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Skye
Just Said Yes May 2022

First look vs no first look?

Skye, on February 7, 2021 at 11:13 PM Posted in Wedding Ceremony 0 28
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Hello lovely people!

My fiancee and I are discussing whether or not we want to do a first look on our wedding day. We are open to both ideas. Those of you who have done a first look, what were the pro's and cons? Those of you who waited for the ceremony, pro's and con's? I just want to hear personal experiences! Smiley smile


28 Comments

Latest activity by Christy, on April 7, 2021 at 3:45 PM
  • Melle
    Legend June 2019
    Melle ·
    • Flag
    I did a first look because logistically it was better for us to get our photos out of the way first.
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  • Lisa
    Rockstar July 2022
    Lisa Online ·
    • Flag
    My fiance and I are planning to do a first look! Initially, I was against the idea, but after talking to our photographer, we decided to do one, and now I'm really looking forward to it! I'm more of a shy person, so having that moment between just me and my fiance will be nice, and will make me feel more at ease for the ceremony. We also both want to attend cocktail hour with our guests, so in order to get the pictures done before the ceremony, we need to do a first look. It really comes down to personal preference though: if you're more traditional, or if you're worried that the first look would negatively change the way you feel about walking down the aisle, skip the first look. If you're wanting the more private moment with your fiancee on your wedding day or if you want to attend cocktail hour instead of taking all your pictures during cocktail hour, a first look isn't a bad idea. There is no wrong answer! Another thing you could do is wear your dress without the veil (if you're planning to wear a veil) during your first look, and then add the veil right before the ceremony to still add an element of surprise for when walking down the aisle.
    • Reply
  • M
    Expert June 2021
    Melanie ·
    • Flag
    My answer is the same as Lisa's. I was against it, but after my photographer explained we could get pictures out the way and enjoy our cocktail hour, I was on board. Also my FH definitely won't be emotional in from of people, so it's a nice private moment for us to ease our nerves
    • Reply
  • A
    Super October 2021
    Ashley ·
    • Flag
    We’re doing a first look and then all of the bridal party and family photos before the ceremony. After the ceremony, we just want to enjoy the day. We want everyone to be able to attend the cocktail hour, too.
    A first look is also a lot more intimate and private which is what we want. We’d much rather have that moment just for us and have the ability to spend some time together and soak it in. It also takes some of the pressure off for the ceremony in front of everyone. The walk down the aisle will still be special.
    • Reply
  • Hannah
    Rockstar July 2019
    Hannah Online ·
    • Flag
    We did a first look, and I'm so happy we did. There was something so special about the 1st time seeing each other being a private moment between us. We got some great photos, and we also got a lot of all the other posed photos done before the ceremony. The ceremony itself was just as special, and I don't think the 1st look took anything away from it. The only con was that it was ridiculously hot (record breaking heat wave on our wedding day), but that had nothing to do with the first look itself lol. I honestly can't think of any cons.
    • Reply
  • Shelly
    Rockstar January 2022
    Shelly ·
    • Flag

    Initially we were very against a First Look, but we've changed our mind and have decided to do one!

    Like Lisa, we talked to our photographer about our wedding timeline with her, and what photos we wanted captured. She was the one that suggested we do a First Look in order to get most of our photos out of the way before the ceremony. It made sense to do it that way! We'll be able to get bridal party photos, portraits, separate family photos AND joined family photos out of the way before hand, leaving us more time to visit with our guests afterwards.

    We also like the fact that we can read our letters to one another then, but also be able to calm any nerves.

    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Rockstar April 2021
    Michelle ·
    • Flag
    Well crap- I was against it but now reading previous comments I’m thinking of doing it!! I love Lisa’s idea of not putting on the veil...
    • Reply
  • Hanna
    VIP June 2019
    Hanna ·
    • Flag

    Doing a first look was an absolute MUST for us in terms of the logistics and timing of our photos. There is no way we would have been able to fit in all of the photos we wanted during cocktail hour! I really can't think of any cons

    • Reply
  • Mrs. Spring
    Master April 2021
    Mrs. Spring ·
    • Flag
    We aren't doing a first look. People claim its candid, but It's not candid when there's a camera in front of you.
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  • Lisa
    Rockstar July 2022
    Lisa Online ·
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    Respectfully, I disagree with the idea that it isn't candid. Often times, the photographer and videographer will stay a distance away during the first look (they can zoom in when taking the photos/video), so that it's truly just the bride and groom within earshot of each other, and their reactions are truly candid to seeing each other for the first time on their wedding day. It would be similar for walking down the aisle without a first look: the cameras will definitely be there in front of everyone, and the bride and groom know that the cameras are there, but their reactions are all still completely candid.
    • Reply
  • Mrs. Spring
    Master April 2021
    Mrs. Spring ·
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    Okay, definitely see your point. I suppose the difference in my opinion is how with a first look, theres more pressure for a big reaction. Walking down the aisle, a big grin from the groom will suffice. I've noticed with first looks, many of the grioms will have their mouth hanging open or crying. Since idk these men personally, I wonder if it's their true genuine reaction bc they dont have guests staring at them or if they are overdoing it to impress their bride
    • Reply
  • Ava
    Super May 2022
    Ava Online ·
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    I have these same concerns. I have always planned on doing a first look because it seems to work better in photographers timeline. But after a family member recently did it I’m having second thoughts. Her first look pictures were all beautiful and seemed authentic, but when I asked her about it she said she wished they had never done the first look because it was super awkward and they both felt pressure to put on a big show with their reactions. The pictures are very pretty but she hates them because she views them as fake and she wishes she would have just gotten whatever real response would have happened when she walked down the aisle.
    • Reply
  • M
    VIP January 2019
    Maggie ·
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    That's an interesting perspective. In most posts I have read on here, brides who opt out of the first look do so because they are expecting a big, emotional, visible/photographable reaction from their grooms and they feel they won't get that with with a first look.

    I got married at the courthouse and my then-future husband and I signed paperwork together before the ceremony, so first look vs. no first look was a moot point for us. And we didn't have professional photography anyway, so didn't need to make any decisions based on the potential of photographic moments.

    But if we had had a large wedding, I know I would have preferred a first look for that private moment ahead of time. Our relationship has always been focused more inward than outward, due to our personalities.

    So, for the OP, I would make your decision with this in mind: the first time you and your future spouse see each other on your wedding day will be special no matter where/when it takes place. So outside of any scheduling-related decisions, you really just need to decide if you want that first glimpse to be in front of a crowd or more intimate.

    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Devoted April 2021
    Michelle ·
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    Girl me too!! hahahah i was like no way we are doing it but now it sounds like a good idea

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  • Michelle
    Devoted April 2021
    Michelle ·
    • Flag

    I have always said I was not going to do a first look because i don't want it to seem forced or staged. I have a few friends who have done one and 60% of them tell me they wish they would not have done it. But seeing some of these comments, it could be a good idea for timeline purposes.

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  • Skye
    Just Said Yes May 2022
    Skye ·
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    Yes, those are some great points! I also just love the idea of getting to spend more time together on our wedding day & getting to have a private moment before the ceremony

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  • Mrs. Spring
    Master April 2021
    Mrs. Spring ·
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    Wow! Thanks for sharing. Many are quick to disagree.
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  • Lisa
    Rockstar July 2022
    Lisa Online ·
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    You definitely bring up some valid points! I am sure there are people who may exaggerate their reaction for the camera, or even for their significant other. Definitely a good perspective to keep in mind. However, I also agree with Maggie's comment: many people want the big reaction in front of a crowd as opposed to privately (since cameras are in both settings). I think it really depends on the person. Personally, knowing myself and my fiance, we both would be much more likely to show our true emotions in an environment where it's just us, as opposed to in front of a large group of people. I personally would try to keep my composure and not cry/react strongly in front of my guests, and I know my fiance would be the same way. For the first looks that you've seen where the groom was overly emotional, I am inclined to believe that it was his true emotion, since he likely felt more comfortable crying in front of his partner and not in front of a large crowd. But that being said, I agree that I also don't know those people personally, so it's impossible to say for certain.
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  • Mrs. Spring
    Master April 2021
    Mrs. Spring ·
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    👍👍👍
    I would act most genuinely in private WITHOUT cameras around, whether they are near or far. I know I'm the oddball with this.
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  • Skye
    Just Said Yes May 2022
    Skye ·
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    Yes I like the idea of actually attending cocktail hour! Those friends of yours who have done it and regret it, do you feel comfortable sharing why they regret doing a first look?

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