Something that I always tell my clients about is what I call the First Look. What is it, you ask? It’s a private moment that takes place between the Bride & Groom before the wedding ceremony. It gives the bride & groom the chance to see each other before the ceremony, to calm their nerves…it also gives them time before the ceremony begins for lots & lots of photos together. I am so excited when I have clients who understand how beneficial the First Look is-having those first quiet moments together is an incredible experience for both the Bride & Groom. In fact, I’ve had multiple clients tell me how the First Look was their favorite part of their wedding day.
I can talk until I’m blue in the face about doing the First Look. Instead, I’ve asked some of my most recent brides to give me their opinion about the First Look. Here we go…
From Laura & Dave:
When Marielle first asked me about the first look, I have to admit I was hesitant. Thoughts went through my mind like, “Isn’t it bad luck to see each other?” Additionally, I thought the first time I would see Dave would be me walking down the aisle towards him. I had imagined this amazing moment where our eyes would meet and we would both be overjoyed. Well, the truth is IF we decided against the first look we would have never had that intimate experience. I remember walking down the aisle with my dad and soaking up that moment on his arm. I remember looking around at the décor and being overwhelmed by how gorgeous it all was. I remember seeing all our friends and family there for us, smiling at me. I remember the music we picked playing so beautifully as I walked down the aisle and then I was up front and the preacher started the ceremony. After that family and pictures and hugs from our guests. Had I not had that amazing first look with Dave where we had the chance to hold each other, laugh and embrace the day, we would have missed the incredible moment of just us on our wedding day. Honestly Its one of my favorite memories of the day. I am so grateful Marielle brought the idea to us. I couldn’t imagine not having that time with my groom.
From Jen & Chris:
I am so grateful that Chris and I did a First Look before our wedding ceremony. As excited as we were to share our special day with friends and family, I wanted our first moments together to be private and intimate. I knew that I would be emotional, but as I walked towards Chris and saw him waiting for me with his back turned, I just burst into tears. I hadn’t seen that coming! I loved that I had a chance to talk to him, hold him, and spend one-on-one time with him before exchanging our vows in front of our guests.
It turns out that my favorite pictures of us are the ones that we took with Marielle the hour before the ceremony. We could spend the whole time just focusing on each other, and not worrying about rushing through the photos to get to our guests. Best of all, when the ceremony was over, we had much more time to spend at the cocktail hour celebrating with everyone. For me, the First Look did not take away from the emotion of the ceremony at all. I still cried walking down the aisle and was overjoyed to exchange my vows with Chris. But the First Look was a touching reminder of what the day was really about…not the centerpieces, the cake, or the dress, but Chris and me, committing our lives to each other.
From Kelly & Chad:
I am so happy Chad and I decided to do a First look before our ceremony. We were both so nervous and full of emotions that day, and seeing each other and having a moment alone was just what we both needed to calm down. Plus it provided a wonderful opportunity to get some great photos together. Marielle hid in a tree during our first look, so it was like we were alone, but we still had the moment captured on film.
Also, taking the pictures before the ceremony was such a relief. We finished most of the photos while my hair and makeup were still perfect (before I cried like a baby during the ceremony). After the ceremony, we took just a few more photos and were able to get to the reception to spend time with our guests.
I would highly recommend that all brides do a first look. You can still have the special moment of your groom seeing you for the first time, and it is much more intimate than the groom seeing you for the first time as many others see you when you walk down the aisle. Plus, it gives you a special moment with your groom before the ceremony to calm your nerves and emotions. Also, you get those all-important photos out of the way before the party starts, so you can spend the maximum amount of time with your friends and family at the reception.
From Meghan & Mike:
I loved being able to do a First Look. It was one of the few instances during the day when Mike and I had some time for just the two of us to reflect on the day and each other.
The weather and scheduling was crazy that day and if we hadn’t scheduled a first look we wouldn’t have gotten nearly as many pictures as we did–even with the shortened First Look, we got a nice set of portraits (I wishe we’d scheduled even more time so we could do more pictures!). By doing a first look we were able to fit all of our family portraits and much of the bridal party pictures into the cocktail hour.
The First Look was really special and private (well, other than having someone document it on film ). It was so different than when we saw eachother at the end of the aisle. But both “first looks” were so special in their own way. During the First Look we were able to take in the magnitude of the day and really reflect on our excitement and anticipation. This didn’t in any ways take away from the emotions we still experienced at seeing each other at the aisle. I’m so happy we decided to do the First Look and I love all of the pictures from that day!
From Kim & Joe:
The opportunity to do a First Look with Marielle was a blessing in disguise for us. We wanted to do a First Look because it gave us the opportunity to do a majority of our pictures before the ceremony. Although we had a cocktail hour, we knew that with our large families we would be taking pictures the entire time instead of mingling with our guests. Fortunately for us, we did take a majority of the pictures before hand because it POURED during our ceremony and everybody got drenched! Because we did a First Look, Joe and I have beautiful pictures together before the rain (as well as beautiful pictures during and after the rain). I’m also glad that we chose to do a First Look for another reason. I’m not the crying type and I didn’t think I would cry during the ceremony. However, I did cry when I met Joe for our First Look on the bridge. It was an unexpected emotional moment for me that I found to be very special. Joe and I got to talk to each other alone and have a moment to ourselves before we celebrated with our guests. If you have the opportunity to do a First Look, I think it’s a special moment that you won’t forget.
From Leanne & Matt:
I thought doing a first look before the ceremony took a lot of stress off of both Matt and myself and allowed us so much more time to celebrate with friends and family exactly when we wanted to–after we were just married. It was wonderful to not have to rush off to get photos and know that they were already done. I don’t feel that it detracted from our emotions and happiness during the ceremony at all!