That is the ultimate question. As popular as first looks have become, many of our couples still come to us undecided and looking for an answer. Unfortunately, this is one of those questions we have a hard time answering. Mostly because we don’t want to make that decision for our couples as it is such a personal one. The good news is, there is no wrong answer here people! It simply is a matter of what feels most natural to you. So here we will discuss a few pros and cons of having a first look in hopes that this will become an easier decision to make.
1. Seeing your soon to be husband or wife for the first time on your wedding day is an emotional moment no matter how you do it. As such doing a private “first look” can really allow the couple to let those emotions out and really focus on each other away from the eyes of their guests.
2. Having a first look before the ceremony allows you to take some of those bridal party photos before hand. This is a great time to get one on one photos of you as a couple as well as bridal party photos that are often directly after the ceremony. The pro to this is you aren’t taking a million photos right after the ceremony and can instead focus on enjoying your cocktail hour, you are paying for it after all!
3. First look photo can be anywhere! Well, within driving distance from the ceremony. If you are getting married in a church this is ideal because many churches have restrictions on photos once inside the sanctuary; this means photos shot from far away and maybe not ideal lighting. With a first look your photographer is able to get those shots and really focus on your faces, emotions, lighting, the scenery, etc. making for the perfect photos.
4. Calming your nerves. Seeing your fiancé before the wedding can really help calm couples and eliminate that stress of the day.
5. A con of the first look is that in order to accommodate all the photos before the ceremony you either need a later ceremony start time, or an earlier getting ready finish time. With our timelines we can certainly factor this in to make it more efficient but it does take a little more effort and earlier start times.
6. You lose that anticipation and surprise as you walk down the aisle. You’ve already seen each other so there isn’t a “reveal” as you are walking down the aisle. If this is something you really want a first look might not be for you.
7. It breaks from tradition. This is one of the biggest cons and what couples struggle most with. You’ve envisioned your fiancé seeing you for the firs time as you slowly make your way down the aisle, not pre-ceremony at a separate location.
So, the question truly comes down to whether or not you want to see each other before the ceremony. The pros certainly outweigh the cons but it is still such a personal decision and one that you both need to agree on and feel comfortable with. In the end there is no right or wrong here, so do what feels natural to you and we will take care of the rest!