We hear this question often. Having a first look or waiting to see each other until the ceremony is a very personal choice.
A first look can be a great option but it has to work for you, how you envision your day and how it fits with your time line.
When considering to see each other before the ceremony or not, one misconception a couple has is that if they have a first look then there will be no emotion when the couple sees each other at the ceremony.
There are two sets of emotions that play out. When you first see each other prior to the ceremony there is the impact of being wowed by the importance of the day coupled with the visuals of being in a wedding dress or a tux, dressed and ready for the wedding day.
The WOW factor. These moments with the two of you alone (we do use a long lens so we aren’t close enough to hear what is said between a couple) are a great opportunity to have private words with one another, to take it all in and spend a few minutes together. A wedding day is full – so these solitary moments are a treasure.
Once you have had time together, we now can take the photos of the two of you or begin taking family photos. Getting your family + bridal photos done prior to the ceremony means that you will have one less (really big thing to do) after. One big thing of off the check list.
After the ceremony we can take advantage of the best light of the day for your photos together and get you to cocktail hour sooner to enjoy being part of your celebration.
A lot gets crunched into a small amount of time and that can become stressful for the couple that is getting pulled in a bunch of directions.
The second set of emotions come when you the ceremony is about to begin and you see each other again in this incredible situation.
The magnitude of what is about to take place is something that surprises even those that are not expecting to be as moved by this moment. There is almost always tears in the eyes, huge smiles, eyes locked on one another.
The first look happens but the second look was a whole different set of emotions.
Seeing each other before the ceremony (having a first look) can ease the flow of the time line and avoid a potential bottleneck of photos that need to be taken after the ceremony.
If you are planning on a ceremony that ends at sunset then a first look is a must. Remember, once the sun drops there is no time left for daylight photos of family + bridal party and your couples photos.
But not every couple wants to see each other before.
They want to come down the aisle and lay eyes on each other for the first time. And I completely understand this choice as much as I get the First Look decision.
Getting Ready Together
And then there are other couples that get ready together. Their belief is that there is no one in the world they would rather be with when getting ready. For this momentous occasion they want to be with their other half, family + friends.
Being together but not seeing each other
There is one other option that is a compromise between the first look and waiting for the ceremony.
You don’t actually see each other but you spend time together prior to the ceremony. This couple above shared letters that they wrote each other, standing back to back but not seeing each other. There is plenty of emotion in this room as well as during the ceremony.
The bottom line is that it is your wedding. Do what works for you.
Read this blog post about GREAT PHOTOS AT YOUR RECEPTION