(Closed) Probably another daft question from a ditzy Brit!

posted 4 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 2
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

katem73:  I think things must’ve changed since I first got married (divorced and engaged now). In the day, we didn’t see each other before the wedding either, for the most part. Not until you walked down the aisle. Now on the WB I see the term “first look” all over the place so I guess things have changed since 1996!

In the old days, soooometimes they would do photos beforehand (I used to work for a photographer) and lemme tell you, that made our job easier! Plus it was awesome for the bridal party because everyone was just ready to run off to the reception and start celebrating right after the ceremony instead of hanging around taking pix!

Yeah, it’s cool to see what traditions are like in other countries and even other parts of the country. Shoot, when I grew up in the Midwest (Iowa USA) all anyone ever had after the ceremony was a cake and some fruit punch. Now?? Dinner! Dancing! Hoopla! Lol!

Post # 3
1634 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

First looks and pics before the ceremony is a trend in the US not a tradition.

Couples are opting for a first look and pics before the cceremony so they can get all formal pics they want around various parts of the venue or city without impacting the rest of the schedule. Cocktail Hour is only supposed to be a hour and formal pics may take longer than a hour. Many US brides opting not to have a church wedding typically use the same venue for ceremony and reception. 

Post # 4
2481 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Agree with pps that first look is a trend, not a tradition. Also, while not common here in the UK, it’s a trend that appears to be slowly catching on. Mainly because the whole wedding photoshoot business has become more complex and takes a great deal longer. Hence getting some of the shots out of the way before the ceremony.  My American DIL (who married my son here in England) and her sisters (married in the US) did not do first looks. So it isn’t a universal custom in the US.

My Darling Husband and I walked together to the Town Hall where our ceremony took place. So he saw me from breakfast time onwards on our wedding day. It didn’t make our day any less special!

I don’t get the impression that “First Lookers” feel that their weddings have been tainted by the loss of that look down the aisle. But this is an “each to their own” thing. Not any sort of tradition that is set in stone. I have no doubt that First Look pictures will become increasingly popular here in the UK though. Most trends cross the Atlantic eventually!

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by  .
Post # 5
178 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

katem73:  I think it’s more of a trend than a tradition. But our church (Catholic) wants the bride and the groom to be present together to welcome guests as they arrive to the church. So we’re going to be seeing eachother either way! I think it’s more that the whole not seeing eachother before the wedding thing is outdated and getting phased out now.

Post # 7
2946 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014


RedHeadKel:  My cousin got married in 1995, and they did all their photos prior to the wedding, so I’m not sure it is that new. 

Maybe its newer to do the whole first look thing as a photogrpahed moment, but really, photos before the cermony helps you just enjoy the day so much more.  You get to be at part of your cocktail hour, and talk to some of your guests which would typically take off quickly after dinner.  You and your intended can actually spend sometime together relaxing.  My Fiance is one of the people that actually keeps me calm. 

Also, a lot of people say it doesn’t impact the walk down the aisle the way a lot of couples “fear.”  There is a large difference between seeing eachother all dressed up, and getting to the “OMG, we are getting married, and it is happening right now,” moment.  I have seen a lot of first look photos, and then a shot of the couple walking down the aisle and they look just as excited as any other couple I have seen. 

Post # 8
8604 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

A first look is definitely not traditional. I was very happy with ours though. We got tons of photos out of the way and didn’t have to rush or make our guests wait for ages.

Post # 9
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

katem73:  As a fellow Brit im kinda fascinated too! Trash the dress? Had never heard of that til i came here! First look,rehearsal dinners all new to me too!Engagement shoots?Thats the one blew me away!But maybe iv just been living under a stone or something haha!

Post # 10
516 posts
Busy bee

katem73:     Yes, trend, not tradition.  I was married in 1999 (now divorced) and had no idea what a “first look” was.  Seriously, traditions and trends are so overrated anyway.  Have the wedding you want, not what is “expected!”  You’ll be much, much more happy on your day.  🙂 We just got married on Saturday.  My Fiance drove my daughter and I to get our hair done while he took our four year old to get an ice cream, we stopped and had lunch together, then rushed home to finish getting ready!  When it was time for the ceremony, we grabbed our bouquets and then things got serious (well, sort of–my four year old was very busy playing in the koi pond, and my Fiance shoe fell apart, lol).  Most importantly, it was our day–and we will never forget it.

Post # 10
4040 posts
Honey bee

Back in 1977, I don’t think anyone did 1st looks. I stood at the back of the church with my father, and said “who’s that at the end of the aisle?” I wasn’t wearing my glasses, so didn’t even recognize my FH. Argh…. We took bridal party/group photos at the church, after the ceremony, and most of us missed most of the cocktail hour; I got 1 sip of soda and no food.

It’s much, much better today, with the 1st look. Both of my daughter’s did/are doing it. Sometimes people have huge gaps, so the bridal party can be transported someplace, for scenic photos, between the ceremony and reception, but most guests don’t like gaps.

Post # 13
1110 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

katem73:  Another option is something called “first touch photos”, where the bride and groom are on either side of a door or corner, so they’re able to hold hands and exchange cards or letters, but are still hidden from each other. 

This way, you can get some photos with your bridal party or family out of the way before the ceremony, and then do formal shots afterwards.  It’s a nice compromise to save time, yet your first look at each other will still be at the ceremony.

Post # 15
8429 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - A castle

I would say in my circle engagement shots are the norms because they’re used for the “Save the Dates” that get sent out and sometimes for the wedding invitations as well. Although, we didn’t get engagement pics. 

“First looks” are just a trend right now; blame Pinterest for that. We did a first look though, and I’m really glad that we did!

“Trash the Dress” is also not a big “thing” as far as I know – I’ve never seen anyone in my circle do it. 

The topic ‘Probably another daft question from a ditzy Brit!’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors