Having a first look before your ceremony where you and your fiance have a moment alone and get out all the jitters can be such a sweet time. It also saves strain on your wedding day schedule. But this is not for everyone. Some couples want to have that true, walk-down-the-aisle moment as their first look. Others opt for a No Look. So what’s best for you two?
Waiting Until the Ceremony - this is the classic approach. In this case, grooms and brides don’t see each other on the wedding day until the bride walks down the aisle to her groom. There is such a beauty in this for your friends and family to witness the emotion and excitement on your faces when you finally see each other. But maybe this attention is too much for you. So for you, a first look might be a great choice.
First Look - this is a newer option where the groom typically waits in an area with his back turned and his bride walks up and taps his shoulder or has him turn around and see her for the first time. This is a chance to spend a little private time before the ceremony and have that “first look” without everyone watching. This is a great option if you feel like being alone for just a few minutes on your day, sharing a gift or card with each other, or you just can’t wait to see your soon-to-be-spouse! This is also a great opportunity to get in all your bride and groom photos BEFORE the ceremony, so you can have a shorter time between your ceremony and reception and get to the party! But there is also another option if you want that time alone but want to save the actual surprise for the ceremony.
The No Look - this is where the bride and groom are brought together for a private moment but they don’t actually see each other. This can happen where each of them stand on either side of a door, or around a building, or even back to back, blindfolded! This is a sweet photo-op and a calming moment for most couples. It’s sometimes just all a couple needs to hear each other’s voice saying “I love you and I cannot wait to marry you!”
We often help pick out the location for the groom to stand or we go with the suggestion of the couple. Either way, coordinate with your photographer on this so that they get all the right photos, don’t miss the groom’s reaction, and so they don’t get in the way. We often have Marc stay with the groom while Anna brings the bride to him. We then tell the groom that he does what his bride tells him to do. This way, she can walk up or tell him to turn around when we’re all set and ready to capture the moment.
Finally, if you go for a first look or no look, think about these 3 things:
Location - Pick a spot away from setting up or early arriving guests or even bridal party. Try to keep it your own moment. Also remember, you need to have room for your photographers!
Timing - This is a great way to move all your pictures before your ceremony without sacrificing the special nature of the day. If you’re having an outside wedding remember you don’t want to be in full sun during this without some shade. You also want to work through your timeline with your coordinator and photographer to choose the best time of day to get in all the photos you want before the ceremony.
What to Do - If you just want to have a moment alone then leave it simple. Have your hands free to hug and kiss (give your bouquet to your photographer) and let that be it. If you want to exchange gifts, share vows, or pray, make sure you have set aside even as little as 5-10 minutes for this.
Bonus: If you are wearing a veil on your wedding day, you can keep this away until you walk down the aisle as an added surprise to your groom!