To Have or Not to Have a First Look- Should You Have One?

First looks and their accompanying photos have become increasingly popular in recent years. The bride and groom each see one another for the first time without friends and family, and the result is often emotional and special. Depending on who you ask, this topic is bound to create many different opinions about why you should, or shouldn't, participate in this wedding trend, and everyone will have their reasons why. As you plan your wedding, this subject is going to come up in conversation. If you are going back and forth on whether or not to have a first look, it's helpful to talk it through with your partner and decide what will please the both of you and what is most important. We'll take a look into a few reasons why you either should, or shouldn't, have a first look to help you decide on what to do for your big day.

Photo by Lidia Kamrowska

Let's talk about the "Pro's" of having a first look and why you might consider having one before the ceremony. Some reasons why this might be the way to go are:

- You and your partner get a few extra moments just to yourselves before everything else happens

Before the craziness of a wedding day where everything seems to happen fast, you and your partner can get a few extra moments to just be together and take it all in. It's an opportunity for you both to soak up the day and collectively take a breath. If either one of you is big on private moments, a first look is the perfect time to have some privacy and share something special. Turn it into a mini ceremony for the both of you where you read vows or love notes that you want to keep between you and not your guests. Wedding's are busy, and it might be one of the only moments you get together before the day comes to an end.

- The lighting for your photographs will likely be much better

If your wedding is in the latter months of the year, it gets darker much earlier so you'll have to worry about how much daylight you'll have in the day for the best photographs. Since the first look also happens before anything else during your wedding, chances are that it will take place early, allowing for your wedding photographer to be able to capture you in the best possible light. This is still true for warmer months where the daylight last longer, and good professional photographers will know just how to make this possible.

- It's incredibly romantic

What's more romantic than just the two of you seeing one another in your wedding attire right before you become husband and wife? Taking the time to be together just before everything changes is very intimate and so special. Even though your photographer will be snapping memories quietly in the background, it's still very intimate. You'll also have that moment photographed as a forever keepsake.What's more romantic than having those private moments? For those that are big on romance and intimacy, this is one of the biggest reasons you should be having a first look.

Photo by Monica Labell

Moving into the "Con's" portion, there are some downsides to having a first look. Here are a few reasons why it might be better to skip it and wait until the ceremony:

- It's breaking with wedding "tradition"

Have you ever heard the phrase "It's bad luck to see the bride before the wedding"? This was something you would hear your grandparents or older relatives say, and if either you or your partner are superstitious or believe in a more traditional ceremony, then having a first look might not be in your best interest. Additionally, with the rise in first look photos from the past few years, you and your partner may be the more unique couple by opting to not have one and you get the big revel at the alter.

- It can create pressure on you or your partner to have a specific reaction

There are people out there who become increasingly nervous in situations where they are expected to act in a particular way. They may feel that if they don't act the way other people expect them to, it means that they are doing something wrong. Whether it's you or your partner who feels this way, take this into consideration when deciding if you are going to have a first look. You'll be getting that special moment where you and your partner see one another at the alter, and that can create a more organic, natural reaction. You'll also be getting the reaction of friends and family at the same time, and that can create a beautiful energy that surrounds your wedding that you'll always remember.

- Your wedding day may have to start earlier

First looks before the ceremony take extra time, meaning your wedding day will have to start sooner. That means hair, makeup, and anything else will need to be done much earlier in the day, so plan accordingly. If there is an issue or something gets or changed, this could set your day back even further due to an unforeseen event. You are always free to change your mind, and a good photographer and wedding coordinator can make this happen, but that could also affect the lighting or schedule of events. Carefully take your time when deciding whether or not to have one, as it will make the entire wedding day run more efficiently.

Photo by Jason and Daris

The Final Verdict:

When deciding what you should do, it comes down to whether or not the two of you want to stick with tradition, or have those first intimate moments as just a couple. You can always change your mind, and a great professional wedding photographer and event planner can help you coordinate your change of plans, but be aware that it might not always be possible. Be prepared and take into consideration all options before making a choice. Sitting down with your partner and wedding photographer can also help you make your decision. A great professional photographer should be able to give you insight into what they think based on their past experiences, and how they both would fit into your wedding day. Whatever you and your partner decide to do, the important thing is that it's something that you both agree on. Remember, your wedding day is all about the two of you, and not what anyone else thinks, so choose from your hearts and you'll both be happy when the special day finally arrives.

Photos by Kylie Marie

What is your opinion about first looks? Do you think you should, or should not have one? Let us know! We want to hear from you- Send us a message via Etsy or our Instagram to connect. Planning the best day of your life? We're here to help! Visit our Etsy store to search our DIY templates to help make your event one of a kind. For more wedding and event planning inspiration, subscribe to the email list, follow us on Pinterest and Instagram, and scroll down below to save 10%.

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