Why We Chose Not to Have a First Look

Why We Chose Not to Have a First Look

photo by Cathrine Taylor

While wedding planning, Gary and I kept running into the question: “are you going to have a first look?” or “are you going to see each other before the ceremony?” The first few occasions in which we were asked these questions we just looked at each other and tried to come up with an answer on the spot, but were completely unsure of what we wanted. After getting the same question repeatedly, we realized we needed to make a decision.

We began to start talking about it and weigh the pros and cons of having a first look. We decided that the pros were that we could get rid of our pre-ceremony nerves, spend a few quiet moments alone together, and knock out some pictures so that we didn’t have to do them before the reception. The cons were that while walking down the aisle, no one would see any raw emotion because it had already happened and we’d have to take pictures before the reception, which would prevent us from getting there when we originally wanted to.

ceremony-26                                                                                          photo by Cathrine Taylor

After talking through the pros and cons, we decided to not have a first look. After laying it all out, we realized that we wanted to be more traditional – he wanted to see me for the first time while walking down the aisle and so did I. We wanted to share the moment with all of our family and friends. Once the decision was made, we decided to add a buffer time between the ceremony and reception so that we could take pictures with our families and bridal party. We also had a few minutes alone before walking into our reception. Those moments were so special to us as we were finally husband and wife. Looking back, I’m so happy that we chose not to have a first look because one of the most special moments we had together was shared with all of our family and friends.

Though we opted to not have a first look, I think it’s important that the couple decides for themselves. Envision your wedding day and see how you picture seeing each other for the first time. Is it a private moment shared between the two of you? Is it walking down the aisle between all of your guests and anticipating seeing each other for the first time?

Did you have a first look? Do you plan on going the more traditional route or having a first look?