Post # 1
My fiance and I are getting marred at the venue. At first, we were both very against doing a first look, but now after discussing it, we’re afraid that if we don’t, we won’t be able to capture enough pictures of the two of us. Our ceremony is from 6:00 – 6:30, then cocktail hour from 6:30 to 7:30. If we didn’t do the first look we’d miss the cocktail hour for sure. And then our bridal party and family pictures would also be rushed. I figure family/bridal party photos would take at LEAST a half hour, which would leave us with only a half hour to take pictures of just the two of us.
Has anyone done a first look? Do you regret doing it? Was it not as special or did your groom not have the same reaction when he saw you walking down the isle?
Post # 3
I think the cocktail hour is designed to give the couple time to take pics.
Since your ceremony is quite late, I would actually consult the almanacs to check out sunset times.
We plan on doing a first look and family portraits before the ceremony purely because it will start getting dark almost as soon as our ceremony is over…
Post # 4
@k8_is_great: We are not doing a first look, mainly because FI is dead set against it. I was on the fence so when he said no to the idea, I dropped it. And I am ok with that. I think the reaction will be good, no matter when he sees me but I want that special moment that we see each other to be as I walk down the aisle toward him to marry him.
We will do any solo portraits and seperate party portraits before the wedding. Probably some family shots too.
We are missing cocktail hour too but I think it will be fine. We will have another 3.5 hours after that to enjoy our guests and each other.
Post # 5
we did the first look and I don’t regret it AT ALL! It was so personal and intimate. We missed our cocktail hour too due to taking photos, but like PP said, that’s mainly what a cocktail hour is for; to enterain your guests while you get photos done!
Post # 6
I was in this exact situation. We got married at the venue, and I was nervous that we wouldn’t have enough time to get everything done that I wanted during the cocktail hour. We didn’t do a first look because it was important to me that he didn’t see me before the ceremony. Family pictures did take awhile, but just make sure everyone that you want in the pictures stays behind right after the ceremony so you don’t have to track them down. Thankfully it all worked out for us, and I think it’ll work out for you too. Another thing that will help is sending your photographer sample shots of pictures you want. Then they’ll have a direction, and can be more efficient. I say don’t do the first look because that moment when I saw my husband waiting for me at the end of the aisle was priceless to me. Honestly, it really all comes down to what’s most important to you. Good luck with whatever you decide 🙂
Post # 7
We are doing a first look! Our ceremony is from 5-5:30, and with our wedding being towards the end of October, if we waited until after the ceremony for all of the pictures, we’d be taking them in the dark and we’d certainly miss all of the cocktail hour. It was our personal preference to decide to do a first look, just so we don’t feel rushed. I recommend it, but understand why people don’t like to do them. Honestly, it’s just personal preference.
Post # 8
We did a first look and also took more pictures during the first half of cocktail hour because the day is just so rushed as it is.
I do not regret a first look at all – it was the most amazing moment of the day. To be able to see my DHs reaction up close and personal and share that moment with him and him alone was so great. He still had an awesome reaction when I walked down the aisle and was emotional, despite having seen me already.
I think it would be terrible to see his reaction at the altar, and not get to hug him or say anything since the ceremony starts right away. With the first look, you can react to him and interact in the moment. It’s the best!
Post # 9
We’re in a somewhat similar place – a bit later even – so we’re going with the first look for sure. I really don’t think you can lose with it! You even get more time at your cocktail hour with your guests! I’ve heard lots of brides say it was still really special, walking down the aisle, and they don’t feel like they lost anything.
Post # 10
I think that because of your time restraints a first look does sound like a really good move for your wedding.
I would have loved to have done a first look but my fiance is completely against it. He was shocked that I would consider letting him see me any other time than when I was walking down the aisle!
Post # 11
We were in the same situation as you with our wedding and venue at the same location. We ended up doing a “First Look” and also pictures with the wedding party before the wedding ceremony. We then took more intimate pictures of only us right after the wedding ceremony, while our guests and wedding party were at cocktail hour. i think our wedding party really appreciated being able to join their dates during cocktail hour.
We really like this idea because we were able to get all the photos we wanted in a short amount of time and we were even able to join our guests towards the end of cocktail hour, which was really nice! I say go for it!
Post # 12
We aren’t doing a first look, FI doesn’t want to see me until I’m walking down the aisle. We are the couple who always looks at the groom’s reaction on his face when the bride walks in…it’s priceless, and I hope we get some great pics of FI as I walk down the aisle.
Our ceremony is from 4:30-5, and we are having a cocktail hour from 5-6 so we can take pictures. We are planning on doing all the seperate pictures we can before the ceremony, (i.e. Me & my bridesmaids/flower girls, FI & his groomsmen/ring bearer). We are also planning on sneaking away during the reception for 10-15 minutes to take a few night pictures of just the two of us, and also to play with sparklers!
Post # 13
@MrsWBS: I never thought of it that way! Being able to react with him when we see each other for the first time and interact in the moment is a great reason to do the first look!
Post # 14
Thanks everyone for all your helpful advice! I think due to time constraints and wanting our bridal party to be able to enjoy cocktail hour with their spouses etc., and also our parents and familiy to be able to enjoy the cocktail hour, we’re going to go ahead and do the first look.
I truly hope that the bees that did do a first look are right and that it doesn’t really take away from the moment of walking down the isle 🙂
Does anyone have any pics of their first look that they’d like to share? I’d love to see ideas of what kind of things we could do besides the “holding hands at the corner of a wall” picture….
Post # 15
- Wedding: June 2013 - Country Club
Our ceremony was at 6:30 and we had plenty of time for pictures. We did a “first touch” and letter exchange earlier in the day (around 5:30) and we got some photos of that. As soon as we were ready we did group pictures without each other, family pictures without eachother, and individuals. After the ceremony, we took big group pictures and then we took our pictures alone. We were back at the venue around 7:30 (at the latest! I don’t remember the exact time). Later on in the evening we stepped away and took family photos as a large group.
Post # 16
Our first look was our favorite and most memorable part of our day. We don’t regret it one bit! I think you would be well served to do a first look so you can use daylight.