The First Look is a relatively new tradition that has become increasingly popular in recent years. It involves the soon-to-be newlyweds seeing each other for the first time in privacy before the ceremony. Nevertheless, this tradition is not for everyone. In order to know if it is for you and your partner, here are some things to consider.
As a wedding photographer, I am tremendously appreciative of First Looks for many reasons.
Having a first look allows you to spend more time with your partner on your wedding day, rather than being apart as you prepare for the ceremony. It will allow you to take many photos before the ceremony. You can dedicate this time to capturing photos to you and your partner, or to have some formal images taken with your families. Either way, it will definitely add some flexibility to your timeline.
Couples should not only take the timing of their first look into account, but also consider the sentimental value it holds. Seeing each other beforehand allows you to savor every moment of your wedding day together. Some decide to exchange vows during this time, some decide to give each other gifts... it is a very personal experience and every couple can make it their own.
Your wedding is an intensely personal and moving experience, and a first look allows to photograph you as a couple during the first moments of that day. It will capture both of your genuine reactions, in the same frame as opposed to separately during the walk down the isle. (Many couples worry that seeing each other before the wedding will take away from the "magic" of the moment when they walk down the aisle, but that's not the case! No matter what, you'll feel moutains of emotions while walking down the aisle and during the ceremony.)
The things to consider
However, there are some things to consider before diving into a the decision of having a First Look. Here they are :
The first thing to consider is the lighting during your first look. If you are having a first look outside, from early to mid-afternoon, the lightning might be extremly harsh. A good photographer will be able to work with any conditions, but can help you pick the best spot to ensure beautiful, soft lighting for these timeless images.
Yes timing is a pro, but it can also be something to consider. Depending on how early you might want to do your first look (some do it a few hours before the ceremony, some do it a few minutes!), you might need to start your day even earlier ! This is something to consider when putting together your timeline for the day.
If you hold traditions close to your heart, and value the walk down the isle in all it's integrity, the first look might not be for you. If you like the idea of sharing something with your partner, there are other alternatives to capturing a sweet moment before the ceremony, such as a conversation without seeing each other or a first touch.
In the end, your wedding day is all about you, so do what makes you happy! Whether that means seeing your partner before the ceremony or not, is entirely up to you.
You can always change your mind about seeing your partner before the ceremony-- even on the day of your wedding! A good photographer will be able to adapt to any situation and help you achieve any images you envision for your big day.