For most couples, the idea of a first look brings about a debate. Should we see each other before the wedding? Should we wait to see each other at the ceremony aisle? And for most of those couples, they don’t know which to choose. There are many things to consider, so let’s talk through them.
Traditionally the couple doesn’t see each other until they are at opposite ends of the ceremony aisle as the wedding starts, or even later after the bride’s veil has been lifted. Why is this the tradition? Well, it all goes back to when marriages were arranged. “The deal was usually made by the bride's father, who wanted his daughter to marry rich to help his own family. However, he might worry that if the groom saw the bride before the ceremony, he might not find her attractive and could call off the wedding—leading to serious shame for the bride and her family. So to avoid risking the family's reputation, the tradition that the couple didn't see each other until the ceremony was born.” More on that can be found in this BRIDES article.
A more modern take on the tradition is that couples feel it’s simply bad luck to see each other before the start of their wedding ceremony. Many couples tell me that they feel like the excitement and emotion will be lost if they see each other beforehand. I disagree, and will touch on that a bit later.
New Ideas and New Tradition- The First Look
Your First Moments Can Be Private
Of course you love your guests, but not all moments on a wedding day are best for every guest to view. The moment where the you see your partner in their wedding attire for the fist time is one of them. In my opinion, this moment is very special and it’s incredible to keep it between the two of you. Here you can really be yourself, let your emotions fly, and have a moment to talk about how handsome each other are and how excited you are for the day. And don’t worry, you will still feel all of those same feelings when you see each other at the end of the aisle. There is something about being surrounded by the people you love and a long walk down the aisle that keeps those feelings flowing.
Spend More Time Together
This is huge! When you opt for a first look, it means you get to spend more of the biggest day of your lives together. I know first hand that it’s hard to be apart from my partner. On our wedding day, the hardest thing was not sharing my morning and afternoon with him. All I wanted to do was run clear across our wedding venue to see him and ask him how his day was. If a first look was a thing when I got married, I definitely would have done it!
Rush Free Wedding Day
Having a first look allows for more wedding moments to be captured before the ceremony when it’s not as busy, like wedding party photos, couples photos, and maybe even family photos. It removes the rush of getting it all done between the ceremony and reception, and allows a shorter wait period for your guests.
Choosing to have a first look is like gifting yourself even more wedding photography coverage! Since your photographer will be capturing your first look moments, there will be an abundance of candid photographs of just two of you in your gallery. Plus, as a photographer, I love to take a few minutes for extra portraits at this time, too.
Attend Cocktail Hour
Whaaaaat? Yes, you can attend your own cocktail hour! By having a first look earlier in the day, capturing all of your wedding party photos, family photos, and some of your couples photos before the ceremony, you can grab a cocktail and mingle with your guests before the reception! I LOVE when couples opt for this approach. Having even more time with guests at your wedding is amazing, and that bit of time during cocktail hour when everyone is relaxed and mingling is amazing!
For more wedding tips from this Asheville wedding photographer, click over to Asheville Wedding Photographer FAQ | How many hours of wedding photography do I need? and Asheville Wedding Photographer | Wedding Budget Tips.