If you’re not already familiar with the term, a “first look” is when a bride and groom see each other privately before their ceremony. This is done away from all the guests, wedding party & family so that the moment can be shared between just the two of you. It is intimate, emotional and romantic – an extra-special “reveal.” While it’s not for everyone, a first look is, in my opinion, one of the best parts of the wedding day and I’m excited to share why!
Factor #1: It will ease your nerves
While I’m not a particularly shy or introverted person, I was nervous about walking down the aisle. I didn’t like the idea of 200+ people seeing a deeply personal, emotional reaction to seeing each other for the first time that day. It just felt wrong for so many people to see something that felt intimate.
A first look gave us a chance to enjoy that emotional, intimate moment without everyone watching. We truly cherished that private moment to ourselves. My nerves disappeared entirely. During the ceremony, I was still a little nervous, but my excitement and joy outweighed the nerves because we had a private moment to ourselves beforehand.
Factor #2: It could help you relax & enjoy your wedding day more
You already know a wedding day can be stressful if not well-planned. Even a really well-planned wedding can be stressful if the schedule is tight. The time between the ceremony and cocktail hour is generally very short, and making sure everyone is where they need to be can take a toll on you. The last thing you want on the day of your wedding is to be stretched for time.
When you choose to have a first look, you control how much time you have. You can see each other whenever you would like. For my own wedding, we did all of the bridal party photos, family photos, and some of just the two of us all before the ceremony. Honestly, it was the most stress-free day imaginable, and that was mainly because absolutely nothing was rushed.
Factor #3: You’ll Be Your Freshest & Looking Your Best for Photos
Let’s be honest: you are going to look absolutely stunning on your wedding day. It’s basically guaranteed. Therefore, any photo taken of you is going to be gorgeous (guys, too!). However, as time goes on, makeup fades, hair starts to fall flat, you shed a few tears, and you just generally aren’t as fresh! A good makeup artist and hair stylist can work to keep your look together all day, but chances are, you aren’t going to be looking as fresh after the ceremony as before.
This shows up in your photos. Taking photos before the ceremony allows you to look your freshest and your best. Additionally, you’ll be way more relaxed because you have more time. Relaxed and fresh is way more beautiful than stressed and sweaty!
Factor #4: You’ll Be Able to Go to Cocktail Hour
While this isn’t important to all couples, many want to attend their cocktail hour. Enjoying the casual time together with friends is fun and can add more relaxation to the day. If family photos, wedding party photos, and photos of just the two of you are all happening after the ceremony, there’s no way you are making it to cocktail hour! If you want to be at your own cocktail hour, plan on doing a first look!
The decision of whether or not to have first look is entirely up to you. The HBP never forces you to do a first look and completely respect your decision one way or the other. It’s going to be fun no matter what! If timing is a concern and you really don’t want to do a first look, consider a pre-wedding session or day-after session. If you’re interested in learning more about one of these sessions, let your photographer know!
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La Vie En Rose is a wedding photography and videography studio for couples who want photos that live in the moment with them. They are based in Washington, DC and Naples, FL and are available for travel worldwide.