(Closed) First Look vs. Waiting for the ceremony

posted 4 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 2
16 posts
  • Wedding: June 2018

We were not going to have a first look either, but decided to have one. We decided any moment we could have just the two of us alone was well worth it. Also, having those pictures would be wonderful. We are not getting married until June. Plus I knew I would be a wreck if walking down the aisle was my first time seeing him. I wanted to get some of the nerves out with it being just the two of us.

Post # 3
1080 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

I can not recommend first look enough!  We were dead set on it to have that time to get some pictures out of the way but i didn’t realize how much we would NEED it.  We both felt so anxious and irritable the first part of our wedding day.  Once we got to the venue and started getting ready i felt better but i knew a big part of why i felt the way i did was because we weren’t together.  Once we saw each other all the weight and anxiety was gone.  We were together the rest of the day, even right as the ceremony procession started.  It didn’t change the feeling of walking down the aisle.  It still felt completely special. 

Post # 4
9436 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

I love, love, love our first look pictures. And even if we had no pictures of the first look I still would have done it because it was such a special moment. You don’t get enough quite, private moments on your wedding day. The first look is a great opportunity to just have a few minutes with your husband. In my opinion there are no cons to doing a first look. 

For me that moment was just full of joy and excitement. Neither of us cried but we aren’t criers. And I love that we just got to savor that moment and that feeling without a crowd full of eyes looking on or having to jump right into the ceremony. It was just about being with each other and sharing the excitement. 

Walking down the aisle was still special and exciting. I don’t think anything can take away from that moment of “We are doing this, right now” 


Post # 5
7991 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

i only got married once and did a first look, so can’t comment on not doing a first look and how differently i felt.

but i loved doing our first look.  we were under no pressure to hurry up with our pictures.  DH also teared up during the ceremony, but during our first look, we got to share that initial moment together and not rush right into the ceremony, we could dwell on it and focus on each other while the photographer was taking pictures.  we also got all our family and wedding party shots out of the way.

we were able to relax during cocktail hour, we went to our room.  then we joined at the introdcution for the reception. 

i enjoyed the way we did it.

Post # 6
454 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

We did a first look and I think it was a great idea. To be fair, we walked down the aisle together so it wouldn’t have worked to do it another way anyway, but I can still imagine the differences :). Some of the major pros:

– We were able to focus just on each other. We weren’t worried about what others were thinking with a room full of people observing such an intimate moment…ex. “if I don’t cry, will people judge me?”. We also weren’t distracted by guests with cameras or who were trying to catch our eye, etc.

– We had plenty of time for pictures without feeling the stress of our guests waiting for us or the tug of “missing out” on cocktail hour, etc. Also, my hair and make up still looked great, haha.

– We were able to just enjoy the day and go with the flow as soon as the ceremony started throughout the rest of the evening. All the pictures I wanted with family and close friends were taken care of, so everything after that point was a bonus. It was a nice weight off.

I’m not a very traditional person, so I didn’t really see any cons. I think some people are very sentimental about seeing each other for the first time at that moment of walking down the aisle, but I felt awkward at the thought of that moment happening in front of a room full of people. That said, I TOTALLY respect someone feeling differently. I just felt like (for us personally) there weren’t really any cons. However, everyone should follow what is most important for them!!

Post # 7
3021 posts
Sugar bee

I did not have a first look, but I wish I had. I wish I’d had that moment, with just DH and me. Now, there were some things I enjoyed about waiting until the ceremony. DH made me breakfast and left it outside the door so I wouldn’t see him, and we did a lot of talking through walls to coordinate moving around in the house without him seeing me. It was fun! But we still could have done those things with a first look. Pictures felt rushed and uncomfortable after the ceremony. Everyone wanted to eat, and DH and I were hot, standing outside in all of our fine clothes trying to beat the dark for pictures. I think our day would have been far less stressful if we had done a private first look, then took the pics we could before the ceremony.

Another thing to consider is how your Fiance handles emotion in public. I feel like I didn’t get to see DH’s uninhibited reaction to seeing me walk down the aisle because we had an audience. I think it would have been more meaningful to have that first moment as a private moment.

Post # 8
1926 posts
Buzzing bee

I am soooo happy we did a first look. It was private and amazing. I barely remember the ceremony but I vividly remember the first look. I am beyond glad we didn’t wait for the ceremony as I don’t think it is as special of a moment with everyone surrounding but the first look also didn’t make it any less special. AND I got to enjoy cocktail hour and mingle with all my guests, which was even better. Best decision ever. 

Post # 9
12340 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

We’re not very emotional or cryers, so our first look was actually quite nonchalant.  The walk down the aisle was the emotional part for us.  The outfits and wedding day look just didn’t do anything for us emotionally.  We both could’ve been wearing potato sacks, and walking down the aisle probably would have still been just as emotional.

Post # 10
8674 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

i love our first look photos.  I like that it let us really take in the entire moment and laugh-cry for like 10 minutes together without anyone judging how long we were taking or feeling rushed or the need to “keep moving on”.  

The photos before the ceremony, after the actual first look, were stunning–and as a result we didn’t have to make our friends and family wait for us, we joined the cocktail hour almost immediately (minus the time it took to sign the marriage license, which we did behind the scenes)

we still totally cried during the ceremony, it didn’t change the rush and excitement.

I actually also did a first look with my parents, and love the photos from that too.  They’re very emotional too and i love them.

I’m extra appreciative of our first look photos because what we didn’t count on is during our ceremony the sun was setting just the right amount that the contrast was insane–basically all you see are bright whites and shadows.  The photographer of course did his best but any image where you can make out our faces we’re all just squinting like crazy.

also, because we didn’t have anyone waiting on us for the first look, we were able to do it in a different location.. which got us photos like this one.

edited cus that pic is huge.  Here just check out my recap it has pics of pretty much everything i mentioned. https://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/wedding-day-recap-pic-heavy-7-23-16/

Post # 11
223 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2015 - Ballroom

We did a First Look for our wedding and it was awesome! My husband was actually opposed to it in theory, but then when our photographer showed him some photos from other First Looks he had done, hubby was sold.

Reasons why it worked for us:
1. Hubby is a crier, and getting most of that out of the way at the First Look helped him relax for the actual ceremony and not be overly anxious.
2. We got to take lots of photos at the gorgeous historic hotel we got ready in, as well as in the streets outside the hotel both together/alone as well as with our bridal party.
3. We got to take advantage of the daylight, as we were married in the late afternoon in November, so it was DARK outside as the ceremony concluded.
4. We got to get to the reception with only about 30 minutes of photos post-ceremony.

Categorically, the First Look photos are my favorites from the day. I totally recommend it.

Post # 12
223 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2015 - Ballroom

Oh, and I also did a First Look with my dad, which was SUPER special for both of us as we are very very close. Mom was with me and my girls as we were getting ready, so it was even more fun to create a great moment with my dad. 

Post # 13
793 posts
Busy bee

Nothing to compare it to but I’m very glad we did the first look. We got all the photos done half an hour before the ceremony so the boys went to the church and the girls went back to the house to get our make up touched up. I ripped the zipper in my dress, since we were half an hour ahead of schedule I was able to fix it. I didn’t feel rushed at all and I can’t imagine his expression when I came around the corner would have been any different in church. Big plus I didn’t have to wait to kiss him.

Post # 14
3587 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

View original reply
knotyet :  This! We didn’t do a first look and I’m fine with that but we were a bit rushed doing our photos afterwards and I got kind of stressed. I was also feeling like I might faint from nerves beforehand, so it might have helped with that! DH and I are also not good at being emotional with an audience, so he didn’t really know what to do and looks kind of blank in the photos haha. He might have been more open in private. The main thing for me was feeling all the love from the guests, which a first look would not detract from at all. 

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