As many of you know, I was a bride not too long ago (March 19th, 2016!). I am a fairly traditional person and always dreamt of having that special moment when my soon-to-be husband would see me for the first time, dressed in white, walking down the aisle holding my father's arm. Instead, we decided to do a first look. It was the best decision I made and this is why...
1. Timing- As a photographer, we affect the wedding day schedule. We are the reason the bride is 10 minutes ahead of schedule, the reason the ceremony is at 6:00pm instead of 12:00pm (lighting), etc. Therefore, if the couple decides to do a first look, all the pictures can be done before the ceremony allowing everyone to go straight into the reception.
2. Stress Relief- I remember those 15 minutes leading up to my first look. It all sunk in. My hair wasn't done, my bridesmaid was feeding me grapes to calm my nerves, and honestly I was just ready to see him. The first look relieves all the "wedding day jitters". It allows time to breathe and not feel as nervous walking down the aisle, 200 people starring right at you. Also, I'm a very emotional person and just knew I would be wiping tears the whole way down the aisle.
3. Intimate Moment- I remember my first look so vividly. I remember the tap on the shoulder I gave Will, and then the moment he turned around and saw me for the first time. I remember feeling so much ease, calmness, and security. Will opened his folded up piece of white paper and read words I never knew he had. His hands were shaking and the paper seemed crinkled from being in his pocket. This is why I love him. And the moment I lost my voice and a lump filled my throat as I spoke, "You are my per-son.." And we both cried together and had OUR moment. Just us. That was something special.
All in all, I respect and support all of my couples in their decision to see or not to see their significant other before the ceremony. I have done many weddings both ways and they all turn out so beautiful and exactly how the couple envisioned.
Hope this helps! Let me know your thoughts or first look experience!