WHEN I FIRST HEARD OF FIRST LOOKS, I really didn’t know what to think. Those who are stuck on tradition (or superstition) hate the idea. Did you know this is an ancient tradition going all the way back to arranged marriages, where the groom didn’t see his bride EVER before the day of they were wed? I don’t know about other parts of the world but here in America, couples know each other before they’re married. 😀 I’m going to tell you why I think it’s special to have this “first look” before the ceremony.
The WOW factor isn’t lost; it’s just more intimate because no one else is around (except for a photographer or two). The bride and groom can get caught up in emotion and let their stress and anxiety melt away a bit. Then when it comes time for the ceremony, there’s a whole other WOW factor that’s indescribable yet more relaxed. Instead of nervousness, there is overwhelming love … and a better ability to focus on the ceremony.
When time is scheduled after a first look and before the ceremony for family portraits, time is freed up to move right into party mode and get to the reception faster. Guests don’t have to wait around or find something else to do in between ceremony and reception. When formals are taken after the ceremony, in my experience, expressions are different. There’s a bit of anxiety creeping back in as everyone starts worrying about time again.
I recently assisted with a wedding where the bride and groom opted to have a first look, and their joy shined through! This is the second wedding I’ve helped photograph where the bride and groom met on Match.com. 🙂
If this wasn’t enough information, see this article on The Knot’s website and browse through all the comments following.