When I meet with my clients and chat about their wedding day timeline, I often get asked about my thoughts on a first look. It’s a tough one, because it really comes down to your own personal preference and any traditions you hold strong and true in your heart. I totally respect the couples that prefer to wait until the ceremony to see each other for the first time because it all boils down to that moment – when your eyes meet as the bride walks into the room, when your hands come together for the first time, and when you look at each other with that grin from ear to ear, both thinking: “This is the beginning of the rest of our lives”.
So when I’m asked about my thoughts, I have to tread lightly because I know that a lot of couples still view these moments as the most anticipated of the day. However, I have to admit, I am strong believer in first looks. Here’s why:
1) Pressure be gone!
When I thought about having to walk down the aisle, with all these eyes staring at me, including his, it numbed me. I do NOT like to be the centre of attention. I was that kid in school who dreaded presentations…sweating profusely, dry mouth, anxiety-ridden, terribleness. The last thing I wanted on my wedding day was to feel like this when I saw my husband-to-be for the first time. So a first look solved a lot of that anxiety. One less set of eyes on me for the first time. Plus, he’s the one person that can calm my nerves. Seeing him beforehand put me at ease, took the pressure off and made it that much easier to walk down the aisle.
2) An intimate moment.
Along the same lines, I didn’t want our first moment together on the big day to be one that was shared with everyone. I wanted to have that moment with him and only him, where we could share a few nervous giggles together, a hug, a kiss, a high five and chat about our excitement for the day ahead. I still remember that moment we saw each other for the first time – his suit that I was so nervous about but that looked crazy sharp on him (who orders their wedding suit ONLINE with shady measurements taken by yours truly?!), his smile when he turned around, and that hug I had so been waiting for. I wouldn’t trade that moment for anything. It is something I will remember forever.
I know everyone tells you that your wedding day goes by in the blink of an eye…but seriously, it does. I wish it could have lasted a whole other day.
We wanted to do a first look followed by photos with our families and wedding party, that way we could actually enjoy our cocktail hour and mingle with our guests before dinner. I always stress this with clients – I need at least an hour for photos of family, wedding party and the couple so think about how that time will take away from your day. For some, they would prefer to get away right after the ceremony and take photos, followed by a grand entrance where they are introduced as Mr. and Mrs. for the first time. For others, it’s more important that they spend as much time as possible with the people they hold nearest and dearest so the cocktail hour is really an opportunity to mingle and say hi to everyone. I didn’t want to spend my whole evening wondering who I hadn’t said hi to yet, so having all of our photos taken beforehand was essential. It freed up a lot of our evening to actually spend some quality time together.
4) More photos
Since my husband is not in love with the idea of having his photo taken (jokes on him…he’s married to a photographer now!), I knew having this extra time would be key. He would probably disagree, but I think having the time to casually take photos before the ceremony was less stressful and more fun than having to jam it all into an hour after the ceremony. In the end, we ended up with more photos, and as I expected, the ones towards the end were a little more genuine than when we first started. He got the jitters out so the expressions were more authentic and less posed. It also meant shooting in different light throughout the day…there was lots of available daylight during our first look photos and then we were able to snap a few pictures of the two us at sunset and in the evening, making for a few different “feels”. All in all, more photos = more opportunity for some great moments.
Here’s a look at some of my favourite first look moments from past weddings!
What are your thoughts on a first look? Feel free to leave your comments below!!
Stay warm, friends xoxo