What is First Look?
You heard about First Look from your friends, from your photographers, or read it online. For anyone who comes across this article and has no idea what this is, it is the time when the groom first sees the bride before the ceremony. How is it done? Usually, the groom waits somewhere and the bride approaches him from behind, taps on his shoulder (like the photo below), the groom turns back and sees the bride for the first time. We hope it makes sense to you.
The photo below is another form of First Look when they open the door and see each other.
Now, you are wondering if you should do it. Instead of talking you into a particular direction, we want to give you an overall understanding of it, pros and cons. We will tell you our real experiences and our advice so that you can make a good decision.
Pros of First Look:
- You have a chance to do portrait before the ceremony. After the ceremony, time might be tight and not enough for portrait, or it might get dark, or you prefer to spend time with your guests (they are there to celebrate with you, not with themselves).
- It takes a huge amount of pressure off when the portrait is done early. The rest of the day is only for celebration, you will enjoy your wedding even more.
- It is an intimate moment without anyone looking. Sometimes, too many people looking at you during ceremony affects how you express your emotion. This is why First Look lets you be yourselves for a moment, focus on your significant other and no one else.
Cons of First Look:
- You might feel awkward when you know there are cameras pointing at you and First Look breaks that magical moment.
- The groom might be under pressure when he thinks everyone expects him to be surprised or to be emotional.
- It breaks tradition. Some couples are serious about tradition and consider seeing each other before the ceremony is a bad luck.
- There were times when the groom turned back and saw the bride, he didn’t show much emotion. He simply said: “You are beautiful! I love you!” and that was it. Then, they both turned to us and asked what they should do next, in less than 30s.
- There were times when the couples did the First Look and their reactions were so lovely. The feeling kept on till ceremony. We think that seeing the bride during First Look is different than seeing her slowly walking down the aisle. They are two different moments and can lead to different emotions. Remember, it is not only about the groom, it is about the bride too. (Look at the photos below, do you see the bride with two different emotions).
- First, look at your timeline to see if you have enough time for the portrait after the ceremony. If you have less than one hour before the reception starts, you might want to do First Look in order to get your portrait done early.
- Take a moment to think about yourselves. Is either of you emotional? Is either of you afraid to express yourself in front of many people? If you say yes to either question, First Look seems to be a better choice.
- Lastly, does tradition outweigh all the benefits? If it does not, break the rule and make our own path.
- If you decide to do First Look, make sure that you allow enough buffer time for setup to avoid being rush or delay.