The first time we ask our couples if they are interested in doing a First Looks on their wedding day, we usually get one of three different responses. The most common answer is “Yes! Of course!” with “What’s a first look?” is the second most common answer. Third, of course, is “No. I want our first look to be as I’m walking down the aisle.” None of those are a wrong answer, but given the chance, we just can’t stop talking about how much we love first looks! Hopefully, this post will help you decide on why a First Look is a great option to help keep your wedding day stress free.
We seriously talk about how much we love “First Looks” all the time on our blog and social media, and we tend to point them out in every blog post. They’re AWESOME! However, not every couple is aware of how awesome they are. They start thinking about how a first look is “non-traditional” and they just write it off as not completely necessary. Let us start by saying, we do not require our couples to do a first look. That would be just plain mean! Some people are just not interested in it and really have their hearts set on seeing each other for the first time down the aisle. And that’s okay! From our experience, however, first looks just make the whole day easier for everyone and we are definitely fans of nice, easy, and stress-free.
Let’s start off with a tiny history lesson! From what we’ve researched, couples waiting to see each other until the aisle dates all the way back to medieval times. But it’s quite far from the romantic tradition we’ve come to know today. Apparently, it stems from the days of arranged marriages and the bride would wear a veil to hide her face so that the groom couldn’t change his mind until it was too late! Definitely not as romantic as we think right?
The most common reason our couples give us when they say they don’t want a first look is that they want a reaction…They want their partner to be so surprised and just so full of joy that they just start bawling their eyes out! Who doesn’t want that?! But what most people don’t realize is, you are able to have the best of both worlds! You can share an intimate “First Look” moment on your wedding day, AND make your partner a blubbering mess as you walk down the aisle! After shooting over 100 weddings, we’ve realized that a lot of couples think that by breaking tradition and sharing a first look, they will lose part of that reaction. They tend to think that it will not be as emotional or as intimate as it would be if they were coming down the aisle. We think that is so ironic because the opposite is true!
If you’ve ever been to a wedding or heard any stories about someone else’s wedding, you probably know they can get a little stressful. The whole day is focused on the couple. They need to look their best, be on time, the guys have no idea what side the boutonnieres are supposed to go on, etc… Over the course of the morning, the tension grows. Without a first look, a few moments before the ceremony one half the couple is most likely standing nearby, watching guests file in and take their seats. They’re just watching and waiting… with nothing to distract them from the nervousness that has been creeping up all morning long. Once it’s go-time, they’ll walk to the front of the ceremony and wait some more, only this time, they’re not alone anymore. Anywhere from 80-300 people are looking right at their face because everyone wants to see that initial reaction.
We don’t know about you guys, but that doesn’t sound like a private, intimate moment to us. Sure, it’s sweet and wonderful…but when you walk down the aisle…no one has to be a nervous wreck! If you’ve spent the morning together and with your best friends there is no pressure. By the time your ceremony rolls, you have the freedom to enjoy your gorgeous wedding day! Not only that, but if you wait to see each other until the aisle, you’ll have to wait around 30 minutes before you can talk to each other, tell each other how amazing you look, or even just hug and love on one another!
Another reason we love first looks, and this may be completely selfish of us, is you’ll get way more portraits of the two of you together. We read somewhere before that couple’s who choose to do a first look get around 40% more portraits on their wedding day! We know this post was a bit long, and if you’ve stuck it out the whole way, you deserve a gold star! Hopefully, it’s helped give you a bit of insight of how a first look might be right for your wedding day. They say a picture is worth a thousand words so we’ll just let these photos show you just how amazing a first look can actually be!
We're Adrienne & Dani, a wedding photography team based in Sacramento, California that specializes in weddings and engagements. We hope you grab some coffee (or a cup of tea if you're like us!) and enjoy viewing our latest work, reading about tips for your wedding day, and getting a little peek behind the scenes!