Should You Do First Look Photos?
First Look Photos
Tradition dictates a bride and a groom not see each other on the day of the wedding until she is walking down the aisle towards him. Wedding folklore has always claimed bad luck upon those couples that don’t obey this one.
But what does wedding folklore know, anyway?
Let’s be real, there are a lot of wedding traditions that are kind of fun to stick to and worth getting caught up in the superstitions. But this one? It tends to be more of a hassle than it’s worth.
Think about it. Not being able to see your betrothed on the day of your wedding, when you are likely already feeling a bit high strung and could use a minute or two alone with the one you love most, is a bit silly. Especially because following the rules on this one means that you are stuck taking most of your photos after the “I Do’s” have been exchanged – when the rest of your guests are already off celebrating your love.
It seems even sillier when you know where this particular tradition comes from – a time when brides and grooms didn’t see each other at all prior to marrying. Like, ever. We’re talking arranged marriages that were consider more like business transactions between families. The soon-to-be wedded couple wasn’t allowed to see each other, because there was a fear that the groom might call off the wedding if he caught sight of the bride and decided she wasn’t as attractive as he had hoped.
It’s safe to say, you two already find each other plenty attractive, and neither of you is going to bail out because of how the other looks on your wedding day. So why bend over backwards to keep up with this particularly tradition if it doesn’t otherwise fit into your plans for the day?
Plenty of couples are starting to buck this tradition and spend those hours prior to the wedding preparing together. And even more are still getting ready separately, but opting for First Look photos before the ceremony. These are intimate sessions between just the bride and groom, with their photographer capturing the moments of sheer joy as they see each other for the first time, usually after both are completely done up and ready for the “I Do’s”. Not only does this allow them a semi-private moment together before committing to each other for life, but it can also produce some of the most special pictures from the entire event. You would be surprised how much emotion exists in those first minutes together on such an important day. And while the first look is a beautiful moment no matter how it occurs, there is just something more special about having it take place with only a few people in the room, rather than as the bride is walking down the aisle in front of hundreds.
The beauty is that the first look session also allows the couple to get most of their pictures out of the way prior to the wedding – and when they are likely looking their freshest as well. Once those first look images are done, the rest of the wedding party can be pulled in for group photos as well. And the more you can get done before the wedding, the more time you will have to celebrate with your guests (and partake in some more natural and in-the-moment pictures) after.
Traditions always have a time and a place, and for some – maintaining this one feels important. But always remember that you are the one who gets to dictate how your wedding day goes, and you shouldn’t ever feel locked into any of the superstitions that exist. First look photo sessions can produce some incredibly powerful images that you may not otherwise be able to get. So don’t be afraid of spending those intimate moments together prior to the actual wedding if it’s what feels right for you. As your photographer, I’m just along for the ride – ready to take the pictures that will mean the most to you for years to come.