The First Look: Pros and Cons

first look

What is the First Look?

The “first look” refers to a planned moment when the couple sees each other for the first time on their wedding day before the actual ceremony. Traditionally, couples would wait until the ceremony to have that first glance at each other, often as the bride walks down the aisle. However, the first look breaks from this tradition, allowing the couple to share a private, intimate moment prior to the ceremony.

Typically, the first look is carefully orchestrated by the wedding photographer and planner, and it takes place in a location away from the eyes of the guests. The groom awaits the bride, and when she approaches, they share this special moment together. It’s a chance for the couple to express their emotions, exchange a few words, and take in the significance of the day without the formality and public nature of the ceremony.

Couples who choose to do a first look often appreciate the opportunity to have a more personal and relaxed moment, capture genuine reactions on camera, and potentially ease any pre-ceremony nerves. On the flip side, some couples prefer to stick to tradition, valuing the anticipation and surprise of seeing each other for the first time as the ceremony unfolds. The decision to have a first look or not is ultimately a personal one, adding a unique touch to each couple’s wedding day.

First look

Pros of Doing a First Look:

  • Heartstrings Tugged: Picture this – an intimate moment just for you two before the big moment with everyone begins. It’s like a sneak peek of the emotional celebration that is your wedding day.
  • Time Wizardry: First looks are like the time-turners of weddings. You get to snag some sweet photos before the “I do’s,” leaving more room for mingling and mojitos during cocktail hour. Hello, efficiency!.
  • Photo Variety: The lighting is different, the emotions are raw – it’s a recipe for some good shots.

kissing under veil

  • Pre-Ceremony Calm: Wedding jitters? A first look will ease those nerves. No audience, no pressure – just you two taking a moment to soak up your love.
  • Party People Rejoice: Who wouldn’t want more time for mingling and celebrating? By front-loading some of the photos, the couple can get to the celebration and party sooner. This can lead to a more relaxed and enjoyable day!

private vows

Cons of Doing a First Look:

  • Early Start: One drawback to opting for a first look is the necessity to kick off the day a bit earlier, ensuring ample time for hair and makeup preparations in the morning.
  • Tradition Clash: If tradition is your jam, a first look might not align with the classic “don’t see the bride before the ceremony” vibe. Some folks love that aisle reveal.
  • Anticipation Drop: Seeing each other before the ceremony means sacrificing the surprise factor. That “wow” moment walking down the aisle? Adjust expectations.

first look

  • Pressure to React: There might be a perception that couples need to have an elaborate or emotionally charged reaction during the first look, adding a layer of expectation that could potentially feel forced.
  • Guest Inclusion: Some couples may feel that the first look excludes their guests from sharing in that initial, emotional moment. If you value having everyone witness your first reactions, this might be a consideration.

Bridal party

Remember, it’s all about finding the right vibe for you and your partner! Whether you’re into the first look or saving the magic for the aisle, go with what feels right for you. Ultimately, the decision should align with your preferences, priorities, and the overall vibe you want for your wedding day. 

For more wedding tips, design, and information about The Indigo Bride, check out our real weddings portfolio and wedding planning packages. Also, follow us on Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok and Facebook.

Photo Credit from Top to Bottom: Gallivan Photo (Top 2 photos), Ely Roberts, Marina Davis, Gallivan Photo, Alex Elise Photo. 

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