The "First Look" picture session before the wedding?
So I have decided to do the "first look" picture session with my photographer. For those of you that may call it something's where the bride & groom see each other before the wedding and take pictures together & with the family/wedding party. I was back and forth with this decision, since I'm a very traditional person. I just think I had rather do my crying in front of the people who are closest to me, rather than crying in front of 300 people. And I know I'll be emotional! :) I would love to hear from anyone who has done this and what they liked/disliked about it. Thanks! :)

Married: 01/02/2010
Posted On: Mar 25, 2009 at 5:13 PM • Vendors are allowed • Add to My WatchlistFlag As Inappropriate2 likes

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Married: 09/05/2009
Reviews: 6
Mar 25, 2009 at 5:32 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Pretty much every wedding I have been to or in does this. Mainly it's done to save time so that guests are not waiting for a long time at the reception location. But one thing that they do is that everyone else (wedding party, family) leaves the altar area and the groom waits with the photographer. The bride, who is elsewhere getting ready, is sent up. That way the bride and groom have their private moment (with the photographer, of course, to capture the looks) of seeing each other for the first time. I am very traditional though, and want my fiance to see me when I walk down the aisle. I figure I'll be emotional no matter what :) We are just going to do all the pictures ahead of time that don't involve us to be together in the picture and then do the remaining few afterwards. But if you are having that many people, it might be easier for you to do it all beforehand.

FMS, the barefoot wife!
Married: 2+ years ago
Reviews: 10
Mar 25, 2009 at 5:33 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I personally would not do the photo session before we were married, I'd rather have the 'newly married/just saw each other glow and twinkle in our eyes. I think having them after captures the moment way better than the before and then pics..And you never know.. you may only blubbering at the rehearsal, decorating, etc. (like my sister in law) But be totally calm on the day of the wedding (also like my sister in law).

Married: 04/25/2009
Mar 25, 2009 at 5:43 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
your ring is very pretty taylor.....i personally id rather wait to do it after. id rather have his eyes when he first sees me walkind down teh aisle. thats just me though.

Married: 10/24/2009
Mar 25, 2009 at 5:46 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Since I am Jewish I MUST see the groom before the wedding. We have to sign the Jewish wedding contract before the ceremony, so I don't get to stay separated :( But anyhoo...I was told by my caterer that I should do a "first look" photo. As far as I was told (and discussed) its not a photo "session", rather a moment. It's just capturing when the bride and groom see each other for the first time on the wedding day. I will do it, then we will move on to rest of the pictures.
Mar 25, 2009 at 5:57 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
It's getting more and more popular to do your pictures before the ceremony, especially when the ceremony & reception are in the same place. If you don't do your pictures beforehand, you don't get a chance to relax and enjoy your cocktail hour. I think it's fair to say that a large amount of brides that I have worked with regret not doing their pictures before the ceremony when they're in one location. If they could go back and do it again, they would get the pictures done early.

Hope that helps!

Mar 25, 2009 at 6:01 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Setting aside the fact that photographers enjoy doing pics before b/c it's less rush and more time to be creative, there are other pluses. This is what I've heard from my couples...

1-It helps with those "I think I'm going to explode" nerves that you often feel before the wedding. Seeing your honey and sharing that time makes all the brides I've worked with instantly relax! However, those "OMG, it's really time" nerves come back when you are about the walk down the aisle. Don't for a second think it takes ANYTHING away from that moment.

2-Many guys lock up when you come down that aisle. They feel "on stage" and you often won't get an honest response out of him. He's nervous too! When he can see you before, he can take it all in, respond to how beautiful you are, laugh with you, cry with you, and most importantly... TALK TO YOU!

3-Many churches restrict access to the front of the church, making it hard for photographers to get that reaction shot. This way we can't miss it!

Married: 01/02/2010
Mar 25, 2009 at 8:09 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Thank you all for your response. I definitely feel more comfortable with my decision now! :)
Mar 25, 2009 at 8:46 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
No problem! It's really the way to go. Think of it this way. You go from the ceremony, immediately to pictures, and by the time with pictures, MAYBE you get to a few minutes of cocktail hour. The second you walk into cocktail, you're bombarded by guests that you're seeing for the first time that day, and then you're quickly pulled away to start getting ready for your introductions. By the time all the formalities are over, and you actually get to sit down, majority of the day is gone! By doing your pics beforehand, you can see your cocktail hour, get all the talking to friends and family out of the way, and actually enjoy the reception.

Mar 26, 2009 at 12:02 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
I have direct wedding where pictures are taken before the wedding but the bride and groom did not see each other. The bride would take pictures with the wedding party and her family then the groom would do the same after the bride has gone back to her room. After the wedding they would take one or two pictures as a group with the wedding party and one or two with the family. This will help reduce the number of pictures taken after the wedding and the guest will not have to wait as along.

Married: 06/27/2009
Mar 26, 2009 at 2:38 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
My fam's pretty traditional and we attended a wedding where they did photos first -- my parents were really skeptical so was I -- then, after seeing it, we ALL change our minds -- hands down the smartest decision.

So that's what we did. You actually get to enjoy Your party. Our guests loved having the time to meet with the bride and groom during the cocktail hour - we had 350 people - lemme tell you it was still a whirlwind of making sure to get to shake hands with everyone there so we needed the extra hour. Plus, our family photos were over so no one stressed about it the rest of the evening and just enjoyed themselves.

That whole first look being at the ceremony is so overrated btw, we still felt every bit connected and excited.

Married: 08/14/2010
Mar 26, 2009 at 5:20 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
Personally, I want my FH's first time to see me all beautified is at the alter.
You can always do the picture session after!

Married: 10/23/2010
Reviews: 5
Dec 08, 2009 at 7:59 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
This tradition has been romanticized over the years, but where it originally came from was back in the days of arranged marriages. They didn't see each other until they were married (hence the veil as well) because the families were afraid that the grooms would see the bride, not think she was pretty enough to marry and run away! They also carried flowers because they didn't shower as often back then.
While over the years it has changed and become this big deal, what is the real significance other than the fact that is is a "tradition". Is the world really going to end? no. And i'm pretty sure your groom won't run away!
I'm a wedding photographer and I tell all of my brides this. They always choose to see each other before. They are able to touch-up makeup, are able to say things to one another and are actually able to enjoy their time before the ceremony and focus on the marriage rather than just the butterflies of seeing one another.

Redheaded Ninja

Redheaded Ninja
Jan 12, 2010 at 12:31 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
I second what Stacey said.

Married: 01/02/2010
Jan 12, 2010 at 11:53 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
So....I got married on the 2nd and I have to say that the first look was pretty amazing. I do not regret it one bit and loved the fact that it was just us two and the photographer in the room. Our true emotions came out and I loved every minute of it. :)

Married: 04/16/2011
Reviews: 1
Feb 21, 2011 at 3:31 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I am doing a First Look as well. It took months to get my FI to agree but it makes things so much easier. We get to spend some alone time and a very personal moment together, we save time during our reception, and we get to enjoy the picture taking process w/o feeling rushed. I am glad that times are not as stiff as the used to be and more and more people are hip to the idea.

Married: 06/21/1982
Jul 02, 2011 at 2:09 AM • 
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Married: 09/03/2011
Aug 21, 2011 at 1:22 PM • 
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Married: 01/11/2007
Aug 24, 2011 at 5:05 AM • 
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Married: 09/14/2011
Sep 13, 2011 at 10:30 PM • 
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Sep 13, 2011 at 10:32 PM • 
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