If you’ve spent much time talking to your friends or looking at weddings online you will have come across the idea of a ‘First Look’. Here’s the low-down.
Basically it means that a Bride and Groom meet up before the ceremony without family/friends/bridal party around, and they shoot all or some of their photos at the same time. In some parts of the world this is the very traditional way to do things: a couple will meet up on their own earlier (and in places like Italy they’ll get married in a civil ceremony first) and then they’ll do a very public ceremony later on in the day. There’s a whole bunch of pro’s to this kind of schedule:
i. You get to spend some time and go crazy, get emotional, let your hair down and revel in each other without being on show in front of a coupla hundred people.
ii. You instantly relax and the stress and anticipation melts away when you see each other for the first time, so you suddenly become way more ‘present’ for the rest of the day. It’s very normal to just freak out if you see each other for the first time in front of all of your family and friends, walking down the aisle on your wedding day - total emotional overload - so it’s a very human response to just glaze over and try and survive it. But if you’ve had some intimate time together beforehand, then you’re 100% present and aware of that ‘aisle moment’ and we notice that couples get two wonderful meet-up moments, rather than one awkward one.
iii. It means that you can have some fun earlier in the day - either just the two of you OR with your whole bridal party - meet up, have a picnic, hang out, take some photos, and generally ease into your wedding day by enjoying each other and your best mates. And then you change gears and head to the ceremony and party, and it just gets better and better.
iv. Your wedding day can take on a much more natural emotional flow. Time with each other, time with your friends, and then time with all of your guests without being dragged away from the party. There’s a natural flow from ceremony into wild party that’s one of the most wonderful parts of a wedding day and is some of the most memorable time you get with all of your guests on the day, so not having to be dragged away for a photo-shoot is an added bonus.
If a First Look is not your cup-o-tea or isn’t practical for your day, definitely consider grabbing a couple of glasses of your choice of beverage and sneak out of the reception to find a quiet corner by yourself for 10-15 mins. The party will be just fine without you while you and your new Mr/Mrs make a memory or two by yourselves.