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Sneak Peek // The Wedding Day First Look

bride and groom outside at their first look

Seeing your spouse-to-be before the start of the ceremony was once considered taboo, thought of as bad luck or just simply wrong. But over the last few decades, more and more couples are choosing to ignore the old beliefs, and meet up before the ceremony to see each other in their fancy wedding garb. Each year, the this trend gets bigger... and we love it! It almost seems now that the first look before the walk down the aisle is becoming the tradition, the new wedding norm.

If you’re in the midst of planning your wedding day, we know you’ve now heard of the first look.  And if you’re reading the articles both for and against the first look and need help deciding what to do, we urge you to read on!

bride walking down the aisle at the wedding ceremony with her father

Some couples feel that it’s better to stick with ancient tradition and share that significant and touching moment with everyone at the ceremony.  They want their soon-to-be to see them for the first time that day as they begin their walk down the aisle, just moments before they become 'one' in marriage.  It’s a time-honored custom (which is actually thought to have started in arranged marriages) and they’d like for all their guests to share it with them as well.  And that’s perfectly understandable. There's a lot to be said for long-standing traditions.

Others, however, feel that special time belongs to them alone and should be enjoyed without an entire audience.  It’s an emotional experience and they feel it’s better experienced and captured in their photographs and film in a more intimate setting.  They believe that a first look moment outside the ceremony venue is just as special and just as heartwarming as the one that will soon occur at the start of the formal service.  And we tend to agree!

bride and groom embrace outside on the wedding day

Believe it or not, it really won't take away any of the authentic passion and excitement that will be felt by your partner or by you later at your ceremony location.  We've found this to be true time and time again, as the groom still gets overwhelmed by emotion or cries as the bride enters through those doors at the ceremony. And it also allows you to get so many of those formal and candid photos taken before the ceremony so you can enjoy your time afterwards and participate more fully in your cocktail hour. A huge bonus!

bride descending staircase for her first look on the wedding day

So how are most couples sharing in their first look?  Most choose to keep it private (aside from their photographer and videographer, of course!) and descend down the family home staircase or have their first look outdoors in a beautiful park or on the grounds of their venue.  Others are choosing to have their first look with their entire wedding party and/or immediate family members right there cheering them on!  We’ve also noted that an increasing number of brides are having a special, scheduled and coordinated first look/bridal reveal with their parents (specifically their fathers) as well. That moment is always so sweet.

bride and groom kiss outside on their wedding day

There are many defenders of both approaches to the first look, either before or only at the ceremony, and we really feel neither has any truly significant “cons” associated with it.  It really is a matter of personal preference.  When you look back on your wedding day, what do you want your memory of that first look moment to be?

bride tapping groom at their first look outside at their venue

Now, if you’re still on the fence with this issue, you must check out some of our favorite first look moments from weddings we’ve recently filmed. We loved Colin's 'yes' moment when he saw his beautiful bride, Stephanie for the first time on the grounds of their stately venue, The Hamilton Manor. Bruce had to remove his shades at the sight of his gorgeous soon-to-be, Lauren, on the waterside deck at their venue, The Reeds at Shelter Haven. And Dylan just couldn't stop complimenting Chelsea when he saw her for the first time in her amazing gown on their wedding day.

bride and groom hugging outside on their wedding day

And going back a bit in our archives, see a few more heartwarming and exciting bride and groom first look moments with Michelle and Jay, Larissa and Bill, and Jamie and Joey (where you’ll also find an awesome first look between Jamie and her father!).


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