Why do a first look? (And what is it, anyway?!)

Why a first look on your wedding day is a good idea

Open-minded? Incredibly nervous? Yearn for a quiet moment amongst the hustle and bustle on your big day? Then a first look may just be right for you. Let’s dig into what it is, why it remains controversial and the five reasons why you may want to say “Controversy, who cares?!” by breaking with tradition.

First things first – What is a first look, anyway?

A first look is a stolen moment between bride and groom just before the ceremony – a short time where you see each other, ready for the walk up the aisle. And I can hear your thoughts from here…

“It’s not tradition!”

“That’s not the way it’s meant to be!!”

“It’s bad luck to see each other before the ceremony!!!”

Yup, these opinions are SO commonly used as objections against a first look. And you may believe that a first look will remove the mystique, the butterflies, and the specialness of that first moment. Well, here are five reasons why you may want to think again…

  1. A first look can calm your swirling nerves

Unless you’re superhuman, your wedding morning will be one of nerves and anxiety. Internal stresses build, everything has been leading to this big day. Tears? Maybe. Sweaty palms? Perhaps. Feeling like you’re going to be sick? It’s all too common.

A first look can give you a moment to see one another before all others – a little reminder as to just who’s waiting for you at the end of that aisle. Expect a weight lifted and for things to get that little bit emotional – and then feel your nerves subside.

  1. A first look can produce magical images

Live-action shots – where moments are captured as the day plays out – present unique challenges for your photographer. As a professional, it’s my job to capture special moments, glances, and passing expressions – each of which could happen within a split-second. In contrast, with a first look your photographer can work in more controlled conditions – allowing them to gently direct you and make the most of their creativity. We set the scene together – where you should stand, how you greet each other and then you take it from there while the photographer captures it all.

  1. A first look can be extended to cover your bride and groom portraits

Make no mistake – your big day will pass by as a blur of moments – every second should be savoured, each minute totally immersed in. When shooting your photos post-ceremony, you miss out on a precious chunk of the day amongst your friends and family.

A first look can be extended from just a first interaction, to include your bride and groom portraits and perhaps even the bridal party photos. This can then leave you to focus on the big day ahead of you – and the images that will capture it moment by moment (not to mention the fact that as the light of the day changes, so too does the feeling of the photos – if you opt for a morning first look, images taken later can capture the romance of the sunset).

  1. You get two very special moments, rather than just one

Nothing, and I repeat nothing, will stop that surge of emotion as you walk down the aisle. Rather than a first look removing the magic, it adds an extra chance for a little more – as well as an opportunity to embrace, talk and simply be together prior to that big moment (something that you won’t get at the altar).

  1. Not seeing each other until the altar? Humph, it comes from a not-so-nice tradition

Most would say that not seeing one another until the ceremony is romantic and traditional. Yet this tradition endures from a time of arranged marriages – when the veil wouldn’t be lifted until the deal was sealed between a groom who was yet to see his wife. It was done in this way to stop the groom from running back down the aisle should his bride not be to his liking. Now how romantic is that?

To sum up- doing a first look will give you a quiet special moment, and some emotional photos to keep the memory of it.

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Portrett Ingvild

Hi, I'm Ingvild

I spend as much of my time as I can being outside taking photos of happy couples in love. I live with my dog and boyfriend in Norway, and I love traveling the world in search of beautiful locations and love stories.

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