A “First Look” is the term coined when a bride and groom see each other before the wedding ceremony. Blasphemy you say? Well, I say out with the old and in with the new!
New traditions are in, and many are getting away from the old wise tale that seeing your bride before the wedding is bad luck. The tradition actually started with arranged marriages. It was considered bad luck to ever see your new partner until you walked down the aisle, that way you couldn’t back out! Who wants to carry on that tradition? I wouldn’t.
From planning, photographing and being in over 50 weddings, I can speak from experience. When I get married I will defiantly choose to do a first look. I really think it gives the bride and groom a quiet time between themselves to relax and concentrate on each other. Despite a wedding being all about the happy couple, you really don’t get to have much alone time during your big day. Plus, taking pictures before hand elevates a lot of stress. Then, after the ceremony, you can go right to cocktail hour. I mean really, who wants to miss cocktail hour?
As a photographer, I can tell you none of my couples have regretted their first looks. I find it really can make the best images of the day. I capture so much emotion and love.
How does it work? I pick a quiet secluded location outside the church or wherever the bride is getting ready. Family and bridal party are tucked away, they are allowed to watch from a far, but very far… through a window or peeking around a corner, I never want my couples to feel on display. I bring the bride up behind the groom and have him turn around, and then the rest is all about the couple. I put on my zoom lens and stand back and let the emotions flow.
Paul and Erica, (above) were married last June at Windmill Island in Holland. They chose to do a first look, and I asked her to explain why for other brides.
“Paul and I chose to do a first look before our ceremony and I am really happy that we did. It was nice to meet privately with Paul before the wedding (and to have it photographed!); seeing him did a lot to calm my nerves. It was also still a surprise when we actually did see each other – Misty and her assistant did a fantastic job of setting up the meeting. It also gave us the convenience of taking all our couple and bridal party pictures beforehand. Now looking back on it I am even happier – I don’t even remember walking down the aisle I was so nervous, but I do remember seeing Paul – and the pictures turned out amazing!”
Paul liked the idea as a Groom too: “I like that we were able to just enjoy ourselves right after the ceremony. Also, there were no awkward waiting times for the guests between the ceremony and reception.”
Many thanks to Paul and Erica, and all my clients who chose a First Look. I love a relaxed wedding day, there is nothing better than not feeling rushed on your wedding day!