(Closed) To "first look" or not to "first look"? Poll

posted 3 years ago in Photos/Videos
  • poll: Did you (or are you going to) to a "first look"? Please commet why or why not
    Yes : (98 votes)
    52 %
    No : (92 votes)
    48 %
  • Post # 63
    222 posts
    Helper bee

    hikingbride :  aww, thank you so much 🙂 It meant a lot to me as I didn’t have my mum to get ready with (she’s passed away).

    You look so lovely in your pictures <3 🙂

    Post # 64
    731 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2016

    mrsbrizz2017 :  I’m introverted. Getting to hog my Darling Husband for an hour all to myself was divine! We probably only got to spend 10 min together alone at our wedding. We got some super great photos too. I highly highly recommend it.

    Post # 65
    432 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: March 2016

    We did and I’m a fan of first look for a few reasons:

    – Gets some jitters out of the way when it comes to photos

    – You get some “alone” time and your makeup and attire are fresh (I know I would be antsy leaving after ceremony to take pictures)

    – Allow for family photos after ceremony vs having to do family AND your “romantics” as my photog would call them

    – Enjoy cocktail hour with your party! This was one of my favorite things, got to chat, take a few pictures with friends….

    – Seeing the groom first during your walk down the aisle is a bit super old fashioned, for me at least 🙂

    Just my 2 cents

    Post # 66
    1218 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: January 2021 - City, State

    Oh, that’s what a first look is? I actually thought it was the up the aisle walking one!

    i think this is a cute idea but I’ve honestly never heard of anyone in the UK doing this, reasons I love the Bee Number 105 – I totally just learned something new :)!!!

    Post # 67
    3873 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: April 2017

    I’m going to do one, for the logistical advantages but also because I want a quiet private moment with my Fiance. I think it will help me be less anxious. If him seeing you for the first time at the ceremony is important though you could still get lots of shots done beforehand like you with your family and BMs and him with his family and groomsmen. Then afterwards do the combined photos and couple photos. 

    Post # 68
    441 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2016

    We had a first look! Part of it was timing – our ceremony was only at 4:30 so it would have been really rushed to try to squeeze in pictures with everyone during the cocktail hour (which lasted from 5:00-6:30). Plus we wanted to mingle with guests and enjoy our cocktail hour as opposed to trying to round people up and get pictures.

    It also just came down to logicstics regarding finalising some plans and getting the room set-up. We didn’t want the responsibility to fall just on one person, so we did the first look, took family/bridal party pictures and then were able to finish decorating the space and make sure everything was where it had to be together. It just helped a lot that we didn’t have to worry about running into each other as we moved between venue spaces, as we already had a quiet moment together.

    I think if we had our ceremony earlier in the day we may have done it differently, but I really liked being able to get the pictures out of the way early (and not have to worry about touching up hair/makeup the rest of the day). It definitely helped our day run more smoothly and let us maximise the time we spent with our guests.

    Post # 69
    2627 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2017 - Hogarths, Solihull

    mrsbrizz2017 :  It’s not really a ‘thing’ in the UK lol

    Although it would be easier so that we could see our Registrar together beforehand, it’s not something we’ll be doing. We get married at 12pm and in the UK the Wedding will go on until about 12am! There’s plenty of time to do the photos after the ceremony, which is when guests will expect them.

    Our timeline is 

    12pm – show up, get married

    12.30pm – go for photos. 

    1.30pm – eat

    Guests who are not in the photos will be able to have drinks and canapés while they wait. This is how it’s been at every Wedding I’ve ever been to! 

    Post # 70
    500 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2017

    I’m pretty sure we won’t be having one. I don’t think it’s a done thing in the UK as I’ve only heard of it from here. Personally I feel it would take away from that moment you first see each other from other ends of the aisle.

    hikingbride :  That first photo has just given me such a pit in my stomach (in a good way)! How did you feel at that moment? Were you nervous or just excited?



    Post # 71
    1411 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2016

    I read your post and it’s very clear you don’t want to do a first look, your heart is not in it,  so on that basis I don’t think you should.

    It’s simply not done here in the UK and most people would find it strange or a bit calculated. I know it is very popular in America (I only knew about it from reading the bee) so having read the advantages, I do think it’s a good idea to help very nervous people or if it’s a strong tradition in your part of the world. But it’s not for me, pretty much for the reasons you described.

    Like you I understand all the many, many practical considerations and advantages of the ‘first look’ and being so keen on photography I should have been the one jumping at it. BUT: romantically it did not appeal to me in any way. For me, the first time he saw me was a really big deal and I wanted the drama, nerves, expectation and excitement of a public ‘presentation’. When I put on an amazing party dress and present myself to him in our house before we go out for a big birthday party, I can also feel romantic and special, but you can do that on any other occasion. A wedding by its nature is about public/social/legal/state/family recognition of you as a couple, not just a sweet private moment, and I loved the fact I was following what every bride had done in living memory of all my guests with that walk down the aisle- I felt that was what made it ‘epic’ and gave it a grander meaning, rather than just being ‘sweet’. All those emotions, that blur of trying to take it all in. Having to wait for a quiet moment to ask if he likes your dress or wait for a stolen compliment. It’s a thrill! You won’t get that ever again in your life. Ever.

    Just my opinion and good luck to everyone doing what makes them happy.

    Post # 72
    570 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2017

    To each their own, but Fiance and I are very traditional and I personally hate the first look thing. Like actually hate it. I think it’s horrible, cheesy and really takes away from the big moment when you’re walking down the aisle.

    That being said, I’ve heard that it relaxes the couple and that it can be a sweet ‘breather’ moment, so if that’s what you’re after, go for it!

    We might do a letter exchange or something like that instead, and have our photographer take pics of us next to each other but blindfolded/in a way that we can’t see each other. That way you still get the ‘breather’, but without spoiling things for after.

    Post # 73
    367 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2016

    I wish I had done a first look. We decided not to because we didn’t really need to for logistics. Small bridal party and families so photog said it didn’t matter either way. In the end though I didn’t like feeling so isolated before the wedding. And the moment at the aisle was so overwhelming and quick that I didn’t have any connection to my husband. It would have been nice to have a little moment just us two prior. Also we still spent an hour on pics which took away from us spending time with guests. I would have liked more time to visit. 

    Post # 74
    9 posts
    • Wedding: June 2015

    First Look Cons:

    • You have to get up earlier in order to have your hair and makeup done on time to do photos.  
    • You don’t get that moment of coming down the aisle and seeing eachother for the first time.
    • You might get wrath from your parents or future in-laws for not doing it the traditonal way.
    • First Looks might be a fad or trend that you might wish you hadn’t conformed to looking back.  


    First Look Pros:

    • You can get a lot of couple and bridal party shots done before the wedding (after the first look photos)
    • Getting those shots ahead of time means that you can mingle and greet your guests during the cocktail hour.  -That means you’re not spending an hour (or in my case, 2.5 hours) greeting guests at your reception and missing out on all that dancing!  Double Score!
    • You might not get the aisle “moment” but instead you get something much more private and intimate.  
    • If you think you might be stressed before going down the aisle, the first look will relieve some of that stress and pressure.  It’s a good time to unwind before you get up in front of everybody.
    • If you’re an ugly crier (lol), hopefully you’ll only cry for your first look and not at your ceremony. 
    • You and your significant other have time to talk about your day so far, share what’s on your mind (how beautiful you both look), or talk about how your mother is driving you nuts. 

    Overall, it’s just your preference.  

    I hadn’t wanted to do a first look when we did our wedding because I didn’t want to start hair and makeup that much earlier.  (I like sleep.)  But looking back, I wish I had more time to mingle with guests before the reception so that I could relax more at the reception and just enjoy myself.  -I still enjoyed myself!  We had a 6 hour reception.  But I still wish I had the extra time.  OR!  The other option would have been to have had a receiving line.  It would have taken probably 45 minutes to get through the 160 guests but we still would have had more time for pictures and dancing since it took me 2.5 hours to go around and make sure I greeted every guest.  
    Plus I would have liked the time to just unwind with my hubby.  Neither of us are emotional so we don’t cry, but it would have been nice to have 10 minutes to slow down and just sit together, just the two of us.  

    But like I said.  It’s your personal preference.  

    Post # 75
    2098 posts
    Buzzing bee

    The first look was the most memorable part of my whole wedding day. I LOVED it. It’s very private and romantic, and then you get to spend more time together. That meant we got to be together to take picutures leading up to the ceremony which meant more together time that day. That’s a plus. The other plusses were having so much more time for our wedding reception because the bulk of pix were taken. I wanted a LOT of pix. We got a lot of pix, all over our venue. The First Look maybe sounds rather unromantic, but it ended up being extremely romantic. It’s kind of hard to explain, but it’s this magical moment that’s just the two of you (and the photogs) and kinda unifies you for the day. We didn’t kiss, we saved that for the big “I do”. Watching you come down the aisle to him is still very special. My husband still cried. 🙂 

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