The First Look, to do or not to do. That’s always the question. Some brides like to stay super traditional and wait to see their groom as they come down the aisle. But traditions, they are a-changing!
The first look has become more and more popular over the last few years and these days we see about half of our couples who choose to have one. Now for us, it doesn’t matter either way what our couples choose, we know they will have beautiful photos either way. Yes we admit, occasionally it is super helpful on the wedding day to have a first look depending on the timeline, but we always default to what the bride and groom prefer.
But for those of you on the fence about whether or not to have a first look, we can only share with you our personal experiences.
Craig and I went the traditional route and did not see each other before the wedding. I remember getting ready that day and all of the fun with my bridesmaids. I remember my Dad locking arms with me and smiling as we made our way toward the aisle. I remember dancing the night away at the reception.
Wait, what about the ceremony you ask? Yes, well, for Craig and I, it’s kind of hazy. We were both so excited and so nervous and emotional that our actual ceremony is a blur. I don’t remember walking down the isle, I don’t remember saying my vows, I don’t remember the guests faces as we exited…all the memories I have of the ceremony are from looking at the photographs. And it’s a running joke now that Craig made his first mistake in marriage immediately after the ceremony. I asked him what he thought of my gown, what every girl wants to know, and he replied, “Oh, I didn’t notice” and then his eyes glanced down. He was to nervous to take in my hair, make-up, the dress of my dreams, and everything else I spent hours agonizing over. He stared straight into my eyes, tried to remember not to lock his knees, and to listen and repeat correctly the vows from the minister.
These days when we’re shooting a wedding and our couple has a first look, we get to witness a private moment between two people hopelessly in love, who are able to laugh, cry, hug, and experience each other’s reactions. Many of our couples have told us after their wedding how happy they are that they decided to have a first look. Most say that by the time they got to walk down the aisle and say their vows, they were able to focus on each other and not their nerves. They were able to say their vows with intention, smile at their parents, and just slow down and take everything in.
And even after the first look, there is still that anticipation and excitement as they walk down the aisle, but there is also a sense of calm that allows them to truly take in the moment. I always say, you could spend every minute of the day with your fiancé, be wearing no make-up, jeans and a t-shirt, hair in a pony tail, but when the music starts plays, you grab your father’s arm, the guests stand and the door opens, I promise you will have goose bumps, tears of joy, and the most glorious excited feelings. The wedding day is about the creation of your new family, and it doesn’t matter what you are wearing or if have seen your fiancé or not.
There are obviously wonderful moments when you go the traditional route as well, especially if your groom doesn’t mind being a little emotional in front of others. Whatever you decide will be perfect for you!
But today we would love to share some of our favorite first look moments. We hope you enjoy them!
~ Craig and Lindsey