Photos by Mason Photography
Prior to getting engaged, I had never given much thought to whether or not I wanted to do a first look. For those of you who aren’t familiar, a first look is where the bride and groom see each other for the first time before the wedding ceremony.
Once we started considering whether or not Michael and I wanted to incorporate a first look into our wedding day, I could definitely see the pros and cons. As a pro, you get to see your partner for the first time with no one else around, it’s a really special moment for just the two of you. On the other hand, there’s that fairytale movie-moment when the groom sees the bride for the first time as she walks down the aisle …
We ultimately decided to do a first look. And I have absolutely no regrets! If you’re considering it, read on, I have a few thoughts on why it worked for us!
Perks to a First Look
There are lots of perks to incorporating a first look into your wedding day so let’s chat …
- Calming the Nerves // Your wedding day is likely to be a busy day! A first look is a great way to have a minute to see your partner prior to walking down the aisle before the rest of the evening becomes even more of a whirlwind.
- Special Moment, Just the Two of You // A first look is a great opportunity for the couple to have a special moment prior to being surrounded by family and friends for the rest of the wedding day.
- Wedding Party Photos Prior to the Ceremony // With a first look you’re able to knock out couple portraits as well as all of the wedding party photos prior to the ceremony. Yes, this means you and your wedding party may have to be ready a tad bit earlier in the day, but it also means that you won’t miss any of the cocktail hour or reception following the ceremony!
- Timing // If you’re having a winter wedding, a first look may be the best idea simply because of the amount of daylight you’re working with on your wedding day. Unless your ceremony is scheduled for early in the afternoon, you’re not going to have a lot of time after the ceremony for formal couples photos and wedding party photos.
Our First Look
Michael and I ultimately decided to do a first look for several reasons.
I knew I’d be nervous to walk down the aisle with everyone’s eyes on me and I didn’t want that to be the first moment I saw Michael. I wanted a minute to see him prior to the ceremony as I knew that would calm my nerves. In hindsight, our wedding day was pretty laid back, and I actually don’t think I would have been that nervous to walk down the aisle, BUT something I didn’t foresee was the fact that I’d be walking in sand. So while I don’t think I would have been that nervous, I spent most of my walk looking down, trying not to trip over my dress in the sand. 🙂 So I’m glad we had a moment to take everything in prior to the actual ceremony.
Another reason we chose to do a first look was so that we could go ahead and knock out all of our formal, couple photos and wedding party photos before the ceremony. We wanted to do this for a couple of reasons: 1) so we, along with our wedding party, could head straight into the cocktail hour/reception, and 2) our wedding was in January so we were limited with the amount of daylight we had to work with after our ceremony.
I loved our experience with our first look! It was so much fun to see Michael and get to chat with him before the ceremony. It was so relaxed and one of those “ok, we’re getting married!” exciting moments.
After we had some time alone, our wedding party joined us for photos. We wandered around the Baha Mar property to get all the shots. Our photographer and videographers were awesome and so efficient! We finished up with photos about 30 minutes prior to Michael and I needing to be at the ceremony.
Everyone left and headed down to the beach while Michael and I had time to walk around the resort together and take a few more breaths before the evening started. We actually ran into a few of our guests along the way who were heading to the ceremony – we scared them a bit and told them they’d missed the whole thing! Ha
If you’re considered making a first look part of your wedding day, I highly recommend going with your gut. Our first look didn’t take anything away from having that “walking down the aisle” moment. The most important thing is for you to do what you and your partner want to do! Either way, you won’t regret it.
Photos by Mason Photography