One of the most exciting experiences for any bride and groom is when the soon-to-be-married couple sees each other all dressed up for the first time on their wedding day.
That enchanted moment, with the beautiful bride in gown revealing herself to the handsome man of her dreams, is full of romance and emotion.
Some couples hold to the tradition of seeing each other for the first time as the bride makes the grand entrance walking down the aisle. However, some couples prefer to make that moment a private "First Look" before the wedding ceremony begins.
When I first heard the idea, my heart sank with the thought of parting from tradition, and as I saw it "skipping" something so meaningful! THAT moment? No way! The music as he waits for her adorned in lace by the alter? The charm gone? Why would anyone skip that moment and miss all the excitement, beauty and emotion? Well, its not an easy choice. But as I've asked around, I have discovered several reasons worth considering when deciding on whether or not to do a First Look. What I learned convinced me there is a lot more emotion and time for the romance in a First Look session than I had imagined.
1. The Guests Won't Have to Wait on the Couple. Typically the guests have to wait an hour or more for the Bride and Groom to arrive at the reception. Brides with an exceptionally large family or a large wedding party may take even longer. Each grouping for the Formal photos takes 3-5 minutes. By the time the photos are completed, guests have been waiting for a long time. They may be tired or hungry and they may have lost some of the excitement from the ceremony. The event peaked at the ceremony and now they are waiting for round two.
With the First Look before the ceremony, the Bride and Groom have seen each other and had their special moment, and the wedding party can take their formal photos with the couple. This leaves only a handful of photos of the family for the guests to wait on.
2. Time for Focus on Each Other and the Freedom to be Emotional. To see the Bride in all her enchanted glory and want to tell her how much you love her; how beautiful she is! To want to tell her. To want to touch her! We miss out on this during the ceremony. There is no time for exchange.
For the Bride and Groom who see each other for the first time as she walks down the aisle, the moment is an instant and gone. Photography teams can set up at opposite ends of the aisle and capture both Bride and Groom, but the moment is limited. Yes, the music is playing and the anticipation has built, but the distraction of the crowd and trying to not trip over the aisle runner do take away from the experience.
The First Look provides an intimate time where his expression, and his words can be focused solely on her radiance, his bride. The moment turns into 30 minutes as your emotions run free. Hugs, kisses, tears are permitted without fear of the crowd looking on. Make-up can be re-touched afterward. In that moment, your day pauses for you, and stress fades away.
3. Time to Preserve the Experience in Photographs for Ever. With a First Look, the 30 second walk down the aisle becomes a thirty minute session just for the Bride and Groom to soak in the time, the embrace of one another and romance of the day. It is their time; not the time for the crowd, the schedule and the details. Those are gone. The Bride and Groom are alone. Even photographers are out of the picture for part of the First Look so the couple can experience an intimate moment of love. With the photographers present the moments are slowed down, soaked in and the beauty is preserved forever as they are able to capture the experience, frame by frame. The emotions, the embraces, the experience and the beauty.
The crescendo of the the First Look, whether a private moment or a meeting at the aisle, is the moment when your dream becomes reality--two are becoming one!!! What a magnificent tradition no matter how you choose to see each other for that "First Look!"