First Look or not?

posted 2 years ago in Photos/Videos
  • poll: What to do?
    First look : (47 votes)
    59 %
    Traditional Walk Down the Asile : (33 votes)
    41 %
  • Post # 17
    Member
    710 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2016

    For me, it was so special and important to have the first time we saw each other be when I set foot on the aisle. It was the one traditional thing I was dead set on, and I don’t regret skipping the first look.

    However, I will say, that magic moment of seeing his face when he saw me didn’t really play out for me at all. The weather was looking like rain so we had to tent our outdoor ceremony…but it ended up being bright out so the second I walked into the tent I was blinded by having my eyes adjust to the change in light and didn’t get to see his face whatsoever….and to top it off the one picture that I told my photographer was so important to me was his reaction when he saw me…well, my photographer sucked and didn’t get a picture (she didn’t get most of the pics I asked for *sigh*)…so I kind of lost my special moment. However…it still did feel special that we had been apart the whole day and not snapping photos together and hanging out and the ceremony itself was a really emotional moment.

    Sooo…long story short, if you aren’t dead set on skipping the first look like I was, then just have a first look. Logistically, it is the most logical choice because we were scrambling for photos and didn’t get to enjoy our cocktail hour, and basically rushed in just in time to have dinner plated.

    Post # 18
    Member
    171 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: September 2017

    We’re doing the First Look for a lot of the same reasons people have listed above – fiance and I are both kind of shy, private people, and so I think it’ll be relaxing for both of us to have that moment be more intimate. Also, we hired a string quartet for the cocktail hour and darn it, I want to hear them play!

    Post # 19
    Member
    2860 posts
    Sugar bee

    Well, PERSONALLY I prefer the idea of the first look because not seeing him until I walk down the aisle kind of builds up the pressure in a way that I’m not a fan of. I don’t like being the centre of attention though, so that reasoning may not apply to you. I just know that I want to feel like I’m with him on the day and like we’re going through it together. I think seeing him before hand will calm me down and remind me it’s about US not about the spectacle.

    PLUS beyond the standard reasoning of doing the first look – I’m afraid that i’m going to cry my face off during the ceremony and then be all puffy and mascara smeared for the photos haha. 

    Post # 20
    Member
    1823 posts
    Buzzing bee

    speaking from a guest’s pov: first look pics are nice, but I’ve never seen pics capture the intensity of men crying and excited watching his beautiful bride come down the aisle with the full blown music and family watching- it’s a heavy 30seconds! And they kiss, it’s stressful and emotional and beautiful.

    with the couples I know had pics before the ceremony, things just flowed more smoothly and calmly. It was happy but didn’t have the same nervous emotion, it was slightly anticlimatic. Less romantic? I dont know

    it felt different, even the time I didn’t know they did the first look and found out later- made sense

    Post # 21
    Member
    344 posts
    Helper bee

    hikingbride :  I disagree. Catching sight of your Fiance as you walk down the aisle is NOT a staged moment.  I really disagree again that the whole wedding day is a photo op. A photo op is something executed for the sake of the camera. I am not walking down the aisle, exchanging vows, throwing a party, or dancing with my loved ones, for the sake of the camera. 

    <div>The first look on the other hand … is often an elegant version of  “1..2..3.. cheese!”  The camera being there is kind of the point … in most cases. I don’t think most people who do the first look would choose to do it if there weren’t going to be a camera present. That’s the definition of a photo-op.  

    Of course at my wedding there will be staged photos – just not the moment Fiance and I see each other for the first time.  Portraits are by their nature, staged. They can look posed or more relaxed and natural – but they are staged. Because I prefer a more true-to-life candid style, there will be fewer portraits in my wedding album … but there will be some. </div>

    Post # 22
    Member
    1921 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: April 2016

    hikingbride :  Completely agree! 

    OP, the only difference between a first look before the ceremony and a first look on the aisle is an audience. Many guys are going to have a more natural reaction when you feel alone rather than in front of 100+ people. 

    Post # 23
    Member
    125 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: October 2016

    TeresaBenedicta :  I understand what you are saying but I disagree. A first look is more personal than walking down the aisle and having your Fiance see you for the first time (neither is more or less important). I got to see my fiances face when he saw me for the first time and nothing about it was staged. I walked into a room where he was (alone) and got to enjoy those moments with him. No one was telling us to look at a camera or say cheese, I honestly forgot the photographer was there! 

    There are so many moments in a wedding that you share with your guests (first dance, vows, cake cuting, etc …) it was nice to have something that we had to ourselves that day.

    My first look photos are by far some of my favorite photos from our wedding.

    Post # 24
    Member
    344 posts
    Helper bee

    allsmiles92 :  I get that your first look photos are your fave. But do you see? That is kind of the point of first looks – most of them, anyway. The photos.

    “Would we be doing this, this way, if there were no photographer?” If the answer is “no” – what you are doing is a staged photo-op. A big chunk of folks who do first looks do them at the suggestion of their photographer, specifically for the sake of photos – they think the photos will be prettier,  it will allow more time in the schedule for staging other photos, or they just really want to be sure the moment is captured.

    None of that is wrong or bad – but it’s a choice about priorities. With the candid way you risk missing the photo, with first look you risk an unnatural performative type experience.  It does happen, and as bad as some of the ones I’ve seen are, there’s no question in my mind which is the “worse” risk. But I know some brides would be much more scared to get a bad photo of the moment, or worse none at all.

    I disagree that a first look is more personal – mehhh maybe? imo it’s defiinitely easier to be “alone” with Fiance in a crowded room vs one with 3 people and a camera clicking away in the silence.

    I do totally agree about it being nice to have a private moment with your Fiance, just to yourselves. Is it private though, if your behavior is being observed and recorded by someone holding a camera? I am scheduling 10 minutes of private time after the ceremony is over. It won’t be a photo op, because there will be no photographer  – we will be totally alone! There will be less time for portraits – which is OK with me.

    Post # 25
    Member
    5958 posts
    Bee Keeper

    I’m looking forward to our first look for intimate/romantic reasons and for logistical reasons lol.

    They are some of my favourite photos!

    Post # 26
    Member
    60 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: October 2017

    somandasaid :  We’re also getting married at 6:30 and have decided to do a first look. For one, sunset is at 6:40 in October where our cermeony will be, and I wanted our portaraits to be outside in daylight. Beside the lighting, I like the idea of us having a tender moment in private without everyone’s eyes on us. I think it will allow us to be more relxed during the cermony
    (and after becasue we won’t be rushing to take photos), and I know when I walk down the ailse my Fiance is going to cry either way. Lastly, my Fiance is my best friend and the person that I am most looking forward to spending time with on my wedding day so I don’t want to have to wait until 6:30 to see him 🙂 

    Post # 27
    Member
    9390 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2016

    TeresaBenedicta :  I disagree. I would 100% do the first look agan, even if I got no photos from it.

    And I didn’t say the vows or that the whole wedding day was a photo-op but the way an aisle is set up, the bride walks down on her cue, with all the guests staring and music set to play in the background, come on that’s not a natural moment either. It’s very staged.

    When my husband saw me for the first time on our wedding day it was a REAL moment. Honestly, your being rather insulting by saying it’s not. It wasn’t a performance and yes it did feel like a private moment as I completely forgot the photographer was even there.

    Post # 28
    Member
    5958 posts
    Bee Keeper

    TeresaBenedicta :  If you’re worried about your photos looking staged, hopefully you arent doing a first dance, father daughter dance, cake cutting, bouquet toss, garter toss, etc. All of those are more ‘staged’ than a first look photo.

    Post # 29
    Member
    125 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: October 2016

    TeresaBenedicta :  We will just have to agree to disagree. Because I completely disagree with you. 

    hikingbride :  I 100% agree!

    OP – I loved my first look photos and experience and would not change anything. And I certainly do not feel that anything was “staged”. I am glad I got to see my fiances face and focus on him

     

    Post # 30
    Member
    344 posts
    Helper bee

    hikingbride :  Ok, think of it this way. A lot of the portraits you see – like the bridal party jumping up all at once – those are staged. Even though the joy and excitement on their faces may be real. So I’m not saying your moment was fake – you were *actually* seeing your Fiance for the first time after all – but the moment is arranged and contrived for the sake of it being captured on photographs.

    when a bride walks down the aisle – with the music, flowers, and guest staring – that is not all done for the sake of a nice photograph of the moment she and Fiance lock eyes. Most of those things can interfere with getting a photo of that moment!   IF there is a photo taken of them seeing each other for the first time, it will be a candid one. The ceremony is not an event that is put on to capture on camera the first time they see each other – they just do see each other as a result of going to the ceremony to be married. 

    Here’s a less emotionally charged example:  the classic shot of the bride exiting her limo as she arrives to the ceremony. If her photog captures her doing this as she exits the limo on the way to the ceremony, it’s a candid moment. If the photog has her get out at the bottom of the hill instead of the top because of shadows, or asks her to wait in the car until a tripod is set up – the photos they get from this will be staged photos. The Bride is excited in the staged photos. Her excitement is real. She is REALLY getting out of the limo. But the moment is staged, which risks an unnatural, artificial experience. OR maybe not – if the bride is comfy in front of cameras and has a skilled photographer working with her to create the shot.  

    Some Brides really want the shot of them getting out of a limo – even if they have to go back in the limo and shoot the moment more than once! 

    It’s wonderful that you forgot your photog was there  – people who are comfy in front of the camera can often get that with the help of a skilled photographer.  If a couple are not both comfy in front of a camera or have unskilled photographer helping set up the moment, the first look can be a trainwreck. that’s all I’m saying. 

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