One of the most asked questions I get in wedding planning with my brides is, "Is a first look really worth it?" OR, "If I do a first look, I won't get that aisle shot will I?"
Today, I'm going to let you in on my behind-the-scenes opinion about first looks and why it's the BIGGEST regret of my wedding!!!
For starters, let's go ahead and rid our minds of people saying it's bad luck to see each other before the wedding. Interested in where this history comes from?
During the time when arranged marriages were custom, the betrothed couple wasn’t allowed to see each other before the wedding at all. The wedding symbolized a business deal between two families (romantic, huh?), and a father would have been pleased for his daughter to marry a man from a rich, land-owning family. But he also feared that if the groom met the bride before the wedding and thought she wasn’t attractive, he’d call off the wedding, casting shame onto the bride and her family. Therefore, it became tradition that the bride and groom were only allowed to meet at the wedding ceremony so that the groom did not have the opportunity to change his mind. And that veil the bride wears? Its original purpose was also to keep the groom from finding out what the bride looked like until the last possible minute, when it was too late to back out of the transaction - BRIDALGUIDE.COM
So, the next time someone tells you this is a bad luck thing, remind them of this gem from history ;)
#1: Alone Time on Your Wedding Day
Wedding days can be stressful, it's no secret.
Majority of brides who DON'T do a first look, spend the first part of their day antsy and wishing only to see their groom. I can't tell you how many times a bride has told me they regret not squeezing in this special time!
It's crazy to me that on a day about you and your groom, you hardly have any time with just YOU and your groom...opting in on a first look will give the two of you almost half an hour of pure alone time to really take in how gorgeous you each look, soak in your wedding day and the fact that it's ACTUALLY happening!
One of the BIGGEST regrets of my own wedding was not having a first look. We had a large wedding, with over 300 guests! Our timeline was jam-packed and I put a first look on the back burner because it seemed pointless at the time...looking back, that is the ONE thing I would change about our wedding! Making time for each other on your wedding day is crucial and far from selfish. Not only does everyone need to celebrate you two, but you should celebrate each other!
Plan on writing each other a letter, even throw in a small, fun gift to read and open right before the first look!
This builds anticipation and gives you time to chat about your letters during the first look! Amp up the mush! It's your wedding day after-all ;)
#2: Extra Portrait Time
And all the photographer's said aaaaaaaaamen! Often on wedding days, portrait time is cut down to one of the smaller portions of the wedding, yet remains one of the most important of the day. An easy way to add extra portrait time is to add the first look to your line-up! By rearranging a few items on your schedule, we have the potential to knock out bridal party AND family portraits before the wedding even begins, leaving us freed up to snag some of those dreamy sunset portraits after your ceremony!
#3: TRUE Emotion Captured
Pinterest has given us all an image of a dream husband bawling his eyes out at the end of the aisle as the bride approaches him. Unfortunately, this isn't reality a lot of the time! This isn't because your groom isn't madly in love with you or uninterested in your wedding day...this can be for numerous reasons! Maybe he's not big on showing emotions in front of people, nerves are taking over and he's just hoping he shakes your dad's hand at the right time, etc. Often, in a first look I ensure we are completely alone. No other vendors, no lurkers, nobody. This gives you and your groom the comfort knowing it's truly the two of you (and me, but I promise I'm quiet!) and you can be who you are and truly show how you feel!
Brides, don't complete your look for the first look! Often, it's good to throw in something different just to make your aisle experience still new! I recommend to my veil gals, not to put in the veil until RIGHT before the ceremony! This throws in a new, but still beautiful touch to you that your groom will notice something different.
Don't worry that if he cries in a first look, he wouldn't cry down the aisle...an emotional man, is an emotional man! There is NOTHING compared to walking down the aisle knowing you will leave joined as one. This is a unique and special experience all of its own.