The First Look: What is it? And Why They’re Great.

A big moment on a wedding day that everyone looks forward to is when the bride walks down the aisle for the first time to see her groom. It’s such an emotional moment when everyone stands up, the music changes, and all eyes are on the bride. While everyone is focusing on the bride, it’s always a good time to take a glance at the groom and see how he is reacting to seeing her. Traditionally this is the first time the couple sees each other, but as time has gone by, first looks have become very popular. A first look is obviously when the couple sees each other for the first time, but this is a separate moment before the ceremony begins. There are numerous reasons for doing a first look and also many pros. 

One of the main reasons to do a first look is because of scheduling purposes. If your ceremony is from 4-5, with cocktail hour starting at 5 until 6, then you really don’t have time to enjoy cocktail hour if you don’t do a first look. Everything will also feel a little non-stop. After the ceremony, you’ll be taking family photos, bridal party photos, and then couples portraits. Then after that, you’ll be just about ready for introductions, first dance, parent dances, and toasts. You really will not have a moment to breathe until dinner or dancing. A first look allows you to breathe a little. It allows you to get all of your photos done before the ceremony, and have a chance to hang out with your partner before the wedding craziness begins. Doing a first look also allows you to hangout with your guests during cocktail hour. It allows you to actually be present at your wedding, because the day flies by.

A first look usually works better with a venue where everything is at the same place, unlike a church ceremony. When doing a church ceremony, more than likely there is a break between the ceremony until cocktail hour. This gives you more time to take photos and attend your cocktail hour, but again, it all depends on timing and your schedule.

Another reason for a first look is to get out all of the nerves. The day is about the couple, so not seeing each other until the ceremony, is a long time not to see each other. It’s almost half of the day without being together. Numerous times, the couple may seem nervous or anxious before the ceremony. After seeing each other, this takes away all of those nerves and anxieties. Doing a first look allows you to talk with each other and ask how the morning went. When you walk down the aisle during the ceremony, you can’t really stop and talk to each other about the day. So doing a first look lets you actually communicate and tell each other how you feel. This also means that you will get to have a private moment together. The whole day you’ll be surrounded by family and friends, so this is a time where it’s just the two of you having a special moment.

Capturing the day through photos and video is a way to relive your wedding throughout the years. A first look can also give you more opportunities for more photos. It could give you more time to be creative and actually take the time to do those Pinterest inspried photos you’ve been eyeing up. Obviously it depends on the scheduling, but usually there is enough time allotted into the first look to take a ton of photos and video. At the end of the ceremony, you usually only have an hour or so to do everything. A late Fall or Winter wedding is also a good time to really consider doing a first look since the sun sets at an earlier time. So if you want photo and video in daylight, it’s almost vital to have a first look to beat the sunset.

Some people may say a first look takes away from the tradition and emotion of seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony. This is not necessarily true. You can never take away that moment of everyone standing up, the music changing, and your eyes locking in on your partner. It will always be an emotional moment regardless of a first look or not. A first look is not recreating that momentous moment, it’s just adding a more intimate addition to the couple seeing each other for the first time without an audience. A first look and seeing each other down the aisle brings up different emotions that are both special in their own way. 

All photos courtesy of Danielle Coons Photography