First Looks are sort of the ‘new kid’ in the culture of weddings— some people love them. Some people just aren’t sold on them. And a lot of people wonder if they’re really worth the extra hype.
For decades—scratch that—hundreds of years, brides and grooms have been taking pains to avoid seeing each other before the fateful walk down the aisle. A lot of couples even stay in different hotels leading up to their wedding just to be sure they don’t accidentally run into each other morning of. And we get it; there is something really spectacular about the element of surprise.
It’s just… there’s something pretty incredible about first looks, too. If you’re on the fence about whether or not to do a first look at your wedding, here are five points to consider:
1. The most important thing a bride and groom can do on their wedding day is enjoy it—together. So many couples say the day went by way to fast, and that by the time it’s over, they feel like they’ve barely seen each other. This might be the single most important reason to consider a first look.
First Looks guarantee a quiet moment for just you and your partner to take each other in, enjoy each other’s complete attention, and just be.
There’s a magic in that quiet, and a good photographer is sure to catch it. The First Look might be the only chance you have to be completely available to one another all day. So many couples look back, grateful for this momentary calm before the storm.
2. You probably just had someone do your hair and makeup. Both are looking perfect. The wind hasn’t blown; your veil hasn’t pulled a curl loose, and you haven’t yet started to cry while saying your vows. There may be no better time to get your perfect bridal portrait snapped than now, before the ceremony, in your first look.
3. So many weddings happen at night. As we move into the colder months and daylight hours get even shorter, you may find your post-ceremony lighting to be fading fast. A first look ensures that you get some great pictures before the golden hour is past.
4. Stepping into a ceremony full of people, whether you are having a huge wedding, or a small, quiet affair, can be daunting. This is especially true for introverts. There will be plenty of eyes looking at you for the first time. Sometimes, it’s nice to feel like you’re already in this together, and a first look allows for that. You and your loved one have already seen each other. The pressure is off, and now you can just walk down that aisle without any worries of what each other are thinking.
5. It can feel like you’re getting away with something. There are so many parts of the wedding that are for everyone else. Sneaking a first look, feeling like in even this way, you know each other before anyone else does, can feel thrilling. It might even be thrilling enough to replace the traditional element of surprise.
Want a bonus reason?
You don’t have to do first looks together. That’s right. You can have the best of both worlds. If you want to surprise each other, but you still want to make the most of daylight and get some photos snapped before a single hair is out of place, you can do a series of more intimate first look shots before all the post-ceremony group pictures begin.
Take the opportunity to have a picture taken with your mother and grandmother, or your maid of honor. If you have children, let this be an amazing moment shared with just them. However you go about it, don’t miss the opportunity to capture this sliver of time, those few minutes when you are all ready, and just waiting for your cue to walk towards the rest of your life.