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Dedicated June 2021

First Look & Appetizers

Doxie Mom, on July 28, 2020 at 2:56 PM Posted in Wedding Reception 0 26
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I am at a cross roads here!

I've always envisioned my fiance seeing me for the first time on our wedding day as I walk down the aisle. We have two options

1. Do a 'first look' and take photos before the ceremony (but FH will have seen me all dressed up and ready before the aisle & ceremony)

2. Skip the first look and hold a cocktail/appetizer hour while we take pictures

I am having a hard time justifying the cost of the apps (which are just under half of our entire dinner), but I know I would need to have some food. My question is did anyone envision their husband seeing them for the first time at the ceremony but decided to do a first look instead and were happy with it? I just want it to be memorable, and have a "there is my bride" moment.


Hope this makes sense, thanks guys Smiley smile

26 Comments

Latest activity by Doxie Mom, on July 30, 2020 at 10:26 PM
  • Mrs. S
    Super November 2019
    Mrs. S ·
    • Flag
    My husband cried when I walked down the aisle. It was worth it. I’m surprised your apps are so expensive. Is there any negotiating there?
    • Reply
  • Yasmine
    Rockstar October 2020
    Yasmine ·
    • Flag

    My fiance and I decided against a first look. We both want him to first see me as I am walking down the aisle. Is it possible for you to have fruits, cheese, crackers etc served during the cocktail hour? I assume that wouldn't be very expensive

    • Reply
  • Margaret
    Master October 2020
    Margaret ·
    • Flag

    I would skip the first look. That moment is one that's worth cherishing a lifetime.

    • Reply
  • Kimberly
    Super March 2021
    Kimberly ·
    • Flag
    Are you planning on it truly only being an hour? If yes then you won’t need a lot of apps, but a couple pieces per guest will be enough.
    Also, you can do other pictures before (bride w/bridal party, groom w/bridal party, some family pictures where you and groom don’t see each other but a lot of the pictures are out of the way shortening the time after the ceremony you will need for pictures.
    I am not doing a first look because 1. our venue doesn’t really have a good place to do it and 2. I like the idea of him seeing me for the first time walking down to him. But I know some people want to do the first look to have that private moment and to get the nerves out which makes total sense.
    • Reply
  • Melle
    Legend June 2019
    Melle ·
    • Flag
    We did first look just cause logistically it made more sense to have the photos out of the way beforehand.
    • Reply
  • V
    Master July 2019
    Veronica Online ·
    • Flag

    My husband and I did a first look. I had wanted the moment like you do where he saw me walk down the aisle, but my husband wanted to do a first look. I'm glad we did the first look after all, but that doesn't mean it is for everyone. I can't say how I would have felt if we didn't do the first look because you can't do both. Even with the first look, we still had a cocktail hour where apps and drinks were served. During that time, we took full group bridal party photos, family photos, and more photos of my husband and I. I would definitely talk to your caterer because that seems really expensive. I do know our venue (they provided all food) was going to charge more if we wanted anything other than passed apps like a fruit or cheese display, chocolate or cheese fountain, etc. We decided to go with just the passed apps because they were included in the package we selected and we paid one price for apps, dinner, drinks and cake.

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  • Jana
    Master October 2022
    Jana ·
    • Flag
    A first look is ideal if you are willing. You are able to join the cocktail hour and mingle with guests instead of missing that opportunity. One of my bff's said she is super traditional and didn't want a first look until the photographer convinced her and she said it was the best decision to have one because the emotion is still there while you get the nerves out of the way.



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  • D
    Dedicated June 2021
    Doxie Mom ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    I’m not sure if negotiating was something people did or not. It’s $2,000 for dinner and would be $800 for apps
    • Reply
  • Jana
    Master October 2022
    Jana ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Yes people negotiate all the time. You are purchasing a service/product from them and you decide what you're paying for within reason. In most areas of the country that price would be a steal.
    • Reply
  • Lisa
    Rockstar July 2022
    Lisa Online ·
    • Flag
    My fiance and I are planning to do a first look. I wasn't so sure at first, but I really like the idea of getting most of the pictures out of the way before the ceremony, and getting to spend cocktail hour with our guests (my fiance and I both also want to get to enjoy the appetizers we're paying for!). I'm also more of a shy person, so a more private first look moment is more appealing to me than during a ceremony grand entrance. It's certainly not for everyone though, I recommend talking with your fiance and figuring out what would be in both of your best interests.
    • Reply
  • Julie
    VIP February 2020
    Julie ·
    • Flag
    Our caterers provided my husband and I our own plate of appetizers during cocktail hour. We ate and took pictures
    • Reply
  • Mrs. S
    Super November 2019
    Mrs. S ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    I looked back at my invoice and my apps were $500. I don’t think they’ll reduce your price but maybe they have a lighter option that won’t cost as much.
    • Reply
  • Jessica
    Rockstar September 2020
    Jessica ·
    • Flag
    I wanted a first look because I know I’ll be really anxious and I thought having that private moment would be nice, but with us deciding on a sunrise ceremony getting ready even earlier isn’t ideal. We would love to be able to join social hour, but our caterer will save us a plate of the appetizers, and since there’s no mingling due to Covid I’m not sure how joining would really work if we can’t even go table to table. We will also be staying together the night before, so we’ll take a few minutes in the morning before he leaves to get ready in a different part of the vacation rental and I start getting ready. He’s going to be so surprised by the dress I picked and I can’t wait to see him as I walk down the aisle.
    $800 for appetizers does seem high to me with dinner only being $2000. What kind of apps are they providing? Is there a simple appetizer option that would be more cost effective?
    • Reply
  • Kelly
    Champion October 2018
    Kelly ·
    • Flag
    We did a first look and still had a cocktail hour that we joined to greet our guests. Even with the first look my husband and I both bawled as I walked down the aisle.
    • Reply
  • Pirate & 60s Bride
    Legend March 2017
    Pirate & 60s Bride ·
    • Flag
    Loved first look! Best photos, intimate moment with just us, had more time with guests during cocktail hour. We were just as emotional saying our vows.
    • Reply
  • Molly
    VIP September 2020
    Molly ·
    • Flag

    We are not doing a first look. During our cocktail hour we are going to put out DIY fruit and veggie trays along with chips and dip.

    • Reply
  • Haleigh
    Savvy October 2021
    Haleigh ·
    • Flag
    At first I wanted the first look to be when I walked down the aisle, but my fiancé was worried he’d be too emotional so we’re going with the first look. I’m thinking that I won’t wear a veil during the first look and save it for when I walk down the aisle so there’s still a little surprise. Smiley smile Our photographer also recommended it because we could get the wedding party photos done too and just have to worry about the family photos after the ceremony, which would only take like 30 minutes so we could still enjoy some of the cocktail hour after.
    • Reply
  • S
    Savvy June 2021
    Sarah ·
    • Flag
    First look and photos before ALL the way! A few reasons:
    1. You get to enjoy your own cocktail hour. Hello?!
    2. Your makeup, hair, everything will be fresh for the photos3. Your wedding party and family can enjoy the cocktail hour too
    • Reply
  • Samantha
    Devoted September 2020
    Samantha ·
    • Flag
    I went back and forth for a while. I would ask your future husband what he would prefer. At the end of the day you want to see his reaction.
    • Reply
  • Rebecca
    Rockstar August 2019
    Rebecca ·
    • Flag

    Our venue gave us some of the apps so we could do our pictures and sign our marriage license during cocktail hour.

    I'm very glad we skipped the first look - it's very much not our thing, and we got all our pictures taken in less than hour. There was a beautiful park next to the venue, so there wasn't travel to account for...

    Not only can you negotiate, you can usually choose the apps, and you can keep it light.

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