Should you do a first look? - Destination Wedding Photographer Cassandra Michelle Photography Answers
Should you do a first look?
I’m not trying to pursued you one way or the other here. I honesty just want to give you the benefits and downfalls of both side so you, yourself can decided whether having a first look is what you and your soul mate want or not. There is no wrong decision here!
First look benefits:
The First look is usually the best part of the day! After I have scoped out the perfect first look location (with the brides approval) and the bride and groom are ready, I will plant the groom in a position where his back is facing where the bride will be walking up. Sometimes couples like having family members there to watch, but most of the time it is just the three of us and maybe a videographer. After the groom is in position, I ask the bride how she pictured this going. If they don’t have something specific in mind, I have her walk up right behind him and tap on his shoulder. Other times I’ve had them standing back to back and turn around at the same time, or once one of my brides went up and gave him a behind the back hug, it was super cute!! What is so special about a first look is that all those wedding day nerves seem to fly out the window for the next 10-15 minutes, there in that moment its just you and your best friend. No hustle and bustle, this moment is all about you and I won’t interject until I feel as is the moment is over. Then after the first look we casually move on to a few bridal portraits. This is my personal favorite part of a first look, we get to get bridal party photos, family photos, and even bridal portraits done all before the ceremony! So as soon as the ceremony is over, you can just focus on cocktail hour/celebrating! Also, you get some quiet time with your boo to take some deep breaths and relax before the ceremony even starts. You have to make sure to a lot a certain amount of time for the first look as well, and be sure to ask your photographer how much time should be allotted for this, very photographer is different. But, that does’t sound to shabby eh? Oh! One more thing, if. You are a cryer and don’t want to be sobbing during the ceremony, this helps get the tears out so you can actually speak during your vows or ring exchange!
Benefits of not having a first look:
When I was a little girl I dreamed about that magical moment of walking down the aisle with my father to see my groom laying eyes on me for the first time in my wedding dress. Didn’t we all? Now my personal views have changed for what I would do, but if you are still set on that I get it! It has been tradition ever since I can remember! What a freaking magical moment it truly is. You get to spend the whole morning drinking mimosas (if you’re into that sort of thing) getting ready with your bridesmaids, and doing girly things. And the whole day is built up to this special moment of seeing each other at the alter for the first time all day. There is nothing wrong with keeping to tradition! And we all have heard the superstition about seeing the bride before she walks down the aisle (or in most of my brides cases, the trail). If you are someone who is having an earlier ceremony, a first look just might not fit into your timeline. That is okay! Another bonus is that since no photos were taken before the ceremony, your flowers, make up, and hair are still going to be perfect.
Whether you decide you want the privacy and intimacy of a first look beforehand, or the magic and buildup to a first look walking down the aisle, will solely depend on you and your boo and what’s important to you on your big day. But don’t forget, you can always change your mind! Even the day of the wedding. And be sure to talk to your other half about the decision first! I know some people are more bashful and like to hide their emotions, so you want to make sure everyone agrees on the final decision. I know some couples that have done a “first touch” where they stand back to back and hold hands, and either pray, or just soak in those last few moments before the ceremony together without having to see each other. Whatever you do, don’t be afraid to choose whatever makes you the most happy! This day isn’t about anyone but you and your partner, so don’t be afraid to break traditions or make new ones!