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SOMETIMES THE BRIDE AND GROOM WANT TO SEE EACH OTHER BEFORE THEY WALK DOWN THE AISLE.
While some couples jump this opportunity, others are more hesitant. To help you make your decision, I've outlined a few pros and cons to consider.
The traditional practice of waiting to see your spouse as you/they walk down the aisle is something that most couples stick to. However, a growing trend over the past few years has been holding a “First Look” moment earlier in the day.
For some couples, this ruins the surprise of the "big reveal", while for others, it calms nerves and provides a sense of comfort (and a unique photo opportunity, too). Everyone’s priorities are different, but if you’re trying to decide, here are some factors to consider:
Provides a moment to yourselves to ease nerves
Provides a different location and vibe
Walking down the aisle and/or waiting for your bride to appear is a big moment. Lots of couples feel anxious or self-conscious when all eyes are on them, being witnessed for the first time. Seeing your fiancé beforehand can help ease nerves and reassure you that you’re in it together. It also provides a brief moment to just be together, away from a possible overwhelming wedding .
For most couples, the first look will occur at a different location to the ceremony and reception. Having a first look not only allows me to get in close and capture your emotions more front-and-centre than at the ceremony, but also allows you to have another group of photographs with a different vibe, for generations to come.
Maximises photo opportunities and eases pressure
Having a first look allows you and your spouse, your bridal party, and even close family members, to have photos taken before the ceremony. This allows you to get the majority of your photo obligations out of the way, taking the pressure off later in the day. It also gives you more time to spend with your family and friends during cocktail hour (and to enjoy those delicious canapés).
Lengthens and complicates your day
Timing often means bad lighting conditions
Having a first look opportunity adds to the complexity of your day. If you have a large family or bridal party, it may not be worth the hassle of trying to schedule separate cars and locations. Depending on how long your celebrations are, it’s not uncommon for your wedding to turn into a 16+ hour affair (from wake-up and getting ready, to final exit), and a first look requires expending more energy. But, if you have the stamina, go for it!
Unfortunately, the vast majority of first look opportunities tend to fall during the middle of the day. Midday light can make it difficult to open your eyes, and can cast harsh shadows across your face, leaving unflattering images. We can remedy this by taking photos undercover or in the shade of trees. Plus, if you can schedule your first look to be after 2pm then it makes it a lot easier. But it is definitely a factor to consider.