I know that traditionally a ‘first look’ is reserved for that huge moment when you make your way down the aisle and see your partner for the first time in front of all of your loved ones. It’s beautiful, and such a wonderful experience to have in the presence of all your family and friends. Still, I’ve never been a stickler for traditions! I firmly believe there is no such bad luck in seeing your significant other on your wedding day before the ceremony if that’s something that speaks to your heart. ‘First looks’ are becoming more and more popular with couples who are opting to have those private moments together before their ceremony. When I tell you it’s one of the most genuine, magical moments I have ever experienced with my couples, I truly mean it.
Keep reading below for our favourite 5 reasons why you should consider having a first look on your wedding day (and why you won’t regret it!)
1. This is your moment, this is your time.
It sounds simple and at its core it is, this is your moment as a couple to come together for the very first time as bride and groom. It will be the first time you see each other on your special day, you can show off your beautiful dress, you can hold each other and bask in the anticipation and excitement of knowing this is the person that you will be marrying today. This will be the beginning of a brand new adventure together, how exciting is that?! This time is reversed for the both of you to spend however you feel most comfortable, but most importantly, time for you to spend together before the wedding festivities begin.
2. It’s all about the “pause” moment.
As I previously mentioned, a first look allows you to spend that one-on-one time with your partner before you get swept into the whirlwind of your wedding day. How many times do you hear people say that their wedding day went past so quickly? Sometimes it can be a blur of emotion and everything happens so incredibly fast! Something that is really important to me as a wedding photographer is to try and encourage my couples to have these “pause” moments, and a first look is the perfect pause moment! Setting aside this time, you’re reserving it away from any outside distractions and allowing the opportunity to live in the moment with your love. Being present and soaking in the emotions together is something that you’ll never forget and won’t regret!
3. It helps to calm the nerves.
There is so much anticipation in that first look moment at the aisle in front of many of your loved ones, and perhaps if you’re someone that isn’t a huge fan of being the centre of attention, this is even more added pressure. Your nerves may already be in full force! Knowing that you have this time with your partner before the ceremony is the perfect grounding experience. You can share your emotions openly in your own privacy and really allow them to soak in without the additional pressure of a crowd watching. Never underestimate how much a hug, or smile from your partner before your ceremony can do for the nerves! It releases a little bit of pressure and provides such an incredible opportunity for you to come together as a team, taking on this wedding together as a united unit!
4. Capturing the love.
A first look also allows you to have one of the most beautiful moments of a wedding (in my personal opinion) captured by your photographer and/or videographer. Speaking from experience, some of my favourite moments from weddings I’ve shot in the past have been from these private first looks. The emotions are so raw and personal, it’s genuine love and happiness in its purest form. There just aren’t enough words in the world to describe it accurately, it’s so heartwarming. These photos are beautiful reminders of this moment and an incredible way to reminisce about your wedding day. It also allows you to have an additional opportunity for couples’ portraits prior to the actual ceremony, which can free up time later in the day when you can spend time mingling with your guests.
5. The aisle reaction will still be incredible.
I think a lot of people are worried that having a first look will take away from that moment when you see each other at the ceremony, but I can assure you that isn’t the case. The beauty of a wedding is that it’s the unity of two people so madly in love, the emotions are so strong and so intense, that they don’t simply go away once you’ve seen your partner. Having a first look provides the best of both worlds: having that first initial time alone with your partner, basking in your shared excitement, and then also coming together at the ceremony in the presence of your family and friends. If there are tears spilt at the first look, I guarantee tears will be spilt at your ceremony too!
If you’re seeking a quiet moment in your day to really soak in the excitement and emotion, I would really recommend looking further into the idea of having a first look! This idea won’t be for everyone, and that’s completely fine! Your wedding day should be shaped around you as a couple and the ways in which you want to celebrate your love. If a first look is something that you would be interested in exploring on your wedding day, I’d definitely encourage you to speak to your photographer about it and see if there is the possibility to include it in your timeline. If you have any questions about a first look or need any further clarification, feel free to reach out to me!