The times they are a-changing… Traditional the bride would see her partner for the first time on the wedding day as she walks toward the aisle to say “I Do.” These days, there are options. Many couples are choosing to do a first look. This is when you and your partner choose a time before the ceremony to have an intimate moment to see each other before family and friends join them. There are multiple reasons a couple may choose to do this.

1) More intimacy Doing a private first look before the I Do does give you as a couple a more intimate moment. You could do it at the ceremony aisle or in a separate garden off to the side, wherever will create that memorable moment.

2) Streamline the timeline I won’t lie to you, as a photographer it does help the timeline and creativity if we can capture images of you and your soon-to-be husband/wife before the ceremony rather than between the ceremony and reception. The timeframe between ceremony and reception is drastically limited unless you are having an extended day. If we have captured the creative images of the two of you before that time period, we can then use the cocktail hour for family shots and move to the reception more quickly. Think of it, a possible 15 minutes for newlywed pictures between the ceremony and reception or 45 min-1 hour before the ceremony. If done correctly and with enough hours with your photography team, you can go ahead and knock out newlywed and wedding party pictures.

3) More creative shots With planning, you two and your photographers can have the chance to venture to new and unique places in and around the venue for newlywed pictures. You can have more time for those creative shots. You can get those extra moments together with your videographer to capture giggles and tears.

4) Calm Before the Storm Let’s face it, weddings are stressful. And if you’re doing it right, the person who calms you down the most is the one you traditionally aren’t seeing. Getting to see, hug, kiss and comfort your person can significantly relax both of you leading up to the wedding ceremony.

BUT, if you want that calming presence and something a little special, but still sticking with the tradition of not seeing each other before the ceremony, try a first “touch.” This is when the two of you share an intimate moment together without actually laying eyes on each other. This can be done in multiple ways. Here are a few ideas: blindfolded and hold hands; going back-to-back and holding hands; one on each side of the door and trading notes or special vows; taking one of the former suggestions and having your pastor say a pre-ceremony prayer.

As a photographer, we LOVE a first look. For all of the reasons above, we agree that a first look can be a beautiful thing. That said, we did not do one at our own wedding. We understand the strong desire to
stick with tradition and if that is what you want to do… stick to your guns, do it, and don’t change your
mind.