I could end my blog post there, but I'm not going to leave you hanging if you're looking for real wedding planning advice you can sink your teeth into.
There is exactly one reason in favor of NOT having a first look that seemingly outweighs all the reasons you should. The bride wants the groom to see her for the first time as she walks down the aisle.
I get it. I was that bride. My husband and I didn't do a first look, and there was no debate. We'd heard of it, we'd known friends who'd done it, but I was determined for his emotions to flood *only* when he saw me walking down the aisle. I wish someone told me the information I'm about to spill before I made my final decision.
These are the reasons I share with ALL of my clients who are debating a First Look:
1) His reaction is his reaction is his reaction. He WILL have a flood of emotions and utopia and effervescent joy bubbling up uncontrollably. Except, you will see his reaction TWICE: once during the first look, and a whole separate outpouring of excitement when he sees you walking toward him to become his bride.
2) Your veil sets a new tone: Echoing the sentiment of the first point, even with the first look, the walk down the aisle is still its own stand out moment. If you're concerned about it being redundant, consider not having your veil on or bouquet in hand during the first look -- and badabing, the classic bridal add-ons give you a whole new look!
3) Being in control: It's undeniable that having a controlled climate, in a space that's closed off, completely private and without distraction photos is way more desirable. You have time to embrace, kiss, and cry and be only with each other -- opposed to seeing each other in front of a crowd after walking down the aisle, and then having to simply stand silently next to each other for what will seem like an eternity before sharing your first kiss.
4) Getting your moneys worth! Your timeline will allow lots of time in between getting ready and the start of your ceremony. When you're paying your photographer by the hour, it's imperative you use all your time wisely! And while we're on the topic of not wasting money, also, consider how much you've paid for your cocktail hour and understand you will undoubtedly be taking portraits at that time -- all those hors d'oeuvres & specialty cocktails will be passed without you. Your family and bridal party will be missing out too! Use cocktail hour as your time to greet guests, enjoy a drink, and bask in the enjoyment of being marriedddd!
5) ONE MORE TIME FOR THE FOLKS IN THE BACK: Your portraits will be DONE before the ceremony and you're off the hook the rest of the night! Your family and bridal party will praise you for being so organized and letting them off the hook early to go party! Isn't that what we're all there for anyway?!
I said I wouldn't mention the amazing photo opp, so I won't. I won't mention how special it is to look back at that one sweet moment you shared together privately before the chaos ensues. It doesn't matter that seeing each other before hand may calm your nerves and set you comfortably inside your happy place. Who cares about that? I won't even talk about it anymore.
I hope this helps to shed a little light on the day-of planning and the benefit you'd be serving yourself and your guests when you plan a first look! Let's connect if you have more questions -- because I have more answers! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy wedding planning!