November 19, 2019
It’s taken me a lot of convincing to realize why First Looks are so beneficial and memorable on a wedding day. I used to be a complete skeptic, but now I’m a huge fan! I’m going to break down the 3 convincing arguments that completely flipped my perspective about sharing a First Look. My hope is that it will do the same for you, so you can have a wedding day that is purposeful, meaningful, and memorable.
I will give the three reasons most brides and grooms (even myself included) are not a fan of First Looks. See if you resonate with one or more of them. Then I will then share what helped me see these arguments differently, and ultimately change my perspective entirely.
(These reasons are in no particular order.)
This was my number one reason why I didn’t think I’d ever be in favor of sharing a First Look. I have never planned a wedding. But I have believed for years that couples who have First Looks don’t have emotional walks down the aisle. Somehow, seeing each other before the ceremony steals that overwhelming moment of “Oh my gosh, we’re doing the thing!”
In my past relationships, somehow I often found myself dating guys who were hard nuts to crack emotionally. They saw themselves as more serious or manly types, and I was definitely the more sensitive one in the relationship. This solidified my resolve even more not to have a First Look one day.
If I were to end up walking down the aisle to a man less in touch with his emotions, I wanted to give him the best shot I had to get tears out of him — a swift, fatal blow, if you will. That meant building up all the anticipation until I stood with my father, floating down the aisle in a heap of white, fluffy, tulle.
There are actually a few counters to this mindset.
Again, I agreed with this reasoning. The wedding day is so full of memories that we want to preserve in our minds forever. That magical moment of stepping out onto the aisle for the first time, seeing your groom so handsomely dressed in the tux you picked, your entire family and friends all there to support you… it’s overwhelmingly special. You’ve waited for that moment since you were a little girl clunking around the kitchen in mom’s shoes with a pillowcase hanging off your head as a veil.
That moment is still special for couples who share a First Look. Despite having already seen each other, that moment still feels the same. The bride is still stepping onto the aisle for the first time. She is still seeing her groom standing handsomely in his tux. She is still surrounded by loving friends and family. It is still a HUGE moment.
But now everyone is a little more at ease and able to take the moment in more fully. The pressure is off, the adrenaline is not at a dangerous high (though still may be present to some degree).
And First Looks can be incredibly special too. You can have TWO special moments of being presented to your groom on the wedding day!! Don’t believe me? Here are a few ways to make the First Look just as special as the walk down the aisle:
Now to discuss the biggest argument I hear from most brides-to-be. Whether it’s the bride who truly believes this, or her mother, or grandmother, this has been a huge boundary drawn between couples for decades.
I remember my mom and I often retorting how nontraditional it is to see the bride before the wedding or allow the bride and groom to share a private moment in a First Look. I have always said I wanted to keep my wedding pure with tradition. Until…
Traditions always come from somewhere, and it’s important to realize their roots before drawing an opinion. Do you know why it’s “bad luck” to see the bride before the wedding?
Because back in medieval times, it was more common to be wed for business deals rather than for love. Your dad might have worked his butt off working out a deal with the rich father down the street to have his son marry your daughter in exchange for the prize cow or a plot of land. In arranged marriages, the groom may have never even met his bride until she lifted her veil at the first kiss of the ceremony. It certainly would be bad luck for the bride if the groom saw her before the wedding and… well… wasn’t very excited about his half of the bargain after laying eyes on her. So romantic, right?
Gladly, times have changed a lot since then. Now we date to evaluate one another before marriage, and by the time the wedding day arrives, we are certain this is the love of our lives. Nothing will change your mind, and you are absolutely delighted to see each other. So where is the “bad luck” in that? (To be honest, I don’t even believe in luck at all. So I’m not sure why this one had me so wrapped up for so long.)
Your wedding day is a one-time shot, and a very momentous occasion for you and your groom. Ultimately, you need to decide as a couple what is best for you and your big day. I highly recommend First Looks, for all the reasons above. Plus, I know that couples who share First Looks get to take their portraits early on in the day, which means they can go enjoy cocktail hour with their guests post-ceremony! More time = more portraits, which = more value in your photography investment!
If I convinced you by this blog post to share a First Look on your wedding day, be sure to get in touch with your photographer ASAP to fit it into your timeline! Or, if you don’t have a wedding photographer just yet, I’d love to talk to you more. Contact me!
Copyright 2019. Alexandria, VA wedding & portrait photographer.
Serving brides and grooms in the Washington, D.C., northern Virginia, & Maryland region.
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