Having a first look in your wedding has been cropping up all over the place these days and you may be wondering if a “first look” is right for your wedding! Essentially, the “first look” is a period of privacy (apart from photography/videography staff) where the bride and groom see each other for the first time on their wedding day. This’ll be the first time they see each other in their wedding attire and usually precedes the ceremony and rest of the night. You may be wondering… what’s the point? And whatever happened to the good old traditional way of seeing each other for the first time at the altar?

1. Privacy

The first-look session is before any other public events like your ceremony or reception and so it offers a truly private time for you and your spouse to enjoy each other’s company for a bit before the true commotion begins. Oftentimes, first-look sessions are very emotionally intimate and offer you a chance to really cherish and reflect on the fact that you are about to get married! Of course, tradition isn’t there just because and for many people they enjoy the idea of saving this surprise for the altar where you can share your excitement more organically with the guests.

2. Scheduling

Because the session occurs prior to the ceremony and reception, the first-look usually occurs midway through your plans for the day and can be a useful guideline for how on-top of your scheduling you might be!

3. More Time

As a photographer, it can be difficult to get intimate and candid photographs of the couple to be without taking them aside during other important times of their day. A first-look session means that you’ll be able to spend more time with your guests and enjoy your cocktail hour/reception without risking having to go besides the water or in the scenic garden for a photo shoot.

4. Cons

But, of course, you do miss out on tradition, which was tradition for a reason! Some people truly want to have their genuine expressions at the altar in front of their guests and families. In addition, some people have a very packed wedding day and just don’t wish to set aside a half hour to have a first-look session when they have guests coming in from across the country or world. Sometimes you just don’t have time to spare!

Ultimately, the decision is of course yours and what you and your spouse feel is important for your wedding day. Weigh the pros and cons and be open to trying something new!