• {Planning Tips} Should You Do A “First Look?”

    modern rustic Condor's Nest Ranch Wedding | Green Ribbon Party Planning Co & Swoon by Katie

    We’ve talked about “first looks” before, but after seeing the above photo in this week’s Condor’s Nest Ranch wedding from Swoon By Katie, I’m thinking we should talk about them again.

    I’m so torn.  As a bride, I couldn’t fathom doing a first look, but as a blogger I totally get why it can be such a good idea.  Brides who didn’t do one swear by sticking to tradition, and brides who do look don’t regret seeing each other before the ceremony.  Photographers love them.  So who’s right?  Here’s my two cents: 

    A first look can serve several purposes, the obvious being that you get more photos out of the way before the ceremony so you have more time after for other photos and mingling with your guests.  It also helps you get over any pre-wedding jitters, major bouts of tears, and lets you get a makeup touch up from those tears.  Plus, the first look makes for some great photos.

    Here is why I didn’t do a first look: Seeing my husband at the end of the aisle for the first time on our wedding day was the absolute best moment of my wedding, maybe of my life (until I had a baby).  Of course I didn’t know that when I made the decision not to do one, but both my husband and I agreed we wanted to wait to see each other.  That anticipation, that seeing each other in front of all of our friends and family and not seeing anyone else but each other in that moment, and that joy was priceless.  Plus, it led to this:

    {I love the look of anticipation as he is seeing me round the corner}

    Now, I’ve seen a lot of great “first look” emotional shots too.  That shot is one of my all-time favorites.  I think the first time you see each other is going to be emotional, but I love that ours was part of the ceremony.

    So, what do you think?  Say yes to a first look or wait till the ceremony?  I’d love to hear what you did or plan to do in your wedding or which you like to see best.  Chime in!

    {photo credits} top photo: Swoon by Katie / all others by Jennifer Roper from my wedding

    leave a comment.


    1. Posted Mar 14 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      i’m most definitely planning a first look for my may wedding. since it’s a same-sex wedding, we have this unexpected freedom from doing things a traditional way. don’t get me wrong, lots about our wedding is still going to be traditional — white dress, etc. but we’re not feeling that pressure of sticking to superstitions that don’t fit with what we’re imagining for the day. i’m envisioning our first look as a wonderful chance to get some good photos, but more importantly to spend some time together just the two of us on our wedding day — something that, i hear, can be hard to come by.

    2. Posted Mar 14 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

      My husband, Mark and I did a first look for our wedding and I would not trade it for the world. My Dad walked me to Mark and gave me away in a joyful, tearful and intimate moment that I strongly believe would not have been the same during the ceremony. I then was able to have a few peaceful and private moments taking in the emotions and the rush of finally meeting on the day we were to marry. I believe everybody’s experience and desires are different, but our choice to see each other before the ceremony was one we’ll never regret.

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