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  • Writer's pictureFloating Leaf Studios

Why do a First Look on your Wedding Day?

First looks can create lots of advantages on your wedding day. It is worth discussing with your partner about how you want to set up your wedding schedule and if a first look can help with making your day less about the hustle and more about the meaning.
 

Tradition says that the bride and groom aren’t allowed to see each other on their wedding day until she walks down the aisle. But why? Many sources point to centuries ago in the era of arranged marriages. After her parents had arranged a dowry and negotiated a marriage, the last thing they wanted was for the groom to catch a glimpse of her prior to the wedding and be able to back out.


Times have changed. Thank goodness, we have yet to shoot an arranged marriage and don’t foresee one on the horizon. Many religious faiths address this in their ceremonies, asking the bride and groom if “they have freely entered into this covenant of marriage” before they allow the show to continue.


So, that leaves us another option. We believe that doing a first look on your wedding day has many benefits and can set the tone for the rest of the day and even your marriage. Here are four reasons you should consider doing a first look on your wedding day.




Reason 1: Guarantee a moment alone with your partner on your biggest day.


Wedding days are hectic. There are lots of pieces and lots of people involved in almost all of them. Couples are usually the centerpieces of all the activity and it can feel like you don’t have a moment to breath.


A first look gives you that opportunity. It carves out a 5-10 minute part of your most important day, a day that begins a lifelong journey, and let’s you absorb it with the one you love. It can set the tone for the rest of the day, it can reassure you as to how much this day means, and can allow for intimate moments away from the hundreds of people awaiting you at your ceremony


Reason 2: Get rid of the nervous jitters.


The wedding day is chalk full of emotions, the kind that only truly happen at cornerstone moments of life. One of those emotions, nervousness, can be equal parts exhilarating and unsettling. The best way to release that nervousness before your wedding is to actually see your partner. It is like the stress literally sluffs away, leaving the other emotions of excitement and happiness in its place. Many times couples are a nervous wreck in the moments leading up to the first look, and aftward are laid back and prepared for the rest of the celebration.


Reason 3: Get better photos of the moment you see your partner.


This moment, and this day, have many obstacles from a photographer’s perspective. Some ceremony locations are in full sun, others in patchy shadows. Not all ceremony locations are lit ideally and can pose challenges to getting properly exposed photos. This leaves the opportunity for emotions and moments to be photographed without the most impact.

In a first look scenario, the photographer is choosing a location that they know gives perfect lighting and backgrounds that will add to the impact of the photos. Allow the photographer to set up the scene and location, as opposed to doing it on opposite ends of a long aisle. Let his reaction, his tears, his laughter be the center of the photo, not the out of place microphone stand or outreached cell phone of guests trying to capture the moment as well.



Reason 4: Free up your wedding day schedule.


In our opinion this could be the most beneficial advantage to doing a first look. By seeing your partner prior to the wedding you are freeing up the schedule for the rest of the day.

Since you see each other prior to, all of the bridal party photos can be done prior to the ceremony, which frees up time in between the ceremony and reception. Minimizing that amount of time is really important in keeping the party going and allowing all of the components of your day to have adequate time to breath. We have all been guests at weddings where that portion of the day seems to be insanely too long, and NOBODY enjoys that. Guests are there to celebrate with you, not sit in a tent or a barn waiting for you to get through a photographer’s shot list, and photographers work frantically in an abbreviated amount of time to fulfill the shot list. Nobody wins.

Now, because you have been ahead of the schedule since the beginning, first looks also allow for more one-on-one time with your photographer. You can take advantage of that later in the evening to get that “WOW” shot, that stunning sunset portrait or epic couples shot that will hang on your living room wall for decades. Allow yourself to enjoy another moment together, and focus on the love that brought this moment to reality and not on the logistics of the party.


Bonus Insight: First looks don’t diminish the power of the moment she walks down the aisle.


Many times couples cite the fact that they will lose the emotion of the moment she walks down the aisle if they have seen each other prior to. Although you have seen her already, the gravity of the moment still exists. Your heart still pounds and maybe your hands are even a little clammy. We have seen many brides and grooms cry at both the first look AND ceremony, meaning the power of the moment still exists.


First looks can create lots of advantages on your wedding day. It is worth discussing with your partner about how you want to set up your wedding schedule and if a first look can help with making your day less about the hustle and more about the meaning.

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