One of the most popular questions I am asked by couples when planning their wedding is my opinion on whether or not they should have a first look on their wedding day. There are so many benefits to a day with a first look as well as a wedding day without a first look, so, unfortunately, there really is not a right or wrong answer! That’s why in this blog we are going to do a deep dive into first looks. What exactly is a first look, does every wedding need one, and most importantly should yours have one? If any of these questions have you wondering and unsure on what to include in your wedding day then this blog is made for you. We’ll be going over everything you need to know about a first look on your wedding day!
To start we need to know exactly what a first look is, and luckily it basically lives up to its name. It is an intimate moment shared during your wedding day between the bride and another member of the wedding where the soon to be newly weds are fully dressed in their wedding attire. It is an incredible moment in any wedding day and is sure to evoke some wonderful emotion from everyone involved. So that means your wedding should include one right? While it all sounds good on paper, not every wedding needs to have a first look and they may not be what you’re looking for on your wedding day. To find out if you should or shouldn’t have a first look, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of both.
First looks are great for many wedding days for a number of different reasons. First looks offer an opportunity for couples to share an intimate moment with their soon to be spouse or loved ones before the festivities of the wedding day begins. Once your ceremony and reception start to occur, it can be hard to slow down and really spend quality time with anyone one on one on your wedding day. A first look provides that opportunity for you to have some alone time with the person or people you love the most on the day of your wedding without the interruptions or the chaos that can come from your ceremony and reception. This person can be a parent, best friend, grandparent or your partner!
Having a first look with your partner on your wedding day allows you to spend more time with your partner throughout your day. When couples opt to not have a first look, traditionally, they are only able to see one another following the ceremony. So if your wedding ceremony is later in the day, you could end up not seeing your soon to be husband, wife or partner until half your wedding day is over! Scheduling in a first look will make it easier for the two of you to spend time together.
Scheduling in a first look on your wedding day with your partner will allow you to have more flexibility in your wedding day timeline on your wedding day. Planning a wedding day with a first look will allow you and your partner to get the majority of your wedding photos done prior to your wedding ceremony. This will free up time later in your wedding day so you and your partner can spend some time alone, or spend more time with your guests at cocktail hour and your reception.
If you’re big on family and/or wedding day traditions, you might want to wait until your ceremony to see one another for the first time. The number one reason couples wait to see each other for the first time during their ceremony is so that they can share this intimate and personal moment with their families. So if this is a priority for you, you will want to wait until your ceremony to see one another on your wedding day.
If you’re not a morning person and plan to spend quite a bit of time with your wedding party getting ready on your wedding day, a first look might not be for you. Planning a first look into your wedding day can push up your timeline quite a bit. Waiting until your ceremony to see one another allows you to reallyyyyy slow down and take your time the morning of your wedding.
You may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned that your first look HAS to be with your soon to be spouse, and that’s because it doesn’t. It is your wedding day and you can share a first look with anyone you want to and anyone you care about. These are the most common people that a bride will often have a first look with.
First looks are almost always something you share with those closest to you and for a lot of people that is their parents, grandparents, or other family members that have been a huge part of their lives. It is such a sweet moment for both parties to celebrate this occasion of the newlyweds starting this next chapter of their lives. Emotions are sure to be high during this first look so have some tissues ready!
If you’re looking to get yourself hyped up before your wedding day, and I mean really HYPED up, have your first look with your wedding party. Your closest friends are going to be so incredibly excited seeing you in your wedding dress or suit for the first time on your wedding day. Trust me if you weren’t feeling on top of the world in your wedding dress before you 100% will after your number one hype crew gasses you up to the moon!
Last but certainly not least is a first look shared with your soon-to-be spouse and the love of your life. This is the most common first look and for a lot of reasons. You often don’t get to spend a lot of time just the two of you together on your wedding day, so having this moment alone to have a quiet moment and take it all in is huge. It’s also incredibly emotional seeing each other for the first time on your wedding day, so again have some tissues ready.
If you and your partner still want to spend some time together before your ceremony, but you want to save your official first look, there are some alternatives that might be a great option for the two of you! Here are some of my favorites.
A first touch is where you and your partner are placed by your photographer or a loved one in a way that doesn’t allow you to see one another before your ceremony, but allows you to still spend time together. You might stand on either side of a door, but still holding hands, stand around a corner, holding hands, or even back to back. You two will be able to spend some alone time together while still keeping the shock of seeing one another for the first time the during your ceremony.
If you want to spend time with one another but still want the initial shock of seeing one another all dressed up walking down the aisle, spend the morning together! Grill out with your wedding party all in your PJ’s, take a walk together, and do all your other morning festivities together up until you get into your hair and makeup chair or put on your wedding attire.
If you do plan to not see eachother or have any contact with one another prior to your wedding ceremony, I highly recommend writing letters to one another. Writing letters to your partner is a great way to express your love and excitement to one another without actually contacting and seeing one another. Emotions will be running high though and you will most likely be missing your partner the morning of your wedding, so be sure that you keep a tissue handy when reading the letters you write eachother the morning of your wedding.
First look or no first look, your wedding day is going to be the best day ever. When planning out your wedding day, be sure to sit down with your partner and talk through your priorities for your wedding day! Read through this blog post together, and go through the pros and cons when planning out your day. That way you two can decide together whether or not you want to have a first look on your wedding day. For more wedding planning tips and inspiration head to my blog to check out my latest posts!