Weddings in any culture have their traditions and superstitions. One time-honoured staple is the couple not seeing one another before locking eyes as she walks down the aisle. Many modern-day couples are challenging this tradition with what’s called a First Look (also referred to as a Reveal). Naturally this can throw couples into a tizzy as they debate the merits of each option… but there’s really no wrong answer here. It really comes down to preference.
Her Big Day: Every Bride invests a lot of money, time and emotion into her wedding dress… she deserves that special moment when her Groom first sees her. Is this moment made more or less intimate by all the guests present at the ceremony? Or, could the couple share a romantic, emotional exchange between just the two of them ahead of the ceremony… away from onlookers?
A First Look moment can remove a little stress from an already action-packed day. Couples can focus on themselves during that special moment and let their love shine through… which comes through beautifully in the photos. Then there’s that additional moment when the Groom gets to watch her come down that aisle and everything really sinks in, “…this is really happening wow I’m so incredibly lucky!” As a photographer, about 80% of my weddings now involved First Looks and I have yet to have a Groom not have that same emotional reaction as she walks down the aisle. It’s an amazing thing to watch.
Photographing a First Look: I like to shoot with a long lens which allows me to stand at a distance. This is less intrusive and lets the emotional, private moment unfold naturally. Later, a photographer has more time to capture the walk down the aisle from both the Bride and Groom’s perspective while also capturing parents, grandparents and other guest reactions.
Meet in the Middle: A popular middle-ground is what I call an “Almost Look”. Couples don’t actually see one another before the ceremony, however they get together on either side of a door or wall of some sort. There they can exchange notes, gifts and/or a few words. This can be photographed in a very similar, prepared fashion to the First Look.
Summing Up: There are no rules to say which way is best, however the only wrong way to go would be by someone else’s view of your day. How do YOU see your day unfolding? How would you like to spend that magical moment? No wrong answer here, because it will be awesome whichever way you decide to go!
Please leave a comment with which way you decided to go, and why! Good luck :)
The reveal – First Look wedding photos are a popular trend