Post # 1
I’m in need of some help with planning an evening wedding! FI and I both love the idea of an evening wedding however we’re having a hard time now that we need to plan the actual timeline. One of the biggest questions is-If you had or are having an evening wedding, did you take your pics first (see your spouse before the actual ceremony?) I’ve always thought that it’s so important to not see each other (just to make it more special) but we’re realizing that pics after a 7pm ceremony will not be so great in the dark and take away time from the reception and spending time with family.
So I guess I need to decide what is more important…not seeing each other before or just having the wedding earlier in the day so that we can have photo’s after the ceremony in the sunlight. Our ceremony and reception are at the same place so no travel between needed.
Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated!
Post # 3
I am not a fan of first looks. Nothing is more romantic and special than seeing your future husband for the first time as you walk down the isle with family and friends around. That was such a magical moment. Also that is my favorite part as a guest, seeing the reactions of the bride and groom. Just being behind the scene’s as a BM at friends wedding who did a first look, I dunno it kinda ruined it for me. The ceremony didn’t have as much build up or excitement. And looking back at the pro wedding photo’s… many of them they weren’t even officially married yet in the picture. I want all my wedding photo’s to be with my husband, not fiance. I know a lot of Brides probably don’t regret it but if it’s important to you, wait till the ceremony! It was so special! As for timing.. you can time your ceremony so that after it’s over you have just about 1 hr before the sunsets and its dark. Check when the sunsets that day. Then you will get your evening reception but good photo’s still.
Post # 4
I don’t really agree with pp about first looks. When I got married there was so much going on and everything was in such a rush I don’t remember looking at my hubby as I walked down the aisle I was nervous, tired and seeing so many people that I hadn’t seen in awhile, the moment came and went. If a first look had been done we would have had a special moment together and an acknowledgement about the step we were about to take. The first looks I have seen are much more romantic:) wish I had done one. That’s just me!
Post # 5
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
We did a first look to do all photos prior to the ceremony. Our decision was less about daylight issues and more about wanting to spend all of cocktail hour with our guests. Spending time with them was more important to us that seeing each other for the first time at opposite ends of the aisle. There is no right or wrong answer, really. It’s all about what is important to you.
Post # 6
It is entirely up to you. My fiance and I are having a wedding that is starting at 6:00 PM so it is somewhat similar to yours. We determined we wanted to do a first look last summer after attending several different weddings where the brides did or did not end up doing a first look. There was one in particular where the bride and groom did all of their photos following the ceremony and ended up being around an hour and a half late to the reception. That is absolutely not what I want to have happen at all.
From a romantic perspective, I think a first look can be absolutely lovely for you and your future husband. I’ve seen a lot of people mention that it is nice to be able to see your fiance and have some alone time with him before everyone arrives. When you are walking down the aisle to your future husband, I believe it will still be an emotional and important moment even if you have had a First Look. All of the brides I know who have done one say they do not regret it in the least. I hope you are able to determine what you would like to do. Good luck! 🙂
Post # 7
We decided to do first look photos for logistical reasons similar to yours (and because we’re really excited about the cocktai hour food selections we made – I don’t want to miss the duck croquettes!), but we’re excited about it precisely because of the special quality of the moment as @mrs.stormylove describes it. Except, when that moment happens for us, it will happen in relative privacy, and our reactions for each other will be beautifully documented. Hands down, my favorite pictures from friends weddings have been from the first look session. There’s something about that moment…. And I just don’t think you lose it by having it take place before the ceremony itself.
Post # 8
Thank you so much for all your feedback. Looks like we have decided to do first look photos. I hated the idea of doing it for practical reasons alone, but I’ve been sold on the fact that first looks can be very touching AND for me, likely help me compose myself as I walk down the isle.I love the idea of having a few quiet moments with FI beforehand. Now we can spend time with our families and friends and mingle during the cocktail time.
Thank you again so much for sharing!
Post # 9
We will probably be doing a first look. I’ve never seen it take away from the ceremony and the bride and groom get a special moment alone instead of trying to whisper hello to each other at the altar after not seeing each other for 24 hours. Not to mention the delay in getting to the reception etc. To me walking down the aisle is about the fact that you are about to marry your best friend, not what you are wearing or seeing each other for the first time. And its every bit as emotional whether you saw your fh or not beforehand. With our weddng being 3 hours away from where most of the guests live and any major airports, the last thing I want to do is have everyone come all the way out there and then miss the festivities.
Post # 10
We talked about doing a first look since our start time is 6pm. At first FH didn’t understand the concept, but quickly caught on. It will help move things along later in the night as well… don’t want dinner to be TOO late. our first look will just be he and i with the photographer at an offsite location. This will also allow us nearly an hour to be together before the craziness of the day (including bridal party and parent pictures).
Post # 11
Almost every couple I know that has done an evening wedding has chosen to do pictures before the ceremony. I must add though that most couples already live together so they see each other in the morning. They just have not seen each other in their wedding attire.
I personally like to see the reactions of the bride and groom when they see each other for the first time at the alter. The surprised and amazed looks, the love that shines. The looks that are a little bit nervous; but cute.
Post # 12
We had a 5:30 wedding in the Canadian Winter, so it was dark out.
We did our first look at around 2:30 and had ALL of the family, bridal and couples photos done before the wedding. We did a couple after the ceremony, but were able to enjoy most of cocktail hour with our guests, which was awesome!
The first look was a very personal moment and I am SO HAPPY we did it. The walk down the aisle was still an amazing and special moment with my Dad. The good part was that I wasn’t totally stunned with nerves, so I actually looked around a bit and took it all in. I don’t feel like I would have been as engaged in the ceremony if we hadn’t done the first look.
For us, the evening ceremony was more important than the walking down the aisle moment. You just have to figure out what matters to you most.
Post # 13
We had a 7:30 ceremony. We went to the venue (everything was at a botanical garden) at 4:30. We had our first look of just us two (and the photogs) then went out and did pictures with our families, bridal party and each other.
Then after the ceremony we snuck out for about 15 mins to take some pics where we were legitimately married.
We then went right into the cocktail reception and spent the night with our guests.
The gap is the worst part for us about a wedding, so we did everything in our power to avoid one. It was great spending time together before the wedding.
I don’t agree with posters who say that the first time coming down the aisle is more special. I don’t think it matters where you have your first look. Some will prefer the more intimate time where you can talk and spend time together, and some will like the more traditional down the aisle looks. Neither is better then the other.