First looks are becoming more and more popular in the wedding industry and though it is ultimately your choice I always highly suggest my clients consider a first look if they are open to the idea, because it makes photos throughout the day much more relaxed and offers many more options in terms of timing. That being said there are some positives to not having a first look for your wedding day too. So what fit's you, first look or no first look? Let's find out !
What is a First Look
A first look is a time set aside on your wedding day where you and your soon-to-be spouse have a moment alone together to see each other for the first time before your ceremony. First looks can be a super emotional time on the wedding day for so many couples, and oftentimes are the only time throughout the wedding day where they get to spend some alone time together.
The Pros of a First Look
Ease of Photos
From a practical stand-point, having a first look on your wedding day makes taking your photos a lot easier. With you and your soon to be spouse able to see each other and spend time with one another we are able to take a lot of your photos like your wedding party photos and some couples portraits before your wedding ceremony starts. This means that after your ceremony, all you’ll have left formal photos wise are your family photos and then you can start to let loose and spend time with your friends and fam.
You get the Jitters Out Early
If you’re a nervous human like so many of us are, a first look will be your saving grace on your wedding day. Assuming you will spend your last night before marriage away from your soon to be spouse, you’ll be missing them so much the morning of. The getting ready process also can be kind of nerve wracking as you prepare for your wedding day. Without a first look you won't see your soon to be spouse up until you're at your ceremony. That's a lot of built up tension set to burst in front of everyone, so spending some alone time with your soon to be partner before all of the wedding day festivities begin might be exactly what you need.
You Have Some Flexibility in Your Wedding Day
THE FLEXIBILITY IS HUGE! Having a first look on your wedding day allows you to adjust your schedule a bit in terms of photos if the weather is a little shaky, and allows you to spend more time with your guests and wedding party during things like cocktail hour. That way if you need a break or want to sneak out for something fun at the end of the night like sunset photos (HIGHLY RECOMMEND) you won’t feel guilty for leaving your guests again.
Another great part of having a first look is that you can spread out your wedding day as much as you like. Want to stop in the middle of the day for some taco bell with the wedding party? Great! Just move up your timeline a bit. Moving up or adjusting a ceremony time to fit your schedule just isn’t really an option when you opt to have your first look during your ceremony. If you're not sure what your wedding day timeline should look like, or how to create one The Knot has a great article outlining how to do so that I recommend !
Privacy in Your First Time Seeing One Another
If you and your partner are on more of the private or introverted side, a first look would give you some privacy as you see one another for the first time. It’s much easier to relax and be in the moment with each other without one hundred eyes watching you react to one another as you walk down the aisle at your ceremony. No worrying about what anyone else is thinking, just you and your future spouse in that moment together.
Booking Your Photographer
With a first look, you more than likely will not need more than one photographer on your wedding day. This can be great if you're on a little tighter of a budget for your wedding as many photographers will have an add-on cost for a second photographer, (myself included as you can see on my investments page). During your first look, I will be able to photograph both of your reactions as you see each other for the first time, and then in most cases I will also be able to photograph your ceremony solo as well.
The Pros of No First Look
You Don’t Have to be Ready as Early
Something nice that many people don’t think about when it comes to deciding on a first look is that you don’t have to start your wedding day as early. With having your first look during the ceremony you get to start your day about two hours later than you would if you were having a first look. Or if you're the type of person who really likes to take in the moment you can spend this extra time getting ready for your wedding day the way you want. This will also condense your festivities, so if you’re on the antsier side you might like having one part of your wedding day right after the next.
You get to Share Your First Look with Your Friends and Family
If you’re both real tight with your families, you might not be able to picture your first look happening any other way than your parents or whoever is standing up with you by your side. Something super magical about doing your first look during your ceremony is that you have the support of those who have been a part of your life since day one holding your hand as you transition into this cool next part of your life.
There is a LOT of Build up to the First Time You See One Another
A fan of suspense? Hoping your partner sheds a tear or two when you see them for the first time? Collectively at wedding ceremonies, there are a LOT of emotions bouncing off everyone that is a part of your day. Whether it’s your mom, your best man, your sister or your grandma, in a lot of cases someone starts the waterworks and it gradually spreads to other members of your family. All of those pent-up emotions combined at your ceremony in real-time can be a real tear-jerker when you have your first look coming down the aisle.
Booking Your Photographer
When booking your photographer if you plan to not have a first look you will want to look into booking a second shooter with your wedding package to assist in getting both of your reactions as you walk down the aisle as well as to help with family photos and wedding party photos after the ceremony. This will help you to have a smooth and stress-free day as you can be sure that your photographers are going to be able to get both of your reactions as one of you walks down the aisle. This should help alleviate some of your worries and get you to partying with your friends and family at the reception faster.
So What Should you Choose?
Ultimately there is no right or wrong answer here. Everyone and every couple is different in their feelings, priorities, and vision of what their wedding day should be like. Whatever you decide you want to make sure that it is the right fit for the both of you, this is your freaking wedding day after all ! Talk with each other, get all of your thoughts out there on the table. Everything you both are hoping for from the day, what your worries are, and what you're excited about. If you're set on a photographer don't be afraid to ask for their input as well. We've all been around a variety of different weddings and can help give you some outside perspective of things to consider.