Dear Joy: Should I do A First Look or Wait Until the Aisle?

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wedding first look

Dear Joy,

So I need help! I’m stuck in the middle of doing a first look or not. How do you feel about a first look and what other options do I have?

Confused Bride

Dear Confused Bride,

Don’t fret, I’m here to help you make this important decision. The choice between a first look and skipping it entirely can be a tough one, as both options have their own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s explore them further to help you make an informed decision.

First, let’s talk about what a first look actually is.

A first look is a dedicated moment before the wedding ceremony where you and your partner see each other for the first time. It is often a private and intimate moment captured by your wedding photographer.

Pros of a First Look:

  1. Emotional Connection: A first look allows you and your partner to share an intimate moment together, free from the hustle and bustle of the wedding day. It can be a special and emotional experience that strengthens your connection before the ceremony.
  2. Capturing Reactions: Having a first look offers an opportunity for your photographer to capture raw and genuine reactions. These photos can be incredibly moving and will truly reflect the emotions of that moment.
  3. Time Efficiency: By having a first look, you can complete some of the couple’s portraits and group photos before the ceremony. This allows you to enjoy your cocktail hour or reception without rushing through photographs.

Unconventional First Look Ideas

  1. First Look at Sunset: Instead of doing a traditional first look during the day, plan a romantic first look at sunset. With the beautiful golden hour lighting and breathtaking backdrop, it can create a truly magical and intimate moment.
  2. First Look in Nature: If you’re nature enthusiasts, consider having your first look in a serene and picturesque outdoor location. Whether it’s a secluded forest, a stunning garden, or a scenic mountain view, being surrounded by nature can add a touch of tranquility to your special moment.
  3. First Look with Props or Costumes: Add a touch of whimsy and creativity to your first look by incorporating props or costumes. Surprise your partner by dressing up as fictional characters, superheroes, or even historical figures. It’ll create a playful and unforgettable moment that showcases your unique personalities.
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Cons of a First Look:

  1. Traditional Values: If you hold a strong belief in keeping the moment of seeing each other for the first time during the ceremony, a first look may not align with your values or the values of your culture or religion.
  2. Nervousness: Some couples enjoy the anticipation and built-up excitement of not seeing each other until the ceremony. Skipping the first look can add a level of surprise and nervousness that some couples cherish.

Now, let’s explore some alternatives to a traditional first look:

  1. First Look with Loved Ones: Instead of a first look between you and your partner, consider having a first look with your parents or other loved ones. This can be a heartwarming moment that allows you to share special memories before the ceremony.
  2. Pre-Ceremony Photoshoot: Schedule a separate photoshoot session before the ceremony where you and your partner can capture some beautiful moments together. This way, you can still have stunning photos without the pressure of a first look.
  3. Blindfolded Exchange: For a unique twist, consider doing a blindfolded exchange. Stand facing each other, blindfolded, and have a quiet moment to exchange vows or small gifts. This adds an element of surprise while still maintaining the tradition of not seeing each other.
  4. First Look with Bridal Party: Include your bridal party in a first look moment. This can be a fun and exciting way to give your friends and family a glimpse of your wedding attire before the ceremony begins.
  5. Serenade or Musical Surprise: Surprise your partner with a musical performance or serenade before the ceremony. This can be an incredibly romantic and memorable way to share a special moment together without seeing each other.
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Ultimately, the decision of whether to have a first look or not depends on your personal preferences, values, and the overall atmosphere you want for your wedding day.

Consider discussing your options with your partner, photographer, and wedding planner to gather different perspectives and insights before making a final decision.

Remember, whichever choice you make, it will be the right one for you. Your wedding day is about celebrating your love story, and no matter how you choose to see each other for the first time, the magic will unfold. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding, and I wish you a lifetime of happiness.


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