A First Look is when the bride and groom opt to see each other before their wedding ceremony. I know, *gasp*, right? Or maybe not. I know that the decision to do a First Look doesn’t come without some hesitation for most. If you would like more information about a First Look, read this post here.
I am a fan of Jasmine Star and she mostly does First Looks during her weddings. I love that she had past grooms write their perspective of their First Looks. When I have couples who are interested in the idea but not 100% sold yet, I like to send them this post of Jasmine’s. I loved the idea so much that I asked two of my couples from this year who did First Looks to write their reactions to the experience. I will continue to share more posts from couples willing to share their thoughts.
In Jonny & Stephanie’s words:
A first sight was something that I was always interested in doing. I loved the idea of being able to see Jonny before the ceremony and have some quiet, alone time with him before we exchanged vows in front of 150 of our friends and family. It took some convincing on my part to get Jonny on board because he thought it would be a bad idea to go against the tradition of seeing me for the first time as I walk down the aisle in the church. He finally did agree to do a first sight and I am so glad he did!
I was so calm all morning and didn’t anticipate experiencing any nerves, but as soon as Crystal told me it was time to go see my future husband, my stomach was immediately in a million knots! Crystal set us up so we could be holding hands, but not yet see each other and my hand was shaking so badly. It was such a relief when we could finally see each other and all of the nerves and butterflies went away. We could just hug and be excited about the incredible day we had before us. We were able to talk and be giddy in a way that we would not have been able to if we saw each other for the first time in the church.
Not only was it amazing to have that time with Jonny before the ceremony, it played a practical role as well. We were able to get many photos of just the two of us without having to squeeze it in between the ceremony and reception. Most importantly, doing the first look did not make my walk down the aisle any less important or less special. As I was waiting in the back of the church, I was again overwhelmed with emotions (and a few tears!), but instead of the butterflies and the nerves, it was pure excitement and happiness.
In the months following our engagement, Stephanie and I were on the same wavelength when it came to planning our wedding. We both had similar ideas, visions and expectations for our special day. We worked with Crystal for our engagement pictures the previous winter and had the utmost trust and confidence in her artistic abilities. The pictures from our engagement blew us away. They were perfect in every way. So knowing whether or not Crystal would capture the right photo wasn’t the issue. The issue was that Steph and I come from very traditional families and backgrounds. Breaking from the cultural and societal wedding norms and superstitions such as “you’re not supposed to see your bride before the ceremony” was the most difficult challenge for me. After Steph’s reassurance and explanation of the practical reasons behind having “first look” photos done, we decided to have Crystal come early before the ceremony and capture these photos.
Looking back on our wedding day, it was one of the best decisions we made. Not only did Crystal capture our emotions in a more intimate and private way, we also received the most amazing photographs to remember the moment. It was early in the day and we looked our best. Not to mention, it gave me the opportunity to relish in my bride’s beauty prior to what would become an extremely busy day. In all, it was a great decision and I’d advise those who are considering “first look” photos to give them some serious thought. It may surprise you. And I guarantee you and your bride will cherish these photos for the rest of your lives.
In Jessica’s words:
In my opinion, there is no better way to have pictures taken for your wedding than to do a first look. This idea behind the first look is that you see your soon to be spouse before the ceremony and have photos taken of your reactions seeing each other for the first time. This is amazing for a few reasons.
We were able to give each other our reaction immediately instead of waiting until after the ceremony. I will never forget the loving things Kyle said to me and Crystal did an amazing job capturing the moment for us. We were not rushed and we were able to enjoy the rustic setting and take our time taking incredible and unforgettable photos. Also, we felt more relaxed by the time the ceremony arrived.
Also, seeing each other beforehand and taking photos with our bridal party and immediate family members, we were able to go straight to the cocktail hour to meet our guest and be able to enjoy the reception with our friends. If you are doing pictures afterwards, you’ll have a lot less time and all of your guests will be waiting.
We knew there was no way we could have gotten all the quality photos and the amount of photos we did if we did not to the first look. We wanted to have as many photos as possible and be able to enjoy the time with our family and friends at the reception. It was the best decision we made for our wedding. We would recommend this to all future brides and grooms on their wedding day.
As I always say, a First Look is a personal decision and only the couple can decide if it’s a perfect fit for them or not. Have you done a first look? Would you do one?