(Closed) Trying to decide to do a “first look” at our wedding or not

posted 6 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
Member
2065 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

You just do whatever you and your Fiance are comfortable with. We did a first look and have absolutely zero regrets. It didn’t take away from the moment I came down the aisle at all…I was still walking up the aisle to marry this amazing man, and it just doesn’t get any more special than that! We also did it for time purposes and it worked out really well in our favor. Plus being with him before the ceremony basically cut out most of my nerves – being with him kept me calm.

Post # 4
Member
11356 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

@layc123:  Except for the divorced parents situation, your scenario is very much like mine was.  We also had the same venue for the ceremony and reception, and our reception was only four hours as well.  I was really torn over the issue of doing a first look, too, because my favorite moment at any wedding has always been to watch the groom’s face as he sees his bride for the first time. I finally decided to do a first look and I’m glad that we did, for several reasons:

* We did get capture some stunning pics that we definitely would NOT have had time to capture if we hadn’t done this.
* It gave us a powerful, private (well, the photographer and his wife/assistant and videographer were there, but you know what I mean) moment, and I loved having my now-DH walk into the bride’s room and look at me with his eyes sparkling and say, “Wow. Just Wow…” when he first saw me.  It gave us some time to talk about what was about to happen, too.  If we HAD waited, since we were married outside, at 6 p.m., and the sun was beating down on my then-FI and the rest of the bridal party, he would not even have been able to see me clearly as I came down the aisle. Everyone who was in the sun (the building blocked the sun for many rows of guests) was squinting to even see me.
* There really isn’t time for a couple to react to each other at the altar, as the ceremony is underway at that point.
* Even with our having a first look, we spent the entire hors d’oeuvres hour and much of the reception taking our bridal pics and family pics, and we didn’t ever get to go around and speak to our guests! I was devastated. Once I saw our pics, I realized that we didn’t even capture some of the most important ones. I was pretty heartbroken for about nine months after the wedding. However, over time, I’ve gradually learned to be very thankful for what we did have the opportunity to capture.

So, I just wanted to say all of that, given that your timeframe and situation seem very similar to mine. However, I hope you do have the time to handle this however you prefer and that your day is as perfect as it can possibly be!

Post # 5
Member
804 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@layc123:  I think you will get a lot of, “I was worried about that but it was just as special even with the first look,” and a little bit of, “I regret doing it.”

You can get a lot of the portraits done before the wedding; you can’t get the entire bridal party together pre-wedding, but you can get all of the bride’s side, all of the groom’s side, groom with parents, bride with parents, etc. and then do the big group shots after the ceremony during the photo hour.

If your Fiance really really REALLY doesn’t like it, I wouldn’t push it because if he still doesn’t like it after the first look is done this could cause tension forever.

One thing I can guarantee you: every time he looks at you that day, you will be stunning and gorgeous and he will be floored.

Post # 5
Member
804 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Dear Weddingbee, I did not hit refresh, or hit submit twice, or any of that.  πŸ™

Post # 6
Member
5662 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

We are going to do the first look. I have not heard ANYone say that it took away from the special moment of you walking down the aisle. In fact some say it kakes it more special because you get that quiet time the first time you see each other  to actually hug and talk for a second. Wether he sees you before hand or not he will be excited to see you walk down the aisle. The feelings you get while walking down the aisle towards your future husband/having your future wife walk to you isn’t something that should change based on wether he’s seen your dress or not

Post # 7
Member
5657 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2012

I personally do not see how the walking down the aisle moment is better than having him see you the first time earlier. Just because that is the way it is “traditionally” done doesn’t mean it’s the best way.

I’m doing a first look because I want to get 90% of the pictures done before the wedding so that we can actually mingle with guests and enjoy our own party!

Post # 8
Member
3482 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

Darling Husband and I did a first look, and my walk down the aisle was no less special for both of us because of it. Honestly, after our first look, taking photos was so businesslike that there was no real time for sentimentality or romance. So when I walked down the aisle, it felt like the first time all day that I got to be truly in the moment and forget about the photographers, the details I’d been stressing over, and anything else other than the fact that I was finally getting to marry my best friend.

We enjoyed not being rushed away for photos after the ceremony, we were able to mingle with our guests during cocktail hour and thank them all for coming, which meant we didn’t have to hurry through our dinner and miss out on all our amazing food just so we could go make the rounds then.

There were really no downsides for us.

Post # 9
Member
2854 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

We’re doing it, and I’m really excited. πŸ™‚  Looking forward to the quiet, special moment.

Post # 10
Member
2053 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@layc123:  I understand your desire to preserve the moment he sees you walking down the aisle as the first moment he sees you that day. It is special because the event of the ceremony is taking place, and the moment of you seeing each other is taking place within that special event rather than just turning a corner and seeing each other to hurry things along. It’s about recognizing the significance of the ceremony itself and all its components.

Have you considered doing a “First Touch” rather than a “First Look”? A First Touch achieves unique and tender photos of the bride and groom prior to the ceremony while still leaving the moment of seeing each other within the ceremony itself. You can also have plenty of photos taken prior to the ceremony of the groomsmen, bridesmaids and relatives respectively, thereby saving the larger group photos for after the ceremony. We did all of this smoothly with the help of our husband and wife photography team who helped orchestrate the group photos afterwards.

Here is our First Touch in a redwood tree grove (my Darling Husband is barely holding back his tears here!):

We also enjoyed a special, private moment together after the ceremony and photos, that is, until our photographer spotted us being sweet!:

So, these are samples to show you that it is possible to achieve all you would like on your day. Just think about what is most important to you, and you’ll figure it out! Good luck! πŸ™‚ 

Post # 11
Member
131 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

i was struggling with this dilemma myself. and then i read one of the bees’ blog about not making every decision for the wedding based on the photos and it really hit home. 

i want to have that moment when FH sees me for the first time and he knows in a few minutes i’ll be his wife. even if the pics arent perfect, I’ll have that memory. so in the end the memory beat the picture opportunity. 

we will be doing as many pictures beforehand as possible (with parents, bridal party, etc) solo and then cramming in the few where both of us need to be together at the start of cocktail hour so we can enjoy the party.  

as a caveat tho, i HATE having my picture taken so the fact that our photo time is being condensed is a-ok by me πŸ™‚ 

Post # 13
Member
284 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

We did not do a first look, I don’t regret it–but I was pro first look before the ceremony. I was recently in a wedding where they did a first look and did all of the pictures before hand, and I have to be honest–the anticipation of seeing the grooms face when they opened the doors at the back of the church was gone. They did a first look for the sake of time as well. I don’t know anyone that has done/not done one and then regretted their choice. Everyone has their own reasons for doing things. Because we didn’t do a first look, we did ALL of the bridal party pics before hand…so the only thing we had to do after the ceremony were family pics, a few shots of the entire bridal party together and then pics of hubby and I. Our photographer was very organized and we gave him a list of who was to be in what pictures and we got them all knocked out in about 20 minutes after the ceremony.

Post # 14
Member
1314 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2006

Most of the weddings we do first looks for seem to be more emotional moments than the walking down the aisle seeing each other for the first time option.  It will free up a lot of time for photos, and you’ll probably be able to enjoy more of your cocktail hour if you do one.  The main downside is to them from the photography standpoint is it tends to force the photos to be done earlier, which is often a harsher light during that time of day.  Really depends a lot on how your timeline is set up.

Post # 15
Member
1087 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

I have a similar situation. I am getting married in wintertime when the sun sets much earlier. My ceremony and reception are at the same place and we only get the venue for 5 consecutive hours. As of right now our ceremony will start at 5 and our reception will run until 10. I figured anything earlier would be too early to end a reception. So our dilemma was

1. Lighting- by the time we would be finished with the ceremony the sun would have set. So no daytime photos.

2. Time- we only really have an 45 min to an hour or so after the ceremony for cocktail hour/photos.

3. First look- do it or not?

We decided to go with the first look. I am not against it, I think that it is a nice idea and I hear it makes very very nice/emotional photos. We are going to do first look and take most of the wedding party photos prior to the ceremony and then some with family after the ceremony this way we get some daytime light as well as get to enjoy some of our cocktail hour. I actually had more of a problem with EVERYONE else seeing me in my dress before walking down the aisle then Fiance seeing me.

I didn’t really see any cons to it other than that. For me at least.

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