the journal

Read all about the latest and greatest

Read all about
the latest and greatest

the journal

The Wedding Series

The Pros and Cons of a First Look

You’re probably like most people and fit into one of these descriptions.

  1. You don’t want your groom to see you until you walk down the aisle
  2. You want to see each other before your ceremony

There is even a third description that often fits as well!

3. Maybe you didn’t even know there was an alternative to your groom seeing you for the first time while you were walking down the aisle!

Either way… this post is for you!

The Pros of doing a Modern First Look

  1. You get more time together

A first look allows you to be together and alone on your wedding day. When Matthew and I saw each other, not only was it special, it was our only time to be alone the whole day! We laughed and I cried and then we laughed some more.

Without a first look, portraits are rushed after the family pictures, and it can be hard to be “lovey dovey” with your family and friends all around you. I always capture some of the sweetest images of an entire wedding during those first look moments!

2. It can be more intimate

You’ve probably dreamed about it since you were a little girl. The music starts, the doors open, and there is your future husband watching you walk down the aisle and seeing you for the first time in your wedding dress.

In you dream, he’s probably crying and wiping away tears, but reality of it is that he’s probably sweating and nervous because everyone is watching and waiting for his reaction. Maybe he’s not one for outward showing of emotion – my husband sure isn’t.

Maybe you’re both more private. If so, a first look might be right for you. It allows you to be with each other, react to the other person and not be the center of attention the whole time. It also allows your wedding party to be together more, which really just means more party time!

3. You can spend the entire time after your ceremony with your family, bridal party and guests.

With a first look, you actually have time, instead of rushing to get to a reception. Most first looks and portraits take about 45 minutes, which means you get around 40% MORE portraits of the two of you!! Putting all the photos afterwards means around 1.5 hours of photos before you can go to your reception.

The cons of a first look is that sometimes the beginning of your wedding day is busier, and maybe you really want to do a Traditional First Look! If that’s you, do what you’ve always dreamed of!

The Pros of the Traditional First Look

I haven’t found a formal reason for why a Modern First Look was created, but it probably stemmed from allowing a wedding day to flow more smoothly and to allow the bride and groom to see each other before the ceremony.

Today, the Traditional First Look is still used by so many couples, and here are just a couple of reasons why couples love it so much.

  1. The beginning of your day isn’t as busy

Maybe you prefer not to feel rushed in the mornings with place to be and people coming and going. Before the ceremony, the only thing you’ll have to do is get your hair and makeup done, put that gorgeous dress on, and take some fun pictures with your girls!

After the ceremony is done, things will get a little crazy and some like mornings to be a little more relaxed.

2. Maybe You’ve always wanted that reaction when you’re walking down the aisle

Maybe you both have always dreamed about doing a first look while walking down the aisle – and that’s okay! There is no right or wrong way.

The cons of a traditional first look are that there is more pressure for the groom to react, you don’t get as much time together, and instead of a ceremony and then a celebration, its your ceremony… and then an hour or two of pictures, and then your reception.

My Take on the First Look

Many photographers do recommend a modern first look, as do I. I really like them for a couple different reasons.

  1. You don’t need to feel rushed

While schedules can be created in ways to help you not feel rushed, it’s challenging to NOT feel rushed when you have to fit portraits, bridal party, and family pictures into a 1.5 hour segment. It really does come down to what you and your person want and what works best for you.

2. You get to spend more time with your person AND you get about 40% more pictures with a first look.

With a First Look, your wedding day is extended by almost 3 hours! Instead of being rushing through all the photos, you can enjoy them and have fun hanging out with your best friends, your family, and your HUSBAND on your wedding day.

To view more of my wedding planning series, click here.

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