Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

first look or wait??

What does everyone think about the idea of a first look with the photographer? Better yet- ask the men in your lives what they think- my dad has said it was so special to see his bride walk down the aisle. and thinks he would have regretted it if they had done the first look.

My Fiance is not sold one way or the other. I was initially dead set on NOT doing a first look.. and then the more I think about it, I think it would be really nice to not have to share that moment with anyone else.

Just looking for your opinions...


Re: first look or wait??

  • We were going to do one, but we got married in the morning, so that wouldn't have been practical. Later, my husband said he was glad we hadn't done it.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
  • We are also getting married in the morning! What was your time line like for the morning?
  • The ceremony was at 10:30. I was having my hair done from about 7:30-9:30.
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
  • We did a first look and it was really special. We could take the time to enjoy seeing each other and share a special moment before the whirlwind of the ceremony. It was also great because we did most of our photos before the ceremony and were able to spend some private time together during our cocktail hour to reflect on the ceremony and eat! My ceremony was at noon.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • We're planning on first looks because we want to enjoy some time alone, and then cocktail hour with our guests instead of pictures after the ceremony.

    Honestly, I think it's pretty personal. For us, we want to savor the first look, and then savor seeing each other down the aisle, separately. Too much, and we're afraid we'll miss things, or get overwhelmed. Neither one of us want that.
  • Both my H and I wouldn't trade the time we spent together during our first look for anything. He said it didn't take anything away from seeing me walk down the aisle. But having that hour to ourselves was amazingly special and some of our favorite photos are from the first look. It was also pretty much the only time we had alone that day.
  • We did a first look and we both were glad we did it. It was a really special moment.
  • We didn't do one bc my H was dead set on not doing one.  Looking back, I wish we had.  It would have been so nice to have that time alone together because once the ceremony starts we didn't have 2 minutes alone together the rest of the night.  
  • We also did a first look and neither of us regret it. It was nice to see each other leading up to the ceremony to calm our nerves. I would've been a wreck if I had to wait until 5 pm to see DH. However, if we were having a morning ceremony, I would have skipped it because honestly I don't think we would have had time.

  • We didn't do one because we both didn't want to.  After all was said and done I wish we had and so does H because he said it probably would have helped with his nerves.

    But seeing as you are getting married in the morning I would skip it unless you want to get up even earlier to fit it in.

  • We did a first look for a couple of reasons - 1) I didn't want to spend the entire day away from my H and 2) our ceremony wasn't until 6:30 pm in September. That was when the sun started setting so any outdoor pictures I wanted needed to be taken earlier in the day to make the most of the daylight. I got married at a winery on a lake, so I really wanted outdoor pictures. Like PPs have said though, if you're having a morning ceremony I would skip it.
  • I adore first looks... and first look photos. I think the photographers can really capture the moment better when you're not walking down an aisle. First looks can be as personal as you want them to be. 
    I'm glad we did them for two huge reasons:
    1) Nerves. I was very excited walking down the aisle, not nervous. 
    2) Pictures. We got all our formal photos out of the way before the ceremony and got to go straight from the ceremony to the cocktail hour with our guests and socialize with everyone right off the bat. 

  • I used to be against first looks, but after being in a few weddings and seeing them, now I'm a huge fan.  Bonus, you can get a lot of pictures out of the way before cocktail hour both together and with your wedding party, so all you have to do during cocktail hour are family photos.  

  • We did a first look, but different then most.      We had it at the beach rental house.  All the WP, immediate family and spouses of the WP were there.

    Everyone was in a semi-circle around the foyer looking at the stairs.   DH had his back towards me.   I came down and my nieces and nephews got so excited.  Jumping up and down clapping.

     Then DH turned around.  He was like "oooohhhh", then I wiped a tear that was captured on film. Even though our moms had already seen me they stood next to each other crying.   It was the first time my dad saw me, he was emotional.      Even the wife of one of the GM's who I can't stand was emotional.

    After that we took most of the WP and family shots.   

    It's a personal choice, but one that worked out well for us.   While we still took shots after the wedding, we were able to attend some of the cocktail hour.

    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • We did a FL and were both glad we did. Our ceremony started at 11:30. Only took us 1.5 hours to get ready- no wedding party.
  • We are not doing a first look. Our wedding will be in the afternoon/evening. We will do all of our pictures separately (BM, GM, family, etc.) and then do our pictures after during the cocktail hour and while guests head to the reception location. Both of us were really set on no first look though. He wants his first look at me that day to be walking down the aisle. Yes it would be more convenient to do a first look, and it would be nice to have some quiet time. But neither of us wanted a first look so we aren't :) 

    I am also looking forward to spending the whole morning with my BM and close family. my FI and I live 7 hours from home, so we don't get to see our friends and family a whole lot. 
  • Echoing others here, but we are planning on doing a first look for the reasons mentioned above - some alone time before the craziness of the ceremony and reception, capturing that moment in photos and getting lots of photos out of the way before the ceremony rather than in between. My mom was kind of shocked at the idea at first, and we had to reassure her it was actually pretty common now. Everyone I asked beforehand that had done it recommended we do one because they were so glad they did.

    But having said that, it sounds hard to fit in with a morning ceremony. My ceremony is at 5:30 p.m. and we are planning on starting photos at 2:30 to hopefully wrap up by 4:30 or so, and starting to get ready (hair/makeup) around noon. 
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