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Jessica
Expert September 2017

Seeing each other before the ceremony for pictures?

Jessica, on September 19, 2016 at 11:06 AM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 33
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It seems like everyone is starting to see each other before the ceremony to take pictures and we are having trouble deciding what we want to do! What did you do? If you did a first look, what did you do to make it special? If you waited, what did your guest do while y'all took pictures? We love the idea of being traditional and waiting but also I want to actually look good during pictures! We are having an outside wedding so I want my hair and make up to look as good as it did when I started! I need help!!

33 Comments

  • Mrs. Sasswood
    Master October 2016
    Mrs. Sasswood ·
    • Flag

    We are doing a first look so we have that private moment alone. It'll feel completely different walking down the aisle and I think the nerves will be much easier to handle.

    Typically guests are enjoying the booze and food during your cocktail hour while you take photos.

    • Reply
  • Ohheyitscait
    Super September 2017
    Ohheyitscait ·
    • Flag

    FH and I decided to do a first look. Just so we could have some time to ourselves before the ceremony, and so that our guests would not have to wait.

    We are planning on using balloons to block his view and then release them so he can see me.

    I love the traditionalism of not seeing each other before the ceremony. But logistically it will work better for us. It will still be special no matter what you do! You'll still get that reaction.

    • Reply
  • Jennalyn
    Super February 2017
    Jennalyn ·
    • Flag

    We have decided that we will be doing a first look for 2 reasons: 1: lighting. we are getting married in February in Ontario Canada and the sun will be set by just after 4pm we want to get a few pictures of us and bridal party outside in the snow but will need light so will be taking the outdoor pictures before our 3pm ceremony.

    2: Timing. I have a extra large family with my parents divorced and both remarried so in order to ensure that we have enough time for the family formal photos between ceremony and reception we decided to get the majority of our photos of just us and bridal party done before ceremony. This should allow us to take family formal photos and then even allow a small amount of time to mingle with our guests.

    We are going to make it special by having just us and the photographer for the first look and then bridal party will join after. This will give us a few special moments alone to take it all in.

    there is no right or wrong answer to doing a first look or not. it is totally a personal choice.

    • Reply
  • Kathleen Smith
    April 2020
    Kathleen Smith ·
    • Flag

    Exactly what Jennalyn said!

    • Reply
  • MNA
    Master April 2018
    MNA ·
    • Flag

    We won't be doing a first look. Our guests will be able to go to our cocktail hour while we take photos, and we may also take some after the reception ends since it's an afternoon reception.

    • Reply
  • Jessica
    Expert September 2017
    Jessica ·
    • Flag

    It's not for us. I really am looking forward to FH seeing me for the first time as I walk down the aisle. Plus ceremony and reception are in same place.

    Our friends are doing a first look and pics around the city, before the wedding. Their venue is very banquety and they want to have better scenery for their pictures. Which is great because then they won't keep their guests waiting by doing it beforehand. I hate long gaps between ceremony and reception anything more than a cocktail hour is awful.

    To each their own. No right answer, do what works for you!

    • Reply
  • Kara
    Super May 2017
    Kara ·
    • Flag

    We will not be doing a first look. I was fine with the idea but FH was totally against it. We will be having a cocktail hour during photos for the guests Smiley smile

    • Reply
  • A. L.
    Master July 2017
    A. L. ·
    • Flag

    We're getting ready together. We do not want to miss one second of our wedding, including cocktail hour, to take pictures. No way.

    • Reply
  • Courtney
    Dedicated August 2016
    Courtney ·
    • Flag

    My husband and I had a first look and we shared it with our parents (in background) I'm really glad we did it because it was truly a special moment and we had a moment to ourselves. My husbands face was priceless! I'm so glad the photographer captured it. But it honestly helped calm our nerves. I think to each couple their own!

    • Reply
  • SarahL2T
    VIP April 2017
    SarahL2T ·
    • Flag

    We're doing a first look for the same reason as @Jennalyn! First look and bridal party pictures will take place before the ceremony, then after we'll do family photos at the ceremony site and then meet everyone at our cocktail hour.

    • Reply
  • Salisbride
    Super July 2016
    Salisbride ·
    • Flag

    We had a later ceremony so we did a first look and then took formal pictures with our bridal party and parents. Then we all had a shuttle over to the ceremony together. FH was still very emotional when he saw me walking down the aisle. I loved getting to spend time together before the ceremony with our whole bridal party, it would not have been as fun for me if we were all separated. And yes, my hair looks best in the first look pictures and other formal pictures we took before the ceremony. I love our first look pictures, they are some of my favorites.

    • Reply
  • mimitrue
    Master January 2016
    mimitrue ·
    • Flag

    We had a 1st look ...and i wish we didn't. I would go back and see each other for the 1st time walking down the aisle.

    • Reply
  • Alicia
    Super November 2016
    Alicia ·
    • Flag

    My FH and I are not doing a first look. He's very traditional in the sense of wanting to see me for the first time when I walk down the aisle. We will do pictures while our guests are enjoying cocktail hour.

    • Reply
  • WeddingBelle
    Expert September 2017
    WeddingBelle ·
    • Flag

    Mimitrue, may I ask why you regret doing the first look?

    • Reply
  • FutureMrs.Moakley
    Super January 2017
    FutureMrs.Moakley ·
    • Flag

    We plan on doing a first look. I want to quell my nerves before walking down the aisle, and I want to enjoy as much of my cocktail hour as I can!

    • Reply
  • Kels
    Master August 2016
    Kels ·
    • Flag

    We did pictures after the ceremony.

    Guests went ahead and started with dinner.

    • Reply
  • Alice
    Expert October 2016
    Alice ·
    • Flag

    No first look but we are taking everyone's pics before the wedding. Any pics I'm in will be after the wedding we want to limit how long the guests have to wait after the wedding for us

    • Reply
  • Leah
    VIP July 2017
    Leah ·
    • Flag

    I would be perfectly fine with waiting until the ceremony but there just wouldn't be enough time to do pictures afterwards with evening mass coming. So for that reason well be doing a first look.

    • Reply
  • Z
    Master May 2012
    Zoe ·
    • Flag

    We did a first look-- our photog pointed out that a: your outfit can get ruined before you even get to pictures, as soon as someone steps on your train or smears makeup on your dress, also that it can be hard to find the BP if someone wanders off after the wedding, that it's nice to have a quiet moment together on a busy, busy day, AND that you will be just as excited to see each other when you're walking down the aisle. Of course, I don't know how excited I would have been if we hadn't done the first look, but I know I was thrilled, and DH had a HUGE goofy grin on his face when he saw me, which was so much wider than anything in the posed pictures!

    • Reply
  • kmd0506
    Dedicated June 2017
    kmd0506 ·
    • Flag

    We are doing a first look because we have to do a civil ceremony before the church ceremony and I don't want the first time he sees me that day in an office (We are doing a DW in Europe and those are the local laws- and we don't want our official marriage date of the civil ceremony to be different than the church service)....I didn't originally want to do a first look, but don't see how else to do it with the timeline we have for that day.

    • Reply

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