His hands gripped tightly as she slowly made her way to him. Growing anticipation caused him to tighten even more. Emotions flooded his face as he looked up to see his bride for the first time… First Look? or Traditional?
Now, I am not able to provide you a one-fits- all answer, but I can share insights about both.
Originating from arranged marriages, rumor has it that it was “bad luck” to see the bride before the wedding. Not seeing the bride before the wedding, kept the arranged marriage from falling apart if the bride & groom did not find each other attractive…lending to the tradition of the groom not seeing his bride before the wedding (in this case literally never seeing her before the wedding).
Talking about taking the romance out of tradition! It’s not so romantic after you know the details.
But…don’t let the origin lessen the idea of the emotion a groom experiences as he sees her beauty- gown and all, for the first time as she floats down the aisle toward him.
Waiting until the ceremony often builds anticipation and emotion for both the bride and groom which is displayed beautifully and naturally at the alter. This also creates time to shower your other half with love notes and gifts throughout the day as you prepare for that moment.
You can have the best of both! Consider meeting at a door or other place which allows you to talk or hold hands without actually seeing each other (ps this makes for the cutest photos)!
Speaking from experience, I love that my husband saw me in my wedding gown, as my dad walked me down the aisle. I felt such a sweet rush of emotions all at once (probably why I cried all the way down the aisle). All the months of planning was behind us and our future ahead. I did not see anyone else as I walked down the aisle or during my ceremony because we had “our moment” during the ceremony. For us- keeping with tradition made our ceremony so special! I know everyone will say a First Look is “more intimate” because you are not standing in front of family and friends when he sees you for the first time, but for us- we were so lost in each others eyes that it was an intimate moment, because everyone else faded away.
If I had it to do all over again, would I choose tradition? I do not know! I loved what we had, and the look on his face as I stood before him during our ceremony. However, having the opportunity to capture couples for their First Look, I have seen how special that moment can be as well!
What pulls me toward a First Look, is that the emotion is still strong! Instead of the ceremony, you are building your excitement towards the First Look. Then after the bride and groom see each other they have a moment to talk. It eases the butterflies before the ceremony and…. a wedding photographer’s favorite- you get to take all the portraits and group photos prior to ceremony! This allows couples to completely enjoy cocktail hour and mingle with guest, instead of missing out while you take all your wedding party/family photos (when you choose tradition).
I created a quiz made up of questions that brides most often ask themselves when considering a if they should have a First Look! Take the Quiz and find out for yourself if you should do a First Look or go with Tradition!
It is important to decide early on if you are having a First Look or carrying with Tradition.
Your photography timeline will be drastically different and can have an impact on the ceremony & reception start time. The great news? There is always a way to make time for all the images you desire. Be very open and share what is most important to you with your photographer so your timeline is adjusted accordingly (and before you send out your invitations with your ceremony start time)!
And most importantly…this is your big day! Make the decision of what you feel will be best for you both!
Interested in additional wedding planning tips? Check out more wedding planning Here!