As you plan for your big day, one of the foremost decisions you have to make revolves around when you and your fiance will see each other for the first time. Will you follow custom and have the groom avoid seeing the bride in her gown prior to the ceremony? Or will you break with tradition and have an intimate and private first look arranged? First look or wait for the ceremony: Is a first look a good fit for you?
We all love the romance and excitement of the big reveal of when the groom gets to see the bride in her gown for the first time as she walks down the aisle. This custom originated when arranged marriages were standard. The arrangement was actually a business deal in which the father of the bride negotiated a union between his daughter and the most prosperous suitor he could find. However, he feared that if the suitor saw his daughter prior to the ceremony and was not please, then the union would be called off. It became tradition for the bride and groom to meet onlyat the ceremony...to ensure the deal was sealed. As arranged marriages slipped by the wayside it became superstition that it was bad luck for the groom to see the bride in her gown prior to the ceremony. Couples began to believe that you would have good luck in your marriage, if the groom avoided seeing the bride until she walked down the aisle. As a practice, this is a wonderful sentiment and supports many family traditions. Many couples elect to have a big reveal of the bride in her gown as she walks down the aisle.
While many couples subscribe to this belief, there is a very strong trend in couples implementing a first look for their big day. What is a first look? A first look is a private moment arranged an hour or two before the ceremony where bride and groom see each other for the first time on the wedding day. Usually, the photographer arranges to capture those special moments in a secluded location so the couple is able to share this special time away from family and friends.
Some of the benefits to a first look include:
The couple gains control over their wedding day schedule. They are able to collaborate with the photographer to take the many formal photographs, such as bridal portraits, bridal/wedding party photos, family formals, prior to the ceremony instead of rushing afterward.
It can be more intimate and romantic, which will add meaning to the moment.
Since it will be just the two of you, this private moment can be more personal and even help you reduce stress/nerves.
Your guests will appreciate a shorter break between the ceremony and reception since a majority of the formal photos will have been taken prior to the ceremony.
It is the perfect time to exchange letters or gifts you have for each other.
The couple gets to enjoy the cocktail hour with their guests instead of being in front of camera.
A first look has many advantages that will enhance your special day.
Not sure if you want to see each other before the ceremony, but are already feeling anxious about your special day? We have a solution. How about a first touch? A first touch is a good compromise between the other two options. During a first touch you would be able to make contact with one another without actually seeing each other, which maintains the traditional custom at the same time affording many of the advantages of the first look.
We have had the pleasure of capturing all three of these special moments for many couples and would love to share them with you. Let us help you create a unique and custom beginning to your story.
Hello! I'm Sean and I'm a professional wedding and portrait photographer with more than 20 years of experience. I'm based out of Durham, N.C. and we service Asheville, Charlotte, Chapel Hill, Greensboro, Greenville, Raleigh, Wilmington and beyond North Carolina photographing weddings, families and seniors. When I'm not behind the lens, I enjoy spending time with my wife, Molly, and our two young daughters, Hattie and Rori.