Cunina Agard

29 April 2021

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“Babe, should We Do a First Look?”

“Perhaps, we should. Why Not?!”
Interestingly, trying to avoid seeing the Bride before the wedding is a thing of the past for many. You will be surprised to know that the choice of doing a “First Look” is becoming more common. Couples are foregoing the tradition of not seeing each other before the ceremony so now it’s a growing trend. The tradition of not seeing your fiancé before you walk down the aisle is still holding strong for others and as you consider incorporating the tradition into your big day, you may wonder where does the tradition come from? Here’s the Backstory-
The tradition originated from when arranged marriages used to be the norm and the marriage served more of a business deal than a love match. Sadly, the Bride’s father was not thinking of his daughter’s heart but rather to marry rich to help his family. It was viewed as superstition or bad luck for the couple to see each other before the ceremony. In fact, it can be very extreme because the couple didn’t just spend the morning of the wedding apart but it was totally normal (and even expected) for the couple to have never lay eyes on each other before the wedding at all. So, the Rehearsal or Rehearsal Dinner was definitely not the norm back then for this type of arranged nuptials. Wow, how things have changed!
The first look is when a couple sees each other for the first time on their wedding day. This intimate moment typically makes for an emotional photo opportunity.


A first look can typically happen anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. This special moment fits in the wedding timeline one to two hours before guests start arriving.  In order to utilize the order of events during the  wedding efficiently it will be smart to make sure that your wedding ceremony happens at the right time, so you have enough time for everything else on the timeline.  A good wedding Planner will make sure there’s enough time to get memorable wedding pictures.

  1. Streamlines Photography Timelines
    The wedding day flies so fast. Carving out that brief moment to enjoy that romantic, private moment of seeing each other before they make it official really helps you to spend more time with your guests after the Ceremony. It’s no secret that wedding timelines are difficult to stick to and couples often under-estimate the amount of time needed for the different parts of the day and it is often the time allocated for your wedding photographs that gets cut back if something does not run according to plan. Having some portraits from your “first look” will mean that if another part of the day takes longer than expected and the time with your wedding photographer gets cut short those intimate shots can be used. This sweet moment of romance gives you and your partner a few moments together: “A first look definitely does not spoil the ceremony. You’ll be overwhelmed with emotion no matter what, so if you want to see your partner, don’t skip it.”
  1.  Quality of Pictures
    There is also another good practical reason as well, the weather! Having a “first look” on the morning of your wedding guarantee’s that at least some of your wedding shots can be taken using natural light especially during those Winter months. The weather is unpredictable at times and seasonal changes from the point of view of your wedding photographs can sometimes be an issue. So, it’s an advantage to have outdoor photos with natural light from the earlier part of the day with your photographer rather than having to rely on just indoor photos later on in the day.
  1. Calms Your Nerves
    That private moment of the “First Look” takes away the jitters so you can be mentally present at the ceremony.  If you’re the type of person that gets nervous around crowds and doesn’t like being the center of attention or gets anxious rather easily, then this is a great option for you. You can shed tears and also exchange gifts. After getting so emotional you will be able to look your best, Fresh Faces, Fresh Clothing. Yes, Bride-to-Be your makeup is still fresh. Most clients are super nervous just before the ceremony, and those that thought they wouldn’t be suddenly get a little freaked out. Let’s be real, your wedding is probably one of the biggest days of your life. Depending on how involved you are in the process and your personality type, there can be a lot of internal stress built up to that moment of seeing each other for the first time. You can definitely get through it. However, doing a First Look will give you peace of mind knowing that your significant other will be there for you to help calm those nerves.

    Perfect time to exchange gifts & see each others live reaction. Photo Credit: Amy Anaiz — NYC Photographer

    Ari and Clay’s scene for their “First Look” – Ahhh-mazing!

Obviously, a “First Look” won’t be for every couple. This is something that you two should decide between yourselves as a couple based on what you want from your wedding day and without anyone else’s influence.
As an experienced Wedding Planner, I have a feeling you won’t regret doing a “First Look”.