I'm not too secretive about the fact that I'm a huge fan of a first look on your wedding day! While I certainly don't require any of my couples to have a first look, I have shot enough weddings to know that they offer a ton of benefit, and I make sure my couples know all the pros and cons as they are planning their day.
The biggest argument against a first look is the fact that it's not "traditional." A first look obviously means that the first time you lock eyes with your groom on the big day isn't when you're walking down the aisle, and some people realize that and immediately think it's not for them. But there are so many good reasons to have a first look that you may not be considering!
1. Less Pressure
Even the calmest of brides and grooms get a little anxious the morning of their wedding day. Who could blame them!? But I can't tell you how many couples are different people once they see each other for the first time. The stress just melts away and they can spend the rest of the day enjoying their time and soaking it all in.
If you think about it, there's actually a lot of pressure in how a groom will react when he sees his bride for the first time. Will he be beaming? Will he well up with tears? Will he totally lose it in a Pinterest-worthy sob fest?! I don't know about you, but my groom had no interest in anybody but me knowing the answer to that question! I actually think a lot of grooms aren't able to fully appreciate the moment when their bride walks down the aisle ... not because they're not head over heels in love, but because 300 people are staring at them during this once in a lifetime moment!
With a first look, both you and your groom get to enjoy some time alone when you see each other for the first time, and then later when your eyes meet during your walk down the aisle, the pressure is off and you can just enjoy the moment, after having spent an amazing morning with your soulmate and best friends by your side!
2. Time Alone
Did you know that if you have a first look, it will likely be one of just a few moments you'll be alone with your groom all day!? That blew my mind as a bride, but it's true! You're constantly surrounded by your wedding party, your family, and all your guests, and very rarely is it just you and your #1. In my own personal experience, the best part of Jeff's and my first look was that we were by ourselves (well, and our amazing photographer of course!). We got to talk and enjoy each other and forget worrying about the timeline and what came next; we could just be.
If you do a first look, my other piece of advice would be that you really do it alone. Some brides are perfectly comfortable having their mamas or besties watch on, and if that is you, great! But if it's not, please don't feel bad asking to fly solo. Your wedding day is a big deal and it goes by in a blink. If you want that 30 minutes alone, you should get it! A first look, in my opinion, is its best and most intimate without an audience.
3. A Longer Day
Most of the couples that book me tend to prioritize their bridal portraits. Of course we make sure to get everything else, but they know that photos of the two of them are what are going to hang on their walls. With a first look, we can start our portrait time quite a bit earlier and GUESS WHAT - that means more portraits for you to love! Of course, since one of my favorite parts of the day is portrait time, too, I love this!
While maybe not the most traditional option, a first look allows you to really enjoy all the time you have on a wedding day that is sure to fly by!