Q: Should I have a first look on my wedding day?

Many times I have brides ask me “Do you think he’ll have the same emotional reaction seeing me for our First Look as he will seeing me for the first time walking down the aisle?” or they often say “I want to keep it traditional and my groom see me for the first time when everyone else sees me walking down the aisle.” 

On your Best Day Ever and leading up to your wedding day, you make literally over 100 different decisions to plan the perfect day.  The decision to see your soon-to-be other half before the wedding day is one of those decisions.  It’s a tough decision, because it’s a personal one.  

There is no right or wrong decision when it comes to the First Look. Period.

While tradition dictates that the bride should not see her groom before the wedding ceremony, more and more brides are opting into seeing their husband-to-be beforehand.

You may be asking yourself “What is a First Look?”  The way I like to describe it is that your whole day is centered around you and your groom tying the knot. Obviously. But from the moment you wake up the morning of your wedding you have your favorite people around you. Bridesmaids, your mother, father, groomsmen, family, etc. (It really is a pretty awesome feeling having your closest people with you all in the same place for your wedding day). But to be honest, how much time do you get just the two of you? Only the two of you. No one else around, to really take in the moment of becoming husband and wife? The First Look is just that. A special moment for the bride and groom to see each other for the first time on their wedding day before the actual ceremony.  It’s intimate and it’s private, with the exception of only your photographers to capture the moment as it unfolds.  It’s my job to freeze that moment in time as you get a chance to hug, cry, kiss, pray, wipe tears, twirl each other around, and just breathe. Together. 

The best part? It was thoughtfully and discretely caught on camera! You can relive that exact way you felt in that moment for the rest of your lives!! HOORAY!!!

What I think... When doing a First Look, you naturally get more time together on your wedding day.  You’ll also get more photos of the two of you together. The ones that will most likely be the ones you display most in your home. The ones showing true genuine giddy emotion and enjoying each other. A First Look allows you to maximize your time with your photographer.  You’ll also be fresh for your photos since the First Look typically takes place right after the bride and groom have put the finishing touches on their wedding day look.  If you cry during the First Look, that’s totally OK! You’ll have time to touch up before your portraits and before your ceremony.  Lastly,  you’ll be able to complete much of the bridal party and family photos beforehand and get to the cocktail hour or reception faster and so will everyone else.  

With all that being said, if you’ve decided that a First Look is not for you, than I 110% completely respect that and am happy to formulate the perfect timeline for your wedding day that leaves time for bride and groom photos after the ceremony, bridal party portraits and family photos before it’s time to boogie down at the reception!