Every wedding day includes its own set of traditions, plans, memories, and timelines. One thing that every couple will have to consider is whether or not to do a first look. Traditionally, the first time you see your partner during your wedding day is when you walk down the aisle. A first look is a set aside time before your ceremony where you and your partner can officially see each other for the first time before you walk down the aisle. While some couples want to stick to the tradition, it’s something every couple should discuss and consider as an option. Below are five benefits to planning a first look on your wedding day.
Wedding days are notoriously so busy and include a jammed packed schedule. Your wedding timeline, especially after the ceremony, includes back to back events that leave you running around feeling very chaotic. Planning a first look before your ceremony, opens up room in your timeline to do portraits before the wedding ceremony. You can plan on doing couple portraits, joint bridal portraits, and even doing some family formals before the ceremony. Creating this change in your timeline allows you to enjoy more time of your cocktail hour. You won’t be feeling rushed trying to fit in formal portraits and photos of you with your partner. In addition to helping your timeline being able to knock out those formal portraits before the ceremony allows everyone’s hair, makeup, and final look to remain fresh and perfected.
On your wedding day there is so much excitement but there is also a lot of nerves and anticipation. Seeing your partner before the ceremony can help with those pre-ceremony jitters. With the anticipations building, sometimes there’s nothing more that you want than to just see the love of your life. If you’re more of a private person you might want your first interaction with your partner to be limited to just the two of you. Keeping your first look more intimate can help relieve some of your day of anxieties.
Wedding days are often about sharing your love with all your friends and family. However, it’s nice to have dedicated time with just your partner. A first look allows you and your partner to share a private moment on your wedding day. You are able to genuinely react to each other without the eyes of others. It’s a moment that you are allowed to share that is completely just the two of you. During this private moment, you can take the opportunity to make it more intimate by sharing vows with one another. Whether you decide to read the same vows again in front of your guests or share a different set of vows during the ceremony, it allows you to just focus on you and your partner alone in this private moment.
A common counterpoint to having a first look is that couples don’t want to miss that authentic moment of seeing their partner walk down the aisle or waiting for them at the end of the aisle. I’ll be the first to tell you that moment of excitement and beauty is still going to happen. Seeing each other before the ceremony does not take away from all the feelings that happen when you see your partner standing before you on your wedding day. It will allow you to focus more deeply on the ceremony itself and the people there to support you. Remember how I mentioned a first look helping with your nerves? All of the nerves and shock will be more settled allowing you to really take in your day and the commitment you are making. I know for me personally, I am a debrief queen. I would need to have a quick check in with my partner to know how their morning was. I need to know how they’re feeling! And would definitely be ignoring my officiant and guests to have a tiny whisper convo with my dude. Having a first look allows your nerves to settle, get a quick debrief, and ultimately allows you to focus on being fully present during your ceremony.
Your wedding day starts so much earlier than your ceremony–it’s a FULL day of events. The sooner you see your partner on your wedding day, the more time you are able to spend with them. Having a first look not only allows you to see your partner but actually hang out with them. You spend all this time and money planning your wedding that you want to enjoy as much of the day as you can together. When you look back on your day, you’ll be so happy that you had a couple extra hours to soak in every moment with your new husband or wife.
In conclusion, there are so many benefits to adding a first look into your day that can help your day run smoother and be more enjoyable to both parties. If you’re unsure if that’s the right decision for you and your partner, have a honest conversation with one another and your photographer with your feelings around it. If having a full first look isn’t something you’re interested but you like aspects of helping your nerves or having a private moment, you can do other alternatives such as a first touch or back to back private vow readings. Ultimately, it’s your wedding day and completely up to you how you and your partner choose to spend your time and create your day of memories.