The decision on if Jacob and I would have a first look or see each other for the first time on our wedding day during the ceremony took a long time to make.
On the one hand:
- Logistics: We wanted to have some pictures taken outside, but our wedding was in early November and we didn’t want to have to start the ceremony too early in the afternoon in order to allow enough light left to do photos afterwards.
- More Time for Pictures: We knew that doing a first look would allow us an uninterrupted time for photos before the ceremony and we wouldn’t rush through pictures and end up skipping some shots that we wanted in order to get to our reception on time.
- First Look Photos: I’d seen some amazing pictures of first looks. There are so many great ways to capture this moment and make it an intimate, cherished experience for the couple.
On the other hand:
- Tradition: Jacob did not want to stray far from tradition for many things in the wedding. He didn’t want to buck tradition just for convenience and a photo opportunity.
- Tradition: We knew that some of our family members didn’t like the idea either. The biggest critic was my mom – she’s pretty superstitious and thought it would be bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the ceremony. Jacob’s sister also mentioned that her favorite part of a wedding is watching the groom as the bride walks in and she thought seeing each other before would make that moment less impactful.
- Tradition: I was Team First Look, but if the tradition was important to my groom and our families, I was willing to give in.
So the cons were boiling down to tradition, tradition, tradition, and at first we decided to go with it. When we booked our photographer we told him we would not be doing a first look. But I still wasn’t 100% sure it was the right decision for us.
I searched online for discussion boards and articles about first looks. Most had points similar to mine above. Convenience and great pictures vs. tradition.
Then I stumbled upon this post about being able to interact with your fiance when you see each other during the first look. You can hug and kiss and tell each other how excited you are that your wedding day is finally here. If we waited until I walked down the aisle to see each other, we wouldn’t be able to do any of that. I emailed this post to Jacob asking, “Are you sure you don’t want to do a first look?”
So the discussion continued. We realized a first look was about a moment between us, not just about pictures and convenience. We talked about how nervous we anticipated being on our wedding day and how great it would be to see each other before the ceremony and have some time together to calm our nerves.
In the end, Team First Look won and we are both so glad that it did. On our wedding day, I was a bundle of nerves. When we saw each other for the first time, we laughed, we cried, we hugged, we kissed, we talked, and our nerves melted away. Walking down the aisle, I still had tears in my eyes, but instead of overwhelming anxiety, I had a smile to go with them.
Megan McDaniel is a recent Pink Diamond bride. Each month in her guest posts, she shares a few tips that she picked up while planning her wedding.