(Closed) First look vs. Seeing him at the end of the aisle……TORN! Whats your opinion?

posted 6 years ago in Traditions
Post # 3
67 posts
Worker bee

Go with what the photographer told you.  You’ll have more time and more photos if you do photos before the ceremony.  Same goes for group photos, have a family member pass it on that you are doing photos post-ceremony so that people will stay behind.

Post # 4
2226 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I really wanted to do a first look for the very reasons your photographer said.  However, Darling Husband insisted that we not b/c he wanted the first time he saw me to be when I walked down the aisle.  I have to say, I’m so glad we waited.  Seeing him see me was one of the best parts of the whole thing.  He was so overcome with emotion and cried so sweetly.  It was a perfect moment and I wouldn’t change it for anything.

We only had an hour for group shots and shots of just the two of us and I feel like we got plenty.

Post # 6
519 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Don’t do a first look just for the sake of pictures if it’s not what you want to do. We had a morning wedding, and we had plenty of time for pictures of just the two of us before the lunch reception. As long as you are providing some kind of snacks for your guests during the cocktail hour, they can wait without you. Honestly, I feel that a lot of people put too much emphasis on the photos. It really is about your marriage, and the photos are just to document the event. You will get plenty of pictures of the two of you. 

Post # 8
177 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I originally was against the first look. But the more I thought about it and read about it the more I liked the idea. Not only will we get some of the pictures out of the way but we can have an alone moment before all the events begin. Both of us being very shy I think it will be nice to just have us with the photographer of course see each other and spend 5-10 minutes alone. I think it will make me more comfortable walking down the aisle which I know already I will be nervous about. Plus we’re having ceremony and reception at the same place so there really is no break inbetween.      

Post # 10
2697 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I’m so glad we did our first look, though it did not really help with the time frame since we were running so late all day!

But I’m happy we did it because I was so overcome with emotion upon seeing my very soon to be husband, all I wanted to do was hug him and touch his face and kiss him. If we had waited until the ceremony, it would have killed me standing up there and not even being able to hold his hand!

Post # 11
4755 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Without reading anyone elses response my vision was *always* church doors open and that’s when he sees me. In fact, no one saw me before the doors opened. Not even the groomsmen. The only ones who saw me before the walk was my mom and bridesmaids and I wouldn’t have changed that at all.

Post # 12
167 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

My Fiance is very much against having a very first look.  Maybe we’re more traditional people, but he said he’d always imagined his first time to see his wife in her bridal get up to be when the church doors open. 

You can always sneak out of your reception for a little bit during dinner to take some extra photos of the two of you, if you missed it taking all of the shots you wanted.

Post # 13
2106 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

3. She was saying that we will probably only have about 15 min to do photos of just us because we really shouldn’t leave the guests at cocktail hour alone for very long.


Attending your own cocktail hour is a relatively new thing.  I’m not going to see any of mine at all.  Our coordinator will be snagging us some of the food from it so that we get to try everything.  I’ll eat some while Fiance takes pictures of just him with his family and vice versa.  You should absolutely not compromise your vision of seeing your groom at the ceremony for a fake scheduling problem.

After the ceremony, immediately begin family photos.  Come with a list of the combinations you want photographed with a mind to logistics.  Example- grandparents shouldn’t stand long, so you should first take photos of grandparents and various combinations, then any family with children, then parents, THEN photos with Bridesmaids/groomsmen, then photos with you and your Fiance.  Our family is teeny tiny, but if we had a bigger group, i would have the list with me and send the coordinator to have the DJ announce, “Can all Aunt and Uncles please make their way to the lobby for photos.”  Oh and bonus of doing BMs/GMs almost last– they’ll get to enjoy the first bit of cocktail if you want them to.  Then they’ll leave for photos and won’t come back in until the grand entrance.

Something I don’t think you’re photog is considering… uh.. what are you going to be doing in your own cocktail hour?  If you like the tradition of seeing your groom for the first time as you walk down the aisle, what of the tradition of the grand entrance marking the start of the reception?  As soon as you enter, guests will assume that you’re either going to do your first dance right away, and then dinner, or, more commonly, that your entrance will indicate that it’s time to go into the reception location after you. 

Post # 14
4676 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Don’t let your photog pressure you into doing a first look if YOU don’t want it.  I have photographed many a wedding with out a first look and had enough time inbetween the ceremony and reception to get all that I needed.

 And really you don’t need much more than 15-30 minutes for photographing you and your SO. Unless you are traveling to a different destination or she wants to to 1000 different posses on you these are the quickest to shoot. Because you are only dealling with two people they go usually go pretty quickly.  It is all the family and group shots that take up the most time.  As a PP suggested, make lists of all the group shots you want and have someone make sure that these people are in the right spot so you don’t have to waste time traking people down.  

Post # 15
1402 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Personally, I love the idea of a first look.  However, it sounds like you really aren’t into it.  You don’t have to attend your whole cocktail hour; many couples don’t.  Go with what YOU want to do.

Post # 16
1747 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@Roe:  I agree with this. Although I can see why some people want to share that first moment down the aisle, my day was stressful and even though I had only been apart from my Fiance for about twelve hours, all I wanted to do was see him and kiss him. He brings me peace (and I needed lots of it).

It was nice that I got to do that. Plus, the shoot made me feel like we were on a mini adventure in fancy clothes. 

My Fiance still cried a little while I walked down the aisle, and I was still bawling as well haha.

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