October 2012 Weddings

First Look or Not (Poll Too)

I never thought I would think about doing a first look, but now I am starting to think of all the advantages...I mean I will be fresher when we take pictures, I will have more time with my guests, be able to enjoy my cocktail hour and appetizers, and just almost easier. What are your thoughts. I know this has been overly talked, but I want to hear it again since I am re-thinking this. It is hard b/c I did want to stay traditional...but its so cute seeing the excitement picture when you first see each other which is hardly captured walking down the aisle, or in my case pulling up on a boat.

What are advantages and disadvantages of both?


Re: First Look or Not (Poll Too)

  • We aren't having a cocktail hour and aren't very traditional anyway, so we are doing the first look. I am working on some cute ideas to make the moment really special.
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  • We are absolutely doing one. We wanted to have a later afternoon ceremony time (4 pm) so to do this and get to our venue (25 minute drive away) it was easiest to do a first look. Plus we wanted to for the following reasons:

    1) We'll both be fresh - hair/makeup, no wrinkles, etc
    2) Our WP will be fresh
    3) More time with our family and friends
    4) FI has a tendency to suffer from anxiety so being able to see each other earlier in the day will help him
    5) I have a tendency to be a crier and the MUA will still be around to touch me up before the ceremony. 
    6) All the amazing pictures that you get out of it. Plus the photographer will really be able to capture our emotions up close rather then with an aisle and 135 people around us.
  • We are doing for many of the same reasons that you are considering it. We get to take pictures around the museum that we are getting married at and wanted to make sure we got alll the pictures we wanted with out rushing. Plus I think being with FI and my friends will keep me calm and excited! I want to enjoy being with my family and seeing everyone after the ceremony. It is actually a Jewish tradition for the groom to veil the bride before the wedding, don't know is we are doing that yet or not. 
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  • We're doing it! We want to maximize our time and like you said I want that moment captured and it really can't be done when walking down the aisle. We're doing 90 percent of pictures before the ceremony. After the ceremony were traveling to the reception venue and taking some fun BP pics there and some with just us before heading into the reception.
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  • We're doing it for the same reasons you are.  As well as I didn't want to have to have my wedding as early as 4:30, although I really only moved it back to 5pm, but still 4:30 seemed too early for me.  I had originally really wanted to wait so the first time he saw me was when I walked down the aisle, but they the party would have had to end at 9pm and I would have had to pay extra to extend it, and then I didn't want to miss the apps I was paying for!  and I think it will be easier to get the majority of pics out of the way before hand so then we can just party afterwards!
  • We are doing it as well.   Ours is an outdoor ceremony at a golf course that surrounds a lake and there is this tree canopied creek that also runs through the property, pretty scenic and hopefully all of the trees will have some color.  We want to get most of our family and formal pictures done early so we can go out and get some pictures taken before the ceremony takes place.  After the ceremony during that cocktail hour, the wedding party is actually leaving for a little while to go get pictures taken at a different location.
  • We currently aren't doing one, but I'm seriously reconsidering that decision after reading this thread.  I like the idea of having it be just the two of us, but I had never considered going the "non-traditional" route of a first look.  It'd be a definite bonus to get our pics done while my makeup is still fresh (I'm a crier).  Something to consider for sure...
  • I am seriously struggling with this as well.  I just can't decide whether to do it or not.  The pros and cons are about equal for me.
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  • I would like to but a few months ago FI said he didn't want to, so I figured we weren't.  Then our ring designer said something about it on Sat, and on Sunday FI was like, maybe we should look into doing that first look thing.....so now I don't know where we stand!  I would like to do one so we can enjoy more of our reception/cocktail hour with our guests.  I still think that the moment your FI watches you walk down the aisle is special and he will have a look in his eyes.

  • I like the idea of a first look. It makes getting the photos done easier, and gives you more time post-ceremony to spend with your guests. That said, FI and I aren't doing one. It means a lot to him that he doesn't see me on the wedding day until I come down the aisle. Since that's what's important to him, that's what we're going with. :)
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  • We were totally against it at first, but when we met with our photographer she really sold us on it. First of all the pictures you get from doing it are so much better than you could get from just taking picutres from halfway down the aisle. Secondly, we will be able to get all the gitters out of the way before the ceremony begins. Plus. being able to talk to each other about how great we look and how much we love each other will be a lot easier to do with a first look than it would be while standing at the alter. Thirdly, time wise it makes a lot more sense. You'll get to enjoy your cocktail hour, appeteizers and more of your recpetion in general. 
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  • I asked FI if he wanted to do a first look just so we could get all the pictures done before the wedding. This was one of the few things he was adamant on. He does not want to see me until I'm waking down the aisle. He goes out of his way to make sure he sees as little of my wedding attire as possible. The dress is easy since its at my parents' house but he's seen my headpiece and my shoes. Oh and he's seen my garter. FSIL gave me a Steelers garter for Christmas last year lol
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  • edited July 2012
    I know all the logical reasons to do a first look, but we will not be doing it.  The moment when the doors open and the bride and groom see each other for the first time is too magical for me.
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  • FI absolutely will not do one. He won't even let me tell him what kind of dress I have.
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  • I didnt vote because I just dont know. We dont plan on it as of yet as FI and I are both fairly traditional, but might consider it mostly due to time saved so we can attend the cocktail hour.  Our photographer is my best friend, so we have all the way up until the day to decide. 
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  • We will not be doing one.  It is important to both of us that the first time he sees me is as I am walking down the aisle.  I know it may make pictures a little more difficult, but this was important to us.
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  • Goodness, I am still so up in the air. FI would probably like this better bc he is such a nervous person as it is, this might calm him down.... But I always said I wanted this traditional... But I am pulling up by boat so the moment really won't be as special, I think. How do u take pics before the ceremony w/o the guests seeing you?!
  • I love the idea of a first look, but FI is against it. He wants the first time he sees me in my dress to be when I walk down the aisle. Since it is so important to him, I agreed we skip the first look.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-club-boards_october-2012-weddings_first-look-or-not-poll-too?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding Club BoardsForum:56b9bcef-1e34-456e-81f5-cfaa107456b2Discussion:1c340c62-2e53-4039-b05d-bb08c16bb578Post:6f72c0ee-b8f7-425c-9669-e472eff056b8">Re: First Look or Not (Poll Too)</a>:
    [QUOTE]I love the idea of a first look, but FI is against it. He wants the first time he sees me in my dress to be when I walk down the aisle. Since it is so important to him, I agreed we skip the first look.
    Posted by Bryan&AmyC[/QUOTE]

    This is pretty much us. I would be okay with it but FI is definitely against it. So we will do as many other pictures we can as possible.
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  • I think it'll be more special to us walking down the aisle instead of a somewhat staged moment just so the photographer can get a good shot. We tend to keep our emotions just between ourselves so for us, having the photographer there would feel like an intrusion.
  • FI and I talked about this.  I'm a big fan of getting pictures done before the wedding.  I asked FI if it was important to not see me until I walked down the aisle, and he thought that would be awesome.  I then asked him if he thought I could get through the ceremony without crying off my makeup and he said, "Oh, we should probably do them before hand because I'm going to cry too."  lol!  So we're doing a first look, so we aren't red faced and puffy eyed in our photos.

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  • edited July 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-club-boards_october-2012-weddings_first-look-or-not-poll-too?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20Club%20BoardsForum:56b9bcef-1e34-456e-81f5-cfaa107456b2Discussion:1c340c62-2e53-4039-b05d-bb08c16bb578Post:9e591cc5-6f0a-4fd0-9ffc-ec1d58857a03">Re:First Look or Not Poll Too</a>:
    [QUOTE]Goodness, I am still so up in the air. FI would probably like this better bc he is such a nervous person as it is, this might calm him down.... But I always said I wanted this traditional... But I am pulling up by boat so the moment really won't be as special, I think. <strong>How do u take pics before the ceremony w/o the guests seeing you?!</strong>
    Posted by fishinflagrl[/QUOTE]

    <div>We are absolutely doing a first look!  It will be dark after our ceremony (ceremony is 6-6:30), so pics have to get done while there's still natural light before the ceremony.</div><div>
    </div><div>As for how to do this without guests seeing you, you just have to work pics into your timeline so that you have enough time to take pics and then "hide" before your guests start arriving.  We're starting our pics around 3, first look is at 4, and everything will be finished by 5:30.  So we'll have a 1/2 hour before the ceremony to go into hiding LOL!</div><div>
    </div><div>This is a blog post that our photographer wrote a few years ago on First Looks:</div><div>
    </div><div><span style="font-family:'Trebuchet MS', Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:12px;color:#000000;line-height:normal;" class="Apple-style-span"><p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:20px;margin-left:0px;outline-style:none;outline-width:initial;outline-color:initial;font-size:1em;line-height:1.4em;padding:0px;">First looks are one of my favorite things to shoot. They’re exciting, emotional and all around amazing to shoot. Over the years first looks have become way more popular with our brides and grooms. Last year more than half our couples chose to do a first look. That makes me happy. I used to have to beg people back in 2008 to do these.</p><p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:20px;margin-left:0px;outline-style:none;outline-width:initial;outline-color:initial;font-size:1em;line-height:1.4em;padding:0px;">In case you might not be familiar with a first look I’ll explain..</p><p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:20px;margin-left:0px;outline-style:none;outline-width:initial;outline-color:initial;font-size:1em;line-height:1.4em;padding:0px;"><strong style="font-style:normal;font-weight:bold;">What is a first look?</strong>
    It’s simply when a bride and groom choose to see one another before their actual ceremony begins. Yes it breaks the old school tradition but for all the right reasons. If we all still wanted to be old school then none of you engaged couples would be living with one another before marriage right? Right!</p><p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:20px;margin-left:0px;outline-style:none;outline-width:initial;outline-color:initial;font-size:1em;line-height:1.4em;padding:0px;"><strong style="font-style:normal;font-weight:bold;">Why should I do a first look?</strong>
    There are a few reasons. My number one reason for suggesting this to my clients is lighting, lighting, lighting. For example if I have a client who’s getting married at 6:00pm in October this is basically a must. Think about it. When you walk out of the church or whatever the day light is long gone. Same goes for winter weddings and early spring. To simply put it, we can’t do what we do without daylight. Another reason clients consider this is they don’t want to miss their cocktail hour. That makes sense. You’re paying a lot of money for your big day and you should be part of the whole thing. Key word with cocktail hour is “hour”. That hour will fly by, you should be there greeting guests. Sometimes first looks are good to do when you have a ceremony, cocktails and reception all at the same location. The second you walk down the aisle your cocktail hour begins and the clock is ticking. One more reason is nerves. I’ve had more clients tell me they weren’t nervous whatsoever walking into their ceremony because they’ve already seen their husband or wife to be.</p><p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:20px;margin-left:0px;outline-style:none;outline-width:initial;outline-color:initial;font-size:1em;line-height:1.4em;padding:0px;"><strong style="font-style:normal;font-weight:bold;">How do we do a first look?</strong>
    It will require a little more time on the front end of the day. Having done so many in the past years I can have a simple conversation with you and determine exactly how much time I think we’ll need to get all the family, bridal party and personal portraits done. Typically on wedding day I’ll usually coordinate this whole thing or have members of the bridal party get the appropriate people. I will say having a wedding coordinator always helps out as well but thats a whole other blog post I’ll get into later.</p><p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:20px;margin-left:0px;outline-style:none;outline-width:initial;outline-color:initial;font-size:1em;line-height:1.4em;padding:0px;"><strong style="font-style:normal;font-weight:bold;">Do I need to do one?</strong>
    If you’re getting married for example in June when the days are longer chances are you don’t need to do one, at least for lighting purposes. If you want nothing to do with taking photographs during the cocktail hour then yes.</p><p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:20px;margin-left:0px;outline-style:none;outline-width:initial;outline-color:initial;font-size:1em;line-height:1.4em;padding:0px;">If you don’t want to do one thats fine, but if it’s a lighting thing I think I’ll press the issue a little more. I just want to give my clients the best photos I can. If you don’t want to miss a minute of your cocktail hour I’d suggest a little buffer in between your ceremony and cocktail hour for photos. I know we can get formal group photos done in some instances under 10-12 minutes max as long as everyone is right there and ready. To be honest they shouldn’t really take any longer. I’d rather spend the bulk of the time I get working one on one with the bride and groom, after all it’s your wedding day. Thanks for hanging on this long. Here are some pretty pictures.</p><p style="margin-top:0px;margin-right:0px;margin-bottom:20px;margin-left:0px;outline-style:none;outline-width:initial;outline-color:initial;font-size:1em;line-height:1.4em;padding:0px;">Peace,
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  • We're doing one! I used to be very adamant that he wouldn't see me until I walked down that aisle. Now we're having an outside ceremony and reception, and we wouldn't have that "a-ha" moment where the doors open and he sees me...he would see me from however many feet away coming, and I wouldn't get to see his reaction. Plus, our ceremony is at 5:30, so we wouldn't have a lot of time after for pictures before it starts getting dark, and our photographer was the largest part of our budget because pictures are one of the most important things, therefore I want plenty of time to get good ones. :)
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  • We are doing one for many of the same reasons listed above. My FI doesn't show very much emotion especially in front of a group of people. I know I will be able to get his real reaction. Our photographer says she really tries to be invisible so the moment will be just for us. Plus FI has already seen my dress thanks to my SIL having a brain fart when we were at the bridal salon. My coordinator told me that she still sees the magic between the bride and groom even if they've done a first look. You're walking down the aisle to marry him. I think the gravity of the situation is still powerful whether or not he saw you an hour before for pictures.
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