Wedding Photographer Edmonton & Vancouver | Laurie K. Jensen
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Why You Should Do a First Look

"But I don't want to take away from the moment when he sees me walking down the aisle!"

"Because I heard it's bad luck!"

"All of our family & friends have done it this way!"

There are so many reasons to NOT do a First Look, but I'm here today to explain why you SHOULD!

Before I begin, I realize that not everyone might agree with me and that's perfectly OK. I am not saying you HAVE to do a First Look, but I want to encourage you to at least think about doing one! If after reading this, you're still determined to not do a First Look, that's totally cool! If after reading this, you're convinced you have to do one now, awesome!

Ready? Let's get started!

First off, I looked into why this tradition exists. Why can't a bride and groom see each other before the ceremony? It turns out, this tradition dates back to when couples wed through arranged marriages and they were strictly forbidden to see each other until the ceremony in fear one of them would back out if they knew what the other looked like! 

Do you know what your future spouse looks like? Good! Then why hide from them all morning?!

Unless you are superstitious or super traditional, there's no reason why you shouldn't do a first look. 

Still not convinced? I thought so.

Why You Should Do a First Look

You Save Time On Your Wedding Day

I can't emphasize how much time you could save on your wedding day by doing a First Look! When you make time for portraits before the ceremony, there's much less stress on the need for portraits after the ceremony. This frees up time to be with your loved ones, greet your guests early for the reception, and maybe with that extra time you save, you could even choose a location for the wedding party/bride & groom portraits farther away from the venue! 

It's Incredibly Intimate

Your wedding day is going to be busy. It's going to require stamina like a marathon runner because you have to always be smiling, greeting loved ones, and making sure your lipstick isn't smudging! Even with the best of intentions, things almost always run late and you will rarely have a moment just for each other once the festivities begin. That's why the First Look comes in incredibly handy when you carve time for each other before the ceremony. Aside from me slightly directing you for photographs in the beginning, you will have this moment all to yourselves. Doesn't that sound so comforting?

You Can Get More Photos

I really don't think seeing each other before the ceremony will take away from when you walk down the aisle. I say this (a) from personal experience and (b) you will be gorgeous nonetheless! With a First Look, you can break up your portrait sessions so it's not always go-go-go right after the ceremony. You can get a bit of breathing room in between posing for photos and be present with your guests & loved ones. 

If you're still slightly warming up to the idea of a First Look but like the romance of not seeing each other until the ceremony, consider these alternatives!

Alternatives to a First Look

First Touch

If you want to keep the suspense for the aisle but want a private moment together before the ceremony, a "first touch" is a great alternative! Some ideas are being on opposite sides of a door or wall while one of you sings a love song (my personal fave!) or holding hands while reading a love letter you wrote each other. 

First Look with Dad

This one's especially beautiful because the one man who has loved you your entire life gets to see you before anyone else. I've seen first hand the range of emotions parents feel on their children's wedding day and I have no doubt this will be an amazing gift for your father! 

The Night Before

I know, sounds crazy, right? But think about it: you can visit a location or venue you might not be able to otherwise the day-of and take advantage of some gorgeous lighting near sunset. You can also play around with different hair & makeup, which is especially helpful if you can't decide which look to go with for your wedding day!. Andrew and I actually did this a couple of weeks before we got married and we don't regret it at all! 

Are you in for a First Look? Did you do one for your wedding day? Tell me about it & why you recommend it in the comments!