Tipsy Tuesday | First Looks

Today's Tipsy Tuesday post is on whether or not you should plan for a first look before your ceremony. Let's talk this out.

shooting for andrea naylor photography

shooting for andrea naylor photography

Wait, rewind. What is a first look? 
Okay so a first look is the first time a bride and groom see each other on their wedding day (before they walk down the aisle).

Why would we want to see each other before walking down the aisle? Aren't we supposed to wait?
There are no rule books. Seeing your bride before the wedding is not bad luck. Sorry to ruin the fun, but it's simply an old tradition. Your wedding is between the two of you and how you want it to flow! 

Now, some couples prefer tradition and want their first time seeing each other to be during the ceremony and in front of all their guests, which is totally respectable. There are no if's and's or but's about it. No problemo, we just plan your timeline around avoiding seeing each other until the ceremony. 

There's another variation off of this tradition called a "First Touch". This is when the couples meet up before the wedding (without seeing the other) and hold hands, share a closed eye kiss, exchange gifts, or pray together. It's a sweet way of letting the other know, 'hey, I'm here with you. I can't wait to see you.'

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Others, would rather their first look to be an intimate moment, with no one (but the photographer) witnessing or distracting them. They want to take it all in privately, not feeling awkward or embarrassed to show emotion in front of everyone. Occasionally either the bride or groom (maybe both) dislikes being the center of attention and are uncomfortable with the pressure of giving the "right" reaction in front of all of their guests. Not every groom will throw his hands up in the air, not every bride will cry. A private first look helps to alleviate the stress of all eyes on you and puts your focus back where it should be - on your husband or wife-to-be and allows whatever natural reaction to happen, happen.

shooting for Riutta Images

shooting for Riutta Images

Sometimes couples don't care about others watching, but find a first look helps to set a relaxed vibe for their day. Without the pressure of waiting and waiting to see each other, they meet up before or after getting ready so that they can actually spend as much of their wedding day together as possible.

For others, a first look simply fits better into their timeline. These are the couples who would rather take all of their photos before the ceremony so that they can enjoy the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception without having to leave their guests again. Gathering all of the family after the ceremony for photos when everyone is trying to hug you can get chaotic. Instead, since these couples have already seen each other before the ceremony, they can ask family to come early to get the photos out of the way so when it comes time to celebrate, they have nothing else to do but relax.

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I can't decide....What would you do?
While I have nothing against a traditional aisle look, I personally chose to have a first look with my Beau for a few reasons. First, we were getting married in the early evening on the beach. We had all day to get ready, but didn't want to spend the entire time apart. We flew to Mexico to get married to each other and wanted our memories to actually be together! We also didn't have much time before sunset after the ceremony to get tons of photos and our reception dinner wasn't long after the ceremony. Therefore, we met each other a little earlier privately and got to spend some beautiful quiet moments in each others arms before everything began. It was great getting to assure the other that we were there, we were ready and nothing else mattered. We got some stunning photos during that time that we may not have otherwise gotten before we ran out of time.

shooting for andrea naylor photography

shooting for andrea naylor photography

Will I regret it?
While I can't answer this for you, I can say I haven't met anyone yet who claims to regret their first look. Even if you see each other from the second you wake up, nothing will make your groom more happy then seeing his bride walk down the aisle or take away from a bride's experience of seeing her groom waiting for her at the alter.

No matter what you decide, be sure it's based on what you and your fiancee want. Stay traditional or opt for whatever sounds the most fun to you, just keep it true to your desires and base your timeline around that. If you need help with the timeline, stay posted for tips or shoot me an email and I'd be happy to help you coordinate times! 

Are you or did you have a first look or keep it traditional? Let us know in the comments!