Tradition says that your partner shouldn’t see you for the first time on your wedding day until the moment you are walking down the aisle. I am a fan of “you do you, boo!” whether that means waiting until the aisle or having a private first look with your partner before the ceremony.
“Should we do a first look?” is a big question popping up in every engaged person’s head while planning their wedding. Some photographers strongly push for first looks, but I am a total believer in doing what’s right for you and your relationship. I will be the first to admit that I was adamant about not doing a first look when my partner, Ben, and I got married. So, if you are not sold either way yet, here are some pros and cons of having a first look on your wedding day to help you decide.
PRO: Calm your nerves about the ceremony.
Some couples don’t like the spotlight to be on them. The thought of standing in front of a crowd of people makes them nervous. Having a few moments for a private first look with you and your partner before the ceremony will give you two the time you need to connect, reassure each other and remind you both that this is the right decision. That way when the time comes for your ceremony, you have already seen your partner and can feel confident walking down that aisle in front of all those people.
CON: You just want to stick with tradition.
Like I mentioned above, I was adamant about not seeing my partner, Ben, on our wedding day until I was walking down the aisle. There is something magical about the tradition of waiting until the aisle, so if you want to stick with it, please go with your gut and do it.
PRO: Built-in time for just the two of you.
I know many people have already told you this, but your wedding day will go by quickly. There are likely guests from out of town that you haven’t seen in a while and you’ll feel like you need to spend time with them all. A first look is a moment between just the two of you and gives you quiet time to yourselves in-between all the commotion. It allows you to slow down and take in what that day is all about: you finding the one person that you want to spend the rest of your life with. A first-look is pre-built in time for just the two of you to reflect on the day so far.
CON: You need to build more time into the schedule.
Although I typically plan 15-20 minutes for your first look, it is extra time that needs to be planned into your schedule. But I wouldn’t let that be the deciding factor for you!
PRO: Knock out wedding party and family photos before the ceremony.
If you are the kind of couple who wants to get to the celebration faster, then a first look could be a great option. I like to schedule your first look with enough time before the ceremony to also take wedding party and family pictures. This way the only pictures you have left after the ceremony are of just the two of you (and trust me, it’s nice to have those few moments together before you join the party).
CON: You’ll have to be ready a little earlier on your wedding day.
If you do want to knock out family and wedding party photos before the ceremony even starts, that does mean you’ll have to be ready a little earlier than normal. But, unless you are having a morning/mid-day ceremony, this shouldn’t be an issue at all.
At the end of your wedding day, the only thing that really matters is you saying “I’ll choose you forever” – first look or not.
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Meet Larissa. Larissa is an adventure wedding and elopement photographer based out of Colorado. She’d take and adventure in the mountains over shopping any day and prefers and date night snuggling on the couch over dinner and a movie. Larissa’s obsessed with: morning snuggles with her rescue pup, Hazel, hot chocolate, a good book and yoga pants. She believes in making you forget a camera’s even there, that your story is the actual thing she wants to capture on camera and that real, raw moments are more important than perfectly curated poses. Book your Colorado wedding photographer today!