Should I have a first look?
Wedding planning is stressful at times and often includes a lot of compromises and questions. From what to wear, what flowers to buy, who to invite – it’s no wonder that it can all amount to a lot of anxiety. There’s one aspect of wedding days that I receive a lot of questions from clients about and that is the first look. People often wonder whether it’s something they should or shouldn’t do. As a Calgary Wedding photographer, I actually don’t feel more strongly about one way or the other, but hopefully this post will give you some insight into first looks to help you in your decision making!
What Exactly Is A First Look?
A first look is a private moment between a couple on their wedding day in which they see each other for the first time prior to their ceremony. The first look often entails seeing each other and enjoying the moment, and occasionally exchanging vows, letters or gifts privately prior to their ceremony.
How a first look can calm your nerves
Sometimes couples are very nervous that they are going to see the love of their life on their wedding day for the first time surrounded by so many people. For some, this might have the opposite effect and be quite exciting! Seeing each other at a first look and sharing in the emotions that you are about to get married privately, may help calm you down as well as make it feel more intimate. When you can express yourself privately, you may feel more relaxed before the “legal” stuff in front of everyone. Ask your partner how they feel about a first look as well. Are they nervous at the prospect of everyone watching? Does seeing you having a calming effect? Would they like to have a private moment with you prior to saying “I do”?
Extra Time Together
A wedding day goes by in a flash! I am always telling my couples to take deep breaths and savor the moment throughout the day. A first look is a perfect opportunity to savor the moment and to have a little extra alone-time together. The wedding day may be about you both, but as you’ll see there are a lot of people to chat with and things to do. You’ll find that you are often across the room from each other visiting guests and family, so it is nice to have extra opportunity for photos and private time together which a first look affords.
What if a first look isn’t for me but I want all of the above?
There are a few options to ease those jitters and spend extra time together with extra photos if you don’t want to actually “see” each other in a first look.
Write a fun letter to each other or something personal prior to the wedding. It will calm you to be near each other while also building a bit of anticipation through the laughter. Sometimes just touching each others hand and hearing each other’s voice is enough!
Hide behind a door!
If you choose to forgoe letters but want to talk or touch before the wedding use a blindfold or a door to connect with your fiancé. These also make for beautiful moments!
Is your love language “touch?” If you feel like a big hug from your partner would help you calm your nerves, but don’t want to see each other, consider putting a blindfold over their eyes. Your photographer or coordinator can help arrange the perfect moment.
Whether a first look is right for you or you choose to see each other down the isle, your wedding will be a joyful reflection of your love together.
Tell us below if you had a first look (or not!) and what your experience was like!
While you are here, check out our post on vow writing tips!