Updated: Dec 30, 2022
After experiencing my own wedding and shooting over 100 others…. I’ve come to this conclusion.
Some brides love the traditional idea of the first time their groom seeing them is when they are walking down the isle. However, what a bride REALLY wants when it comes to her groom seeing her for the first time is A REACTION.
Those that are not interested in a "First Look" usually think that by seeing each other beforehand, they will lose a part of the reaction.
They also assume that it will not be as emotional or as intimate as it would be if they were coming down the aisle.
However, what I have found is the exact opposite!
All day you have been rushed around, told what to do, pulled in a bunch of different directions. The groom has probably been hidden away in the small groom suite by himself. It's all so rush rush just to get to the ceremony. Then at the ceremony your groom walks into a place filled with 100s of people all staring at him. There's the pressure of what his reaction will be, seeing his bride for the first time, in front of everyone.
For most grooms, the nerves kick in right before they see their bride. It's because when they see her all of a sudden everything becomes so very real!
So what if, instead of keeping the groom in a secluded room until his time to enter the ceremony…. what if you took him to a private place where no one is staring at him, there's no on-lookers, no distractions and it's then that he gets to see his beautiful bride.
She can walk up to him and tap him on the shoulder or count to three and have him trun around. Then that moment of seeing eachother for the first time becomse such an intimate moment for both. The couple gets to really take in the site of one another and witness the others reaction to seeing them for the first time.
NOW this doesn't have to be a rushed moment. The bride and groom can ENJOY the moment for as LONG as they want. The nerves start to just fall away. No one is around yelling "10 minutes until go time", and there is aboslutely no pressure. It’s just the two of them and their photographer….. capturing the moment. This is their time to be TOGETHER…and to be ALONE.
After all when does that actually happen on a wedding day?
I can assure you that without a First Look…. it doesn’t.
After the romantic portraits of the bride and groom are done, their bridal party can join them. After a few minutes with the bridal party the bridal party portraits can begin.
Now, because this is all being done before the ceremony these portraits are actually FUN. They aren't rushed. They don't have any guests waiting impatiently at the cocktail hour or a wedding coordinator fussing for them to hurry it up.
After this the guys and girls will seperate again.
The bride can do any touch ups to lip stick or hair spray.
The groom meets with the officiant and he starts to take his place at the front of the guests.
NOW because he has has seen his bride he gets to stand up there with no nervousness but PURE EXCITEMENT.
Once the bridal party has made their way down the isle and the music for the brides entrance begins, there is STILL a REACTION. I promise there is still a REACTION.
With all of this being said I never force this option on my couples. Its not a have to do thing. This is just my experience and my suggestion from that said experience.