It used to be that the first time you saw your husband or wife on your wedding day was when they were making their grand entrance down the aisle. However, nowadays we see many different traditions about that first look.
Today, some people purposefully set up a specific time (before the ceremony) to see each other for the first time. Usually the only people present are the photographers, videographers, and the couple themselves!
So why do people do it!?
Having a first look allows you to not only join the party sooner but also allows you to take some “us” time before all of your guests arrive. You pay for your open bar, wedding venue, DJ, and hors d’oeuvres whether you are there or not so why not be present and join in on the celebration?! I mean, the celebration is about you! Recent bride Jessie says, “From a practical matter, there are SO many positives to doing a first look. You will get better pictures because you have more time/flexibility, and your hair and makeup is fresher. You’re less stressed for time.”
My husband, Robbie, and I did a first look and it was absolutely beautiful! I loved having those few moments alone with him before the craziness of the day. It also meant we were able to take all of our family photos ahead of time which allowed us extra time with our guests! Here’s our first look photos by Susannah Lynn Photography.
Let’s hear from other brides…
Brides across the world almost always have something positive to say about their first look! One concern for couples is that walking down the aisle won’t be as magical because they have already seen each other. One bride says, “My husband still cried when he saw me coming down the aisle. I’m so glad we did it!”
Even brides that haven’t had the experience yet are feeling the excitement, “I can’t wait for our first look. That intimate moment seeing each other for the first time.”
Bride Jessie says, “I was initially COMPLETELY against doing a first look; I’d get angry when someone would suggest it. But we ended up doing one and it was hands down the best part of the day. It’s so much more genuine and emotional than the walk down the aisle.” I love that she went from completely against it to all for it! She adds, “Doing a first look is such an amazing experience! Think about it–with the walk down the aisle, you probably can’t see each other very well at first. All eyes are on you, there’s so much to try to take in, you’re holding back your emotions instead of really experiencing it, and you get to the end of the aisle and just have to stand there and do the ceremony. With a first look, it’s just the two of you and you can laugh and cry and talk and kiss and just SOAK IT ALL IN! It’s truly an amazing, beautiful moment.”
Check out Jessie’s first look below – captured by the incredible Cody Kilgore from Black Cap Photography.
Bride to be Tammy, pictured in the first image below, says, “I was very skeptical at first. I was afraid of missing out on that magic when we walk down the aisle. But it was the best decision that I ever made and I do not regret it at all. It gave us some time alone with each other to really savor the moment and get some pictures in. He sobbed when he saw me at the first look and then cried all over again when I walked down the aisle. Do it!!!”
If you want to stay traditional or one of you is totally for a first look and the other is totally against it, another option is to be blind folded beforehand, go back-to-back, or have something between you (a wall, corner, door, etc). You can exchange gifts, say a prayer, or just have a moment together! Whatever you choose to do will be the right choice for you!