The “first look” option is gaining popularity in the wedding world, and I often get asked by couples whether they should consider doing one. If you are unsure, a first look is when the bride and groom meet for a private moment before the ceremony to see each other for the first time on their wedding day. Instead of meeting at the altar, they meet alone somewhere else. I have to say, I am definitely in support of doing a first look, and below I am sharing a few reasons why.
A first look is a great way to slow down.
Wedding days are often busy and exciting, and most couples I work with say that it flies by in a blur. I know this is true for my own wedding as well, there are only a few moments that I remember really clearly; the rest is a blur of nerves and excitement. A first look is a perfect opportunity to have a private moment just the two of you and to slow down and take in the excitement together. You can take as little or as much time as you want to embrace the moment and talk about your day – and your life ahead – together.
You get to spend more time together.
Wedding days are a strange thing sometimes, where they are the most important day of your live together thus far, and yet you spend the majority of it apart. By doing a first look you can be together a few hours before the ceremony and have that extra time to create more memories together on your wedding day. I can guarantee those extra hours together will be well worth it.
The stress of the ceremony will be decreased.
A huge part of the stress of the ceremony is that you haven’t seen each other yet and you are so excited to finally be together. By doing a first look you can walk into your ceremony feeling refreshed and relaxed, and able to embrace every moment of it. And believe me when I say that the walk down the aisle doesn’t get any less magical when you have already seen each other.
You can spend more time with your guests.
Usually when you plan for a first look before the ceremony, we can arrange to get all of your bridal party and family portraits done before the ceremony as well. This timeline allows you to enjoy time with your guests after the ceremony instead of being whisked away for all of the group shots. More time to mingle and create memories with your guests is a win-win (and as a bonus it also makes for great photo opportunities!).
You can save your best emotions for each other.
This one is by far my favourite reason to do a first look. A lot of grooms are unsure of how they will react when they finally see their bride, and a lot of brides are worried about crying their way through the ceremony. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good emotional couple, but by having a first look you can have that private moment together and let out any emotion you are truly feeling without worrying about the crowd. There is no need to hold back or worry about your make up, because it is just the two of you. It is also a great opportunity to speak freely and candidly to each other about the moment and your excitement, because there is no ceremony going on around you.
If you are planning your wedding and considering a first look option, I highly recommend it. You can decrease your stress level, gain more private time together and slow down to make the most of your exciting day. But no matter what you decide, make sure it is the best option for you and what you want to get out of your wedding day. After all, it is your day!
Brittany VanRuymbeke is a Chatham Wedding Photographer servicing Chatham-Kent, Ontario and worldwide.