While there is nothing I love more than a good first look session, I understand that others aren’t as big of a fan of them as I am. There are certainly pros and cons to bucking tradition and seeing each other before the taking your first steps down the aisle. So here are some things you might want to consider when deciding if a first look session is right for you.
Pro: Fewer butterflies for the ceremony. One of the main beefs that some have with a first look session is the incorrect assumption that you ruin the excitement and joy of seeing your groom for the first time. During a first look, you experience ALL of those same feelings…just at a different time of day! The session helps to get rid of some of the pre-ceremony jitters, making you calmer and more focused for your march down the aisle.
Con: Makeup, hair, and clothing may need a refresh. Depending on your timeline, you could be spending quite some time getting photos taken before the ceremony even begins. This may mean you need to do some touching up before walking down the aisle. Not a big deal…just have the compact and lip gloss handy!
Pro: More time to party! Jeremy Ganss did the math for me and put it into terms I'd understand. “Most receptions are five hours long. If the bride and groom don't make it to cocktails, their wedding night is really only four episodes of Game of Thrones long!” What's the lesson here? The more photos you take before the ceremony, the fewer you’ll need to take after. This allows you, or at least your bridal party, to actually attend and enjoy the cocktail hour. Jenni Grace agrees with this and says, “You can get all of your bridal party portraits done before the ceremony and then go right into the party afterwards.” Take pre-ceremony pics and you can actually attend your own cocktail hour, mingle with your guests, grab some munchies, and take it all in!
Con: You’ll need to be ready earlier. In order to take photos before the ceremony, you’ll need to be all dressed and ready to go earlier…which means you’ll need to start prepping earlier…which means you’ll need to wake up earlier. If you have visions of sleeping in and enjoying a leisurely morning/afternoon with your bridesmaids, then you may want to skip a first look.
Pro: An intimate moment, just the two of you. Your wedding day will be a whirlwind. While you’ll have the best time of your life, you may also feel like you’re being pulled in a thousand different directions at once. A first look session is an opportunity to have some quiet time together with your oh-so-soon-to-be husband. You won’t get much of that once the event begins so why not share a special moment together beforehand? Sandra Chile agrees and says, “By having a moment to just breath and relax, you are more likely to experience the ceremony with the solemnity and emotion that needs to be enjoyed.”
Con: Bad luck. Ok, personally I think this is a bunch of BS. But some people do believe in tradition or are superstitious about this sort of thing. If you think that a lot of bad juju will come your way if your groom catches a glimpse of you before the ceremony, a first look may not be for you.
Pro: Really awesome photos. Can you really beat a photo of a groom turning around to see his bride for the first time? I mean coooome on! The look on their face is always priceless and your photographer can be right there, up close and personal, to capture their every reaction.
Con: Your flowers could take a beating. Stephanie of The Blue Daisy Floral Designs brings up an excellent point with, “Sometimes it can be taxing on your bouquets and boutonnières to be in the heat and used/worn so long before your ceremony. They'll look great in the first look photos, but might be tired before you walk down the aisle if you spend a lot of time in the heat and sun taking pics.” If you're opting for a first look, talk to your florist about what flowers will stay fresh and happy and what flowers you might want to avoid.
What are some other pros and cons of doing a first look? Will you be doing one? Why or why not? Comment below!