One of the biggest moments of any wedding day is when the bride and groom see each other for the first time. It’s a moment full of emotion and love, and one of my favorite moments to capture as a photographer. When to have this big moment is an important decision for a couple to make together. Of course, you can always go the traditional route, and not see each other until you are walking down the aisle. There is also a newer trend that is quite popular, and that is the first look. Today I’ll be answering all your questions about the first look, what it is, and how it works!
What is a first look?
A first look is when a bride and groom see each other for the first time before their ceremony takes place. It allows for this special moment to be between just the two of them and provides the couple a few beautiful and quiet minutes alone before the hustle and bustle of the day begins.
Why have a first look?
One of the greatest benefits is that it allows the couple more time throughout the day. After the first look, the bride, groom, and the rest of the wedding party can utilize the time before the ceremony for portraits. Having your portraits taken earlier in the day allows the bride and groom more time to socialize with their guest during cocktail hour and throughout the reception.
Another benefit I’ve often heard from my couples is that they feel much more relaxed once they’ve seen each other during the first look. This allows them to be more present and enjoy the ceremony!
Do you have to have a first look?
No way! It’s your big day and you can decide to do whatever suits you as a couple. Doing a first look or not is completely up to you! I love the tradition of a groom not seeing his bride until she walks down the aisle. I also love the intimate moment of a first look. You honestly can’t go wrong, so do whatever you feel most comfortable with. When you see each other for the first time, it’s going to be magical, either way!
Where should I have my first look?
You’ll definitely want to reach out to your photographer for help here, as they’ll have a good eye for the perfect location. When I am scouting for a first look location, I’m looking for an open, quiet space, with lots of shade. A place that will create an intimate feel for the couple.
How does a first look work?
Again, your photographer is going to be a huge help in coordinating this! Once the location is selected, the photographer will first put the groom in place. He will face off in one direction, with his back turned to the bride. Then, the photographer will have the bride walk up behind her groom and tap him on the shoulder. He’ll turn around, and the next moment is magic!
I hope this helps you as you decide when you’d like this special moment of your big day to take place. Just know that there really is no wrong decision. Whether you decide to have a first look or not, the moment a groom sees his bride for the first time is always full of beautiful, raw emotion, and will be a moment that’s cherish forever. No matter where it happens!