(Closed) FIRST LOOK or wait till I WALK DOWN THE ISLE.

posted 6 years ago in Traditions
  • poll: When would you first like to lay eyes on your future husband?

    First Look

    Down the aisle

  • Post # 31
    3791 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2014

    View original reply
    dgfont:  I loved having the first look. Plus, then we could do a majority of our pictures before the wedding and not have to worry about them afterwards while our guests waited.

    I can’t remember what his reaction was when I first mentioned it – probably thought it was silly but it worked since that was part of our picture timeframe.

    Plus, our ceremony was outside and I would have had a hard time hiding my look the ENTIRE walk towards the Gazebo – it was in a park. I felt what we did was special in its own way.

    Post # 32
    350 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    The first look is never done in the UK and if it is it’s very very rare! Us British bees normally see our husband’s to be the second we get into the room! EEEK! such an amazing exciting feeling though! 

    i get why people would do first looks but i’m glad we waited 🙂 x

    Post # 33
    1730 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2015

    View original reply
    dgfont:  We didn’t do a first look. It was one of the only things DH cared about during the planning process, and I’m so glad we didn’t. It was so wonderful seeing him as I was coming down the aisle, and the build up of waiting all day (we had a 6 PM wedding) was so worth it. He looked SO happy, and I don’t think his reaction would have been the same if we had done a first look. Of course, it works and is great for some people, but for us, the traditional way was the best way.

    We definitely had “us” time after the ceremony taking photos together – and neither of us really cared about missing the cocktail hour (we got a plate of everything that was served when we arrived at our venue). Do what’s best for you and your Fiance – I think both ways can be great!

    Post # 34
    427 posts
    Helper bee

    I was waivering on it but then my fiancee was like ABSOLUTLY NO FIRST LOOK!!! I had no idea he was so traditional!  He wants to be utterly shocked when he sees me coming.  He has not seen any of my wedding outfit and says he cant imagine not seeing it for the first time when I come down the aisle.  

    Post # 35
    178 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: October 2015

    I also want to do a first look because I hate the tradition of why the groom isn’t supposed to see the bride before the big day. From here: http://www.bridalguide.com/planning/wedding-ceremony-traditions/wedding-superstitions 

    “But the bride’s father feared that if the groom met the bride before the wedding and thought she wasn’t attractive, he’d call off the wedding, casting shame onto the bride and her family. Therefore, it became tradition that the bride and groom were only allowed to meet at the wedding ceremony so that the groom did not have the opportunity to change his mind. And that veil the bride wears? Its original purpose was also to keep the groom from finding out what the bride looked like until the last possible minute, when it was too late to back out of the transaction.”

    Since my groom knows what I look like (and I know what he looks like) I think we will both be emotional and happy to see each other both times, first look time (to give ourselves some alone time) and when I’m walking down the iisle. Even if he knows what I’m wearing at that point, I’m not sure how that moment isn’t emotional and happy. 

    Post # 36
    7815 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: February 1997

    Absolutely no first look for us. It is interesting that some people used to take pictures before the ceremony and everyone wondered how they could do that because the bride and groom traditionally didn’t see one another before the ceremony. Then people attached a trendy name – “first look” – to it and it suddenly became a “thing”. It is still an excuse to get photos out of the way before the ceremony. And that’s fine if that’s what you want to do, but it wasn’t a good enough reason for us to forego tradition.

    Regarding the patriarchal tradition, that applies to virtually everything about marriage – from the groom asking the father’s permission, to wearing a veil, to having a ring, to walking down the aisle with a father/someone else, etc. But there are lots of things that began for questionable reasons and continue as traditions today; you only have to attach the weight of history to them if you want to. 

    I wouldn’t have changed for the world the look on DH’s face when he saw me walking down the aisle, and I doubt that my DH would have had the tears in his eyes had he seen me before the ceremony (I am not claiming that other people would necessarily feel that way, though). Pictures of the bride and groom, the wedding parties and the families separately were all taken before the ceremony. The pictures together did not take that long afterwards, IMO. And we had a February, indoor wedding. I most definitely was not sweaty or disheveled after the ceremony, making for worse pictures.

    Post # 37
    1201 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2016

    We’re definitely doing a first look. Fiance is terrified of being in front of all those people as we say our vows so if we can get some of that initial emotion out of the way it will save his nerves I think. 

    Plus, we are doing a daytime wedding. We only have the venue for 5 hours including ceremony and reception. I don’t want to spend an hour or two of that time taking photos, so we will get those out of the way then have time to enjoy cocktail hour and stuff. 

    Post # 38
    3 posts
    • Wedding: October 2015

    I decided on a first-look because I am a big cry-baby and because our ceremony venue is a bit non-traditional. First, I don’t want to bawl down the aisle; I’ve seen ceremonies where both the bride and groom cried during the entire event and I just don’t want that for myself. Our ceremony venue is not a church, I will be walking down a large staircase on my Dad’s arm; if I was walking “down the aisle” instead of down stairs I might have reconsidered. I also love the pictures of seen of couples doing a first look. 

    Post # 39
    549 posts
    Busy bee

    View original reply
    dgfont:  A Jewish tradition we are following is the couple doesn’t see each other the week leading up to the wedding until the ceremony. I am sticking to that. My favourite part of weddings is seeing the spouse to be at the alter welling up with tears. 

    My Girlfriend won’t have Seen me for a week, both of our reactions are going to be awesome and probably ugly crying….why would I want that evidence?! LOL

    Post # 40
    12 posts
    • Wedding: August 2016

    View original reply
    gimmickgirl:  Wow, thanks for posting that! We were planning on a first look, but I had no idea so many traditions had crazy meanings!

    Post # 41
    1894 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception/The Gallery

    At first I really didn’t want to do a first look, I think the moment on the altar is so sweet and romantic (although fraught with a weird, sexist history, like most wedding traditions). However, we then realized our ceremony (a full Catholic mass) won’t start until 6:30. That means the reception (luckily, only a few blocks away) won’t really start until almost 8. If we make people wait around for us until nearly 9, I just think that would be so rude. Not to mention I would be STARVING by that time.

    So, first look it is. Honestly, I think it will help calm my nerves to see my guy before hand. And, since we definitely are splurging on a fab photographer, I may as well get my money’s worth and all the great photos I’m hoping for. 


    Post # 42
    1720 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    absolutely loved my first look and all my amazing pictures but the best thing of it all was that walking down that aisle was still so magical in front of everyone  – we both still got very emotional and swept up in the moment so much so that he “accidentally” kissed me as soon as I got to the front because he was just so in the moment… everyone started laughing cause it caught me saying No! not yet through his microphone! (and we totally kissed anyways!)


    also I have never head of a couple that regrets their first look but I have many that regret not doing one (bc their photos were rushed/not as nice) and for that reason alone I would say go for it – you have literally nothing to lose

    Post # 43
    2633 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    View original reply
    dgfont:  We did a first look, because we wanted our nerves to be calm before we walked down the aisle AND we wanted to get our pictures out of the way so we could spend the entire wedding partying with our guests.

    Post # 44
    207 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: March 2014 - Glen Sanders Mansion

    DH and I did a first look.  As PP mentioned, it was one of the best parts of the day. We had the photographers and videographers there (4 people total). The photographer simply walked up to me, told me to just walk toward DH and he would start snapping pictures. He didn’t say another word for about 4 or 5 minutes while we did the first look, went through the emotions, checked each other out, etc. I am not kidding when I say the rest of the world disappeared in that moment.  It was one of the most emotional moments of our lives, and we wouldn’t have done it any other way. our photographer didn’t start directing us for purposes of actual couple portraits until DH and I got our emotions out and started talking about our dog lol!

    DH and I still cried when we saw each other when I was walking down the aisle, and you can actually hear a sob come out of me on the video! Nothing takes away the feeling of knowing you’re about to be married! We were separated for almost an hour before the ceremony. I still felt emotional while I waited to walk down the aisle. I remember hearing the music that the bridesmaids were walking down to and thinking “I have been planning this for over a year, picked out this music, and now it’s really happening!!”

    Logistically speaking, it was great to get all of the group photos and portraits done prior to the ceremony. It allowed us to enjoy the cocktail hour with our bridal party.

    Additionally, I found out after the fact that DH had been quite emotional all morning/afternoon before the first look. We both felt that the first look helped take the edge off just enough so that we weren’t sick with nerves!

    First look (just a couple)



    Ceremony: I was trying to hold back my tears. I failed.





    • This reply was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by Jayceedee.

    The topic ‘FIRST LOOK or wait till I WALK DOWN THE ISLE.’ is closed to new replies.

    Find Amazing Vendors