first look, a bride and groom’s perspective

A “first look” is when a bride and groom opt to see each other on the wedding day before the bride walks down the aisle. The motive for brides and grooms choosing a first look varies from person to person — whether it be the idea of seeing each other for the first time in a more intimate setting than in front of every guest at the ceremony to more time for photos together  to not being willing to sacrifice even a moment of their reception to go take photos.

I’ve written about a first look before. But I can’t help but wonder if people don’t really take my vouching for it seriously or think that I have some ulterior motive (ruining wedding days for my own conniving photographic purposes) in suggesting them, when in reality I just want my couples to have the smoothest and most memorable wedding day experience possible, and I want them to know their options.

Tiffany and Trevor had decided at our initial consultation that they didn’t want anything to do with a first look. But a few weeks before their wedding I got a skype video call from both of them: “We’ve decided to do a first look.”

I asked them if they wouldn’t mind sharing on the blog what made them change their minds.

They aren’t paid actors.

They’re just a bride and a groom who volunteered to share their personal experiences with a first look on their wedding day.

Tiffany: “I’m the stereotypical girl who has been dreaming about her wedding day since the day she was born. There was never any question that Trevor and I would have a classic, traditional, Cinderella wedding.”

Trevor: “At first I really didn’t like the idea of a first look. It just seemed like it would ruin the moment for me. I was really excited about the moment when the doors opened and, standing at the alter, I would peer down the aisle and my bride’s smiling face.”

Tiffany: “Throughout the planning of our wedding, I pretty much pushed off the question of how we were going to fit all of our pictures into the allotted thirty minutes between the ceremony and reception. It wasn’t until the week of the wedding when Trevor mentioned a first look again. We talked about it together, talked to friends who had done it, and talked to Jillian. She told us how the tradition came from arranged marriages where if the groom saw the bride before the wedding, there might be a chance of him running away! Trevor and I both knew that wasn’t going to happen for us! Photography was really at the top of our priority list for our wedding. We wanted to get as many pictures as possible! A first look was really the best way for us to do that! ”

Trevor: “After months of flat out refusing to even entertain the idea of a first look, I came to my senses. We decided to go with the first look – and never regretted it for even a second.”

Tiffany: “When it got down to the day of, I was a little nervous (as I’m sure most brides are before they see their groom). However, I truly believe that my nervousness was the buildup of excitement in preparation for Trevor. When I saw him standing at the bottom of the staircase waiting for me, I could not get down those stairs fast enough!”

Trevor: “We absolutely loved our first look!! For starters, we got AMAZING pictures! But there were other benefits that we never expected. The week of the wedding is so crazy, there is so much that had to get done for the wedding that we almost never saw each other. By the day of the wedding, I realized that I had seen my fiance less in the week immediately preceding our wedding than I had at any point in the year before. It was kind of sad!

The first look gave us the opportunity to slow down and enjoy each others company for a few minutes. It was like a little oasis of calm in the middle of what was otherwise a crazy, hectic day. ”

Trevor: “I am happy to report that the first look did nothing to take away from the moment that I so anxiously looked forward to. It was still more sweet and giddy and excited than I could have ever imagined!  The time that Tiffany and I spent together during the first look make up some of my most cherished memories from our wedding day.”

Tiffany: “What is most important on your wedding day is being with the one you love, the one you are promising your love and life to. Whether that is during a first look or when the doors open to the church, this day is about you and the love of your life! Because pictures are what you get to keep for a lifetime and the day goes by so incredibly fast, I highly suggest a first look.  It was so nice to share a little time with Trevor just the two of us (and Jillian, of course) and enjoy each other’s company.

In the end, I am extremely happy we chose to do a first look! I love the memorable time we shared during the first look and the pictures that were taken! I also was extremely happy because Trevor still had a priceless look on his face when the doors to the church opened. ”

I would like to end this post by saying that I want all of my brides and grooms to be happy with their wedding day decisions. I write about first looks because in my personal experiences as a bride, that was what made me and my groom happiest. I want to share that experience with my clients so that they can make informed wedding day decisions, and I do this in hopes that they too will look back on their wedding day happy as little larks. Whether they’re happy that they chose a first look, or whether they’re happy that they decided to wait and see each other during the ceremony. I just want people to be happy.

Check back tomorrow for the full blog-post of Tiffany and Trevor’s Denton wedding — and a look at the great bride-groom portraits we got immediately following the first look!

6 Responses to “first look, a bride and groom’s perspective”
  1. Katie Tedrick says:

    Thanks for the post! Although we chose to do a first look for our upcoming wedding, I have still been a little nervous about doing it. This really helped “seal the deal”… I am glad we are choosing to do a first look and I think it will really help both of us to enjoy the time together, the day and THAT moment.

    Beautiful photos!

  2. Laura Tucker says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! My husband-to-be and I have been really debating whether or not a first look was for us. We had never even heard of such a thing until a few months ago! But after reading this and seeing all of these beautiful pictures we are soooooo looking forward to it. : )

    Thanks Again, you three!

  3. Alex Tritsch says:

    “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.” ~ Aristotle

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