First look or not…. Convince me!

posted 8 months ago in Beehive
  • poll: Should I do a first look?
    YES! I did one and am so glad we did! : (20 votes)
    38 %
    No way! I didn't and am so glad I did! : (12 votes)
    23 %
    Yes! It seems like it would make your day way easier : (12 votes)
    23 %
    No! Stick to your guns and do what you want! : (8 votes)
    15 %
    I wrote details below because you said that's what you wanted! : (1 votes)
    2 %
  • Post # 31
    2367 posts
    Buzzing bee

    We did a first look out mainly out of convenience.  The photos that I could only get before the ceremony were more important to me than the tradition of the bride and groom seeing each other before the wedding.  That moment was never important to me or my exH….

    It did end up being a really nice moment between just the two of us though and we had many pictures from it and got our shots on the beach as well.  

    If I had the chance, I’d do it again. 

    Post # 32
    1993 posts
    Buzzing bee

    To clarify, I am speculating that a guy who doesn’t generally show a lot of emotion is not going to get full of expressive emotional when he sees you walk down the aisle.  I mean – maybe! but basing photos around trying to get that one emotional photo seems not worthwhile and like it might be a let down.  I’m not saying he doesn’t care or won’t think you’re beautiful but you prefaced this whole thing in multiple posts describing how non expressive, non pda, non outwardly emotional your fiancé is so I vote do the first look and take your time taking lots of nice pictures to find the special ones.  

    Post # 34
    2855 posts
    Sugar bee

    gunnabamissus :   “Do you mind giving me more of your reason as to why you chose a first look, beyond just having more time for photo’s?”

    A lot of it was  wanting to spend more of the day with my husband. After the ceremony you’re really swept up by all of your guests and all the goings on. I loved having time before the wedding with just my husband and time with our wedding parties (we did our wedding party photos before the ceremony too).

    It also relieved a lot of the pressure and anxiety from walking down the aisle. It felt more like we were in it together rather than it being THE MOMENT with everyone watching. 

    I wouldn’t worry about having different scenery. We did our wedding party photos one place, family photos another, and couple photos in two different places. I love that there’s variety. BUT you definitely get a lot more time for photos, I honestly don’t know how we would have done them all otherwise – unless we had a really long cocktail hour. Mind you we have huge families and big wedding parties. 


    Post # 35
    3301 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2017 - City, State

    Generally the first looks that I see look really staged and unnatural and very,  “we did a first look”. Not that they aren’t beautiful photos, but the reactions don’t seem as authentic. 

    We skipped the first look because we spent time in the morning together so we had hours of private time before the wedding. I also wanted that aisle moment where I got his reaction seeing me in my dress in that moment. I love the photos of his reaction to seeing me for the first time during the ceremony. We also didn’t want a ton of pictures, so photography time was not a concern for us (also everything was at one venue).

    There is no right or wrong. I think generally, everyone is happy with the decision the made because they don’t generally experience the other way. Whatever you guys decide will be right for you. 

    Post # 36
    5021 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: October 2018

    We did it! My husband cried. And then again during the ceremony. Definitely didn’t take away from anything, and it let us have some alone time together before.




    Post # 38
    305 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2019 - City, State

    Yes yes yes! First looks are a very special time 

    Post # 39
    662 posts
    Busy bee

    In my opinion, this is one of those decisions that seems like such a big deal, but in the end really isn’t. Both my husband and I were set on not having a first look and having that very romantic moment as I walked down the aisle. As we talked with friends and family over the course of our engagement, everyone talked about how less stressful it is to have a first look and get some of the pictures done. Also, when my husband heard that we would miss all of our cocktail hour, and our bridal party would miss a lot of it, he changed his mind.

    Our first look was very sweet and we loved being able to talk and have a more private moment with the photographers, than we would have if we’d first seen each other in front of 210 people.

    I’m not adamently ‘team first look,’ but I can say as someone who all her life didn’t want a first look, I’m glad we did one.

    Post # 40
    5926 posts
    Bee Keeper

    sweatergal007 :  She said it was about 20m each way. So doing it during cocktail hour would be 40m of JUST driving, not including any photo time. 

    Post # 42
    279 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: December 2018

    gunnabamissus :  just got married Saturday. If i could redo it I eould have done a first look. Hubby isnt super emotional, and after the wedding he reports he was too uncomfortable to take it all in. You will get first look reactions either way, but if your fi isnt super emotional, i say your best bet is a first look. 

    Post # 43
    46 posts
    • Wedding: May 2018

    I’d definitely recommend a first look! It certainly helps with timing photos and what not, but more importantly, it gives you and your SO a quiet moment together before the craziness of the actual wedding begins. 

    I am so glad we did a first look. Unfortunately, I woke up sick as a dog on my wedding day with a massive sinus infection, and I kept it together while getting ready. But my nerves started to build up the closer we got to the ceremony. When it was time for our first look, I remember hiding behind a door as my husband was brought into the room by our photograher. I heard his voice, and all of the panic and even the sickness I was feeling melted away entirely. During the look, we both cried – it was very emotional and sweet. We even got to show off what we were wearing – I had kept my dress a secret and he had kept his custom suit from me as well. We got some amazing pictures of our first look, and I don’t ever regret doing it. I feel that with the first look being down the aisle, you don’t get that intimate, personal feeling, and you can’t really show your true emotions since you’re in front of all of your guests (at least, it would have been that way for me).

    Also, think about your bridal party. I was in a friend’s wedding once, and she and her husband did not do a first look. So after the ceremony, the bride, groom and entire wedding party took photos for over an hour. Well, the bridal party took photos for about 20 minutes and then we had to stand around for another 40 minutes while she and her husband took their own photos. It wasn’t fun hearing the cocktail party going on while we had to wait around. But this is because my friend wanted the bridal party to be introduced by the DJ, so we couldn’t go in until all the photos were done and everyone was ready.

    Post # 44
    1686 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: April 2018

    gunnabamissus :  I didn’t do a first look and I’m so glad I didn’t.  It was a crazy moment when Darling Husband saw me walking down the aisle and we locked eyes and I feel like it wouldn’t have been the same if we saw each other before. 

    I’m also a bit superstitious and didn’t want to see him before the ceremony. 

    We started hair and makeup at 8:30am as it was for a 3:30pm ceremony.  I would have needed to start earlier if we were going to do a first look. 

    We took some of our photos at the ceremony space which was also cocktail hour.  Everyone stayed right away from us.

    If you have an MC, they will announce you at the reception, not at the cocktail hour, so you probably have a bit longer than you think by the time everyone checks their names and gets seated. 

    If I were you and you really didn’t want a first look, I’d have your celebrant announce that a group photo will be taken immediately after the ceremony at *x area*, then they can enjoy cocktail hour after that, then you sign your certificate, jump into the group photo (people should already be over there) and then some family shots, then they go off to get a drink, you guys do photos at the venue for 30 minutes with the bridal party, then you drive to the victorian place just the two of you (no bridal party), get some portraits there for 30 odd minutes and back to get announced at the reception.   That’s heaps of time if you have an idea of whereabouts you want to get photos taken.

    Post # 45
    77 posts
    Worker bee

    Regardless of what anyone else says, whatever you believe about the effect of a first look on the aisle moment is likely how you will perceive your experience. If you expect that a first look will diminish the value of the aisle moment, it probably will. Equally, if you believe that both moments can be equally special in their own ways, then they probably will be. 

    In any case, you have two choices, both of which involve some radical acceptance.
    1) Skip the first look and radically accept that you may not end up with your dream photographs, or
    2) Have the first look and radically accept that you may not end up with your dream aisle moment. Both scenarios have the potential to turn out exactly how you want, but they also have the potential to be disappointing. The choice you have to make is which disappointment you could more easily accept.

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