Seeing the love of your life for the first time on your wedding day is such a special and monumental moment. The surprise, the emotion, and of course the reaction of the groom seeing the bride walk down the aisle is personally one of my favorite moments to witness as a wedding guest. I have some couples that love the traditional aspect of seeing their significant other for the first time at the altar but doing a “First Look” has become increasingly popular over the years.
Why? Well, it just makes sense. For a lot of reasons! I’ll dive into some of those reasons below.
YOU’LL GET THE REACTION YOU’RE LOOKING FOR – TWICE
Just because your groom isn’t seeing you at the altar, his reaction will still be JUST as amazing, if not more! I find that most grooms are able to let their guard down more in an intimate setting. Since the first look is just the two of you (plus myself and my team), the tears and genuine happiness are just as prevalent. And believe me, the buildup before the First Look is just as exciting as the altar! With that said, there’s just something unique about the adrenaline the groom experiences when the music changes and the door opens for the bride to walk down the aisle. Expect the tears all over again!
YOU GET MORE PORTRAITS
You have the advantage of TIME if you do a First Look! You won’t feel rushed to get all your portraits done during the short cocktail period, nor will you inconvenience your guests by having a large break between the ceremony and reception. Couples that do a first look on average receive 40% more portraits.
YOU GET MORE ALONE TIME
The First Look / portraits is the only time during your entire wedding day that you’re alone. Crazy, right?! There’s nothing more special than being able to just breathe and enjoy time together before the hustle and craziness of your wedding day begins.
IT MIGHT NOT MAKE SENSE FOR YOUR WEDDING SEASON
If you’re getting married October – February, it’s likely that a First Look is necessary in order to get any photos outside in natural light. With an early sunset time and the average ceremony beginning around 3:00 or later, a First Look might be your only option for beautifully lit portraits.
MAKES FOR FLEXIBILITY IF UNIDEAL WEATHER ARISES
This detail can often be overlooked and is a BIG one! If you’re getting married during a time of year where rain is a possibility (which is the majority of wedding season for my Minnesota couples!), having a First Look is an awesome security blanket. If rain is predicted for the afternoon and your only allotted time for photos lands during that period, you might not have a lot of luck in getting photos outdoors unless umbrellas are involved. If you plan to have a First Look, you have more flexibility and time to capture photos during pockets of dry weather. I can’t tell you how many times a First Look has saved the day!
MORE TIME TO ENJOY WITH YOUR GUESTS
If you do a First Look before the ceremony, you’ll have the entire cocktail hour to celebrate however you’d like. My husband and I decided to take cocktail hour to celebrate with our Bridal Party alone – without photos or video around – and it was one of our favorite times during the day! A lot of couples also use this time to visit with their guests. Whatever you choose to do, it allows you to not be a prisoner to your timeline and just ENJOY!
With all that said, I have plenty of couples that decide a traditional First Look at the altar is important to them. These weddings are equally as memorable, beautiful and intimate. If this is a priority, just make sure you work closely with your photographer on prioritizing the course of the day and remain flexible if unideal weather is forecasted. Everlasting memories will be made no matter what!