guests at cocktail hour.
Doesn’t necessarily take away an emotional response at the ceremony, as some brides may worry it will.
If you don’t do a first look with your husband to be, you can always do one with your Dad and/or Mom.
Whether waiting until your ceremony or having a first look, it’s personal choice and one that I don’t try to pressure my couples either way, unless its absolutely necessarily for the sake of time or lighting. Whichever one you decide, your day will still be beautiful & magical!