Let me open this blog post by saying, that if a first look is something you want for your wedding day, then that is totally okay! If it is something you have dreamed about or have amazing plans for, then, by all means, do it. This blog is aimed more for the couples who truly don’t want a first look, but are feeling pressured into having one by family, friends, or other wedding vendors. Often times you will be pushed to do a first look in order to knock out portraits before the ceremony and have more time.
In my experience, this is completely, totally false.
When I was a bride, I wanted to joy and complete surprise of the look on my husband to be’s face when I came into view at the end of the aisle. I *secretly* hoped for either a tear or two, or the look of pure joy paired with an ear to ear smile.
Photo Credit | Danielle Marie Photography
At Sarah + Ryan’s Wedding, I am not sure there was a dry eye in the chairs at this very moment. Ryan’s expression when he first saw his bride-to-be coming his way, was absolutely breathtaking.
Ladies and Gents, don’t skip this moment for the sake of streamlining your photography timeline.
The tradition of the groom not seeing his bride before the wedding is an old one, and it will withstand the test of time. While the tradition has less than romantic beginnings (arranged marriages anyone?) this tradition is one of the most romantic and tear jerking moments.
So, how do we avoid the pressures of a first look being included in a timeline? I have met with at least 3 brides in the last month who admitted to this pressure. They said that at least 1 other vendor said the need it. That the day wouldn’t flow well without it. Somehow, they just knew that the timeline would fall behind.
In 2016 we executed over 20 weddings. Only 1 of those weddings had a first look. Of those 20 weddings, the timeline never fell behind. We did not have to miss out on any photography opportunities. They all went off without a hitch.
See, the key to those weddings going so well, was having an experienced and trained wedding planner. We work tirelessly with our couples to curate every last detail of their wedding day. By working with a professional you can curate a timeline that works in both the favor of not having a first look while also being beneficial to the photography timeline.
I, personally, pride myself on often being complemented by photographers on my timelines. I always build in a generous amount of time for photographs and craft a wedding day that is both easy on the bride and groom, but also the vendors as well.
So, what can you do instead of a first look?
Exchange gifts before the ceremony with a sweet note.
I personally gifted my hubby a watch, with a note and a sweet handwritten card.
Calm wedding day nerves by just holding hands, or saying a prayer behind a closed door.
This way, you can calm your nerves, have a moment of content. Yet, still saving that special moment for the ceremony.
Having a first look can still be romantic though…
Photography Credit | Susan Stripling Photography
Loves, I urge you to make a decision that fits your heart. Don’t let anyone try and convince you one way or another. Go with your heart. Whether you have dreamed of this moment forever, or didn’t think of a wedding until you got engaged. I want you to sit back, and think through all of the special moments.
This is the first day of your forever. It will be full of tears, laughter and joy. Make sure that every moment counts.