First look, one of many modern traditions. You may have heard the term ‘first look’ whilst browsing through wedding and photography websites. The First Look is a one-on-one photo session where the bride and groom see each other prior to the ceremony. There are many reasons why couples choose first looks. The beautiful ensemble of the bride’s gorgeous gown, to the groom’s dapper outfit, and the anticipation and excitement that both feel when they see each other all dressed up, ready to tie the knot—is one of many reasons that a First Look might be right for you.
There’s actually an interesting history lesson behind why many believe it’s ‘bad luck’ to see the bride before the ceremony. Back when arranged marriages were still a thing, parents of the bride were afraid that if the groom saw the bride before the wedding, he might run away if he didn’t like what he saw, ha! So, they made it ‘bad luck’ and donned a veil on their daughter. The groom wouldn’t have a choice until it was too late (when he saw his bride at the altar) and wouldn’t risk humiliating himself and his family in front of all the guests. Funny how in a time when the world was ‘less’ connected, superstitions still made their way to all parts of the world.
So, if you’re on the fence about doing a First Look, here are a few pros and cons to help you decide:
1. FRESH FACED & FRESH CLOTHES
The First Look happens right before the ceremony once the bride and groom are ready-to-go. So, it’s safe to assume that that’s when you’ll look your freshest and best since the waterworks haven’t happened, and no one has tried to smear cake on your face yet! Of course, you’ll still look your best throughout the day, but you get the picture.
2. CALM THOSE PRE-WEDDING NERVES
A moment of tranquility is what first looks give couples before the craziness of the wedding. It gives both partners a moment to breathe, enjoy each other’s company before seeing each other in front of a bunch of people. For some, they opt for first looks because it gives them a chance to openly express their emotions without everyone staring at them (with the exception of your photographer).
3. GET MORE PHOTOS
As photographers, we definitely encourage first looks. It allows more time for one-on-one photos when the bride and groom are the least distracted by on-going wedding commotion. Away from guests that they may feel uncomfortable posing in front of, the first look allots time and space for some really beautiful shots! You also get more time with your guests. If you choose to forego a first look, expect to spend most or the entire cocktail hour taking photos with your now husband or wife.
1. TOO MUCH PRESSURE
If you, your partner or both are introverts, than a first look may not be for you. It may build too much pressure on either of you for a big display of surprise and emotion. That may lead to disappointment on your big day if your partner does not react as you expected.
2. STICK TO TRADITIONS
If you want to stick to traditions, than opting out of a first look is completely fine as well. Many love the anticipation that comes with seeing their bride walk down the aisle/seeing their groom waiting for them at the altar.
Incorporating a first look means beginning to get ready much earlier than you normally might. So, if you have an early brunch wedding, it may mean waking up extra early for not only yourself but also your Hair and Makeup Artist. It may also mean adjusting your wedding timeline. For some, their wedding timeline just does not allow time for a first look.
You’ll need about 30-45 minutes worth of time for the first look, not including travel time if you plan on going to another location. However, we suggest taking the first look shots at the location of the ceremony, in a secluded area, away from onlookers. This not only saves time but if there’s any sort of delay, you won’t be late to your own wedding lol. Trust us, if you’ve hired a good photographer like us, the photos will come out beautiful regardless of the location.
Many couples instead of opting for first looks with their to-be-husband or wife, choose to do first looks with their parents or other loved ones. Many brides choose to do a first look with their dad right before he walks them down the aisle. You can even do both if you have the time for it!
Whether you choose to do a first look or not, if you’ve hired an experienced photographer, like us at MKEshoots photography, they’ll be able to get in some good shots regardless, . Make sure you communicate with your photographer ahead of time so that you both can work together to figure out the best plan of action to get in some sick shots!