First things first, I firmly believe your wedding day decisions should be 100% your own, so I will not sway you one way or another! When it comes to your wedding day, there may be some traditions you choose to stick by. There may be others you choose to forego. One of those trends/traditions that couples are split on is a first look. What is a first look? Should you do a first look? These are all things that might be running through your mind right now if you’re in peak wedding planning mode. Thankfully over the years I have seen lots of renditions of first looks, so my expertise can definitely help you decide.
What Is A First Look?
Before you do anything else, it’s important to understand what exactly a first look is. A first look is a private moment between you and your partner where you get to see each other before your ceremony on your wedding day. Rather than waiting see each other until the ceremony, many couples will opt to have a first look.
The Benefits Of Having A First Look
Throughout the last 10 years or so, first looks have become super popular to add into the timeline of your wedding day. That’s because there are many benefits when it comes to choosing to do one! Here’s some reasons it can be a plus:
It Gives You More Intimacy & Privacy With Your Partner
I truly feel it’s so important to sneak away for a few special, quiet moments during your wedding day. This is especially important if you’re having a more traditional layout and not eloping. Wedding days can go by in a blink of an eye, and spending as much time together as possible is super high on most of my couples’ priority list. When looking at the day – what do you want it to look like? A lot of couples planning a traditional sized wedding day wish they were able to spend more time together! There are so many things happening, and having a first look gives you a moment alone with your partner to connect and refocus on why you’re having this party in the first place.
Is An Opportunity To Read Personal Written Vows
If you’re someone who the thought of reading your vows in front of a crowd is anxiety inducing, then maybe you should opt for a private vow reading before the ceremony. Having a first look is a great opportunity to do this and get to speak directly to each other, with no outside factors. You’re pouring your heart and soul into these vows and it may not want to be something you share in front of family/friends. If this is you, a first look is a great option!
Calms Those Wedding Day Nerves
It is totally, 100% normal to be a little nervous on your wedding day. The mix of excitement, adrenaline, and anxiety is a powerful thing and can cause many couples to stress out the morning of their weddings. I always recommend to my couples that they should plan the day in a way that fosters calm energy and relaxation. You’re marrying this person because they’re your safe space. So if you’re looking at your timeline and thinking “Wow, I’m not going to see my partner the entire day until the ceremony” and that feels very uncomfortable to you, maybe a first look is something that you’ll identify with!
Seeing them for that first time and getting to share all the feelings of the day together gives you this sense of release and calm. You’re both in this together and seeing each other early can help you feel ready to take on the day.
More Moments = More Photos
First looks are usually a dedicated amount of time where we can take some photos before the ceremony. If you have a jam packed timeline after the ceremony and not a whole lot of extra buffer time for photos, a first look may be for you.
First Look Alternatives:
Maybe you’ve read through all of these and are thinking, aren’t there any alternatives to a first look? The answer is absolutely.
Getting Ready Together:
The other alternative is getting pretty popular with my couples and I am all for it. Getting ready together on your wedding day is another alternative to a first look. Many of my couples aren’t having traditional wedding days to begin with, and a first look isn’t traditional anyway, so they opt to have a quiet, calm morning with their partner and get ready together. Music, kisses in between hair & makeup, sharing a drink or some breakfast… it’s so lovely. Helping each other fit into your wedding attire, tie your shoes and tie, clasp on that necklace, you name it. It is such an intimate and special moment and is definitely one I highly recommend. I even did this for my wedding and it was one of the most special moments throughout our entire day. We both agreed it was one of our favorite things we did to put our mark on the day.
Kind Words from Darrah & Alex:
“I loved prioritizing Alex that morning, starting the day with couples massages, finishing writing our vows by the pool, crying, eating breakfast, and getting ready together. We just felt so connected.”
Do An Activity, Just The Two Of You
Maybe you don’t identify with any of these alternatives, that’s fine! If that’s the case, you can also consider spending the morning of your wedding doing an activity with your partner. Whether it be going out for coffee, going on a walk, praying, getting a massage, or taking a dip in the pool. Whichever activities you both enjoy and feel like it will help center and refocus yourselves on the meaning of your special day.
So, Should You Do A First Look?
At the end of the day, your wedding day is how you want it to be. No one should ever make you feel like you have to do something you don’t want to do. Whether or not you do a first look is entirely dependent on you. So, should you do a first look? If you’re looking for a bit of privacy and intimacy on your wedding day, a first look might be right up your alley. On the other hand, if you’ve been dreaming of the drama of seeing your partner for the first time at the altar, then opting out of a first look may be your best option!
What do you think? First looks – are they yay or nay?