Wedding Wednesday | First Look

Traditionally, it was considered taboo for a bride and groom to see one another before the wedding.  When arranged marriages were commonplace, a bride didn’t want her groom to see her before she walked down the aisle out of fear that he would stand her up at the altar.  This antiquated thinking has changed as couples are marrying out of love and not family obligations.  In recent years, many engaged couples are requesting “first looks” on their wedding day.

The purpose of the first look is so a bride & groom can have special time alone together and to allow for some photos (i.e. the family photos) before the ceremony.  It is completely up to each couple how they plan their wedding day, but it seems like more and more of my couples are wanting to see each other before the ceremony, and doing a first look is a way to keep the excitement.  If a couple doesn’t have a place in mind to do this, I find a private place and I take the groom there and have him wait. I then bring the bride in and let them have their moment seeing each other for the first time.  With no one else around, I put on a lens that allows me to shoot from far away.  Seeing each other before the ceremony allows for more time for photos, and gives the bride & groom the opportunity to enjoy more of their wedding reception.  The more you can do before the ceremony the better, because time is at a premium on your wedding day.  Another benefit to a first look is that it really helps the bride & groom not be so anxious so they can enjoy their ceremony and be present in the moment at the alter.  But you don’t have to take my word for it…here is what one of my past brides, Kerry Ann, had to say about her first look (and a couple photos of Kerry Ann + Bill below):

The “first look” was one of the most important photos that I wanted you to take.  It was a very emotional and exciting moment of the whole day….I am tearing up just thinking about when Bill turned around and saw me in my dress for the first time.  We had this special moment so that we could complete most of our photographs before the ceremony (and not losing that “moment”)…allowing our guests to go straight to the reception and have a cocktail and appetizer. After we had a couple minutes to talk during the “first look”… it was clear that this “meeting” calmed our nerves and allowed us a few extra private moments to share our thoughts.  You are around other people all day and this was our only moment alone.  It was priceless…the photo is our most cherished.

Thanks Kerry Ann for taking the time to share your experience!

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