Is a first look at your wedding right for you?

for brides

November 23, 2019

For a traditional wedding, the groom does not see his bride on the day of the wedding until she is walking down the aisle. It’s an honorable tradition and I did it this way when my husband Steven and I got married. However, as time passed, new traditions formed in the wedding industry and one of them is A First Look. So, is a first look at your wedding right for you?

This is when the bride and groom see each other for the first time before the ceremony begins. The photographer picks out a private area at the venue. The groom is set into place, facing the opposite direction of his bride. The bride, slowly walks up to her groom, places her hand on his shoulder, and he turns around in that moment. These moments can get real emotional. Based on my own experience, there have been tears, laughter, joy, and of course romance. 

These moments are meant for the groom and bride only. In general, even the photographer is kind of hidden away once they catch eyes. The photographer then gives the bride and groom a few moments alone. Then, they take the time for Portraits! Usually, this is about 45 minutes total and happens about 90 minutes before a ceremony. 

The first look is not for everyone. However, it may be for some couples depending on the situation of the day and the timeline! Here are some reasons why a first look maybe for you

Is a first look at your wedding right for you?

  1. You have a very large family and the formal photos after the ceremony can take up time.
  2. The cocktail hour after your ceremony is only about half an hour long
  3. Your ceremony start time is at sunset 
  4. You have no time between the ceremony and the reception
  5. Your ceremony and reception location is a 20 or so minute drive apart.
  6. You are shy in front of people and blush when you are emotional in front of others.
  7. You want to have some time with your spouse to see each other and have a moment to talk and enjoy their company.

A few questions I always get from brides based…

  1. I want my spouse to show raw emotions when I walk down the aisle. Will I still get that if we do a first look? 

If you did a first look, you will still get those emotions but what is special about it, is that it will only be you two. No one is going to see him cry, and joke around with him later about it. It’s a private moment and the emotions will be the same, whether or not you are walking down the aisle.

Three first looks I did, the groom still teared up when he saw his bride again when she walked down the aisle. Because there is a difference between seeing her for the first time, and seeing her walk down the aisle.

2. Can I do a first look with my dad/mom and do family formals before the ceremony?

Absolutely! This is always encouraged if you have a very short time between the ceremony and reception. Whats great about getting family formals done before the ceremony, is that if there is only half an hour or so for photos after the ceremony, all we have to focus on is the whole wedding party together which lasts about 5 minutes, and the remaining 25 or so can be for the bride and groom. Any good photographer can still capture plenty of images in that amount of time 😉

Your wedding day is special, and it’s your one and only day. In some cases, a first look might be for you! I hope this blog helps you in deciding on a first look!

Love always,

Dana Arnold

Monterey Wedding Photographer

Is a first look at your wedding right for you?

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