Our couples ask us quite often if they should do a first look or not. We always reply with "it is your wedding, do what you feel is best for you." We, however, LOVE the first look and we will tell you why.
Many of our couples think they will lose the "magic" of seeing each other for the first time coming down the aisle but quite honestly the magic is still there! There are advantages of seeing each other for the first time before the actual ceremony. For one, you get some intensely private time. After we have captured your faces and expressions, we leave you alone in a room so you can have some truly quiet time to tell each other your thoughts, you can't have that moment at the front of church in front of others. Seeing each other before the ceremony allows you to see each other and talk about how each other looks so good! And we often see gift exchanges in person and you'll be able to see your spouse's reaction. It's truly a beautiful moment. All of our couples that chose to see each other before the ceremony said they still had the butterflies and excitement of seeing each other as the ceremony began. It was as if they got to see each other for the first time all over again. We call that the 2 for 1 deal! Not only did you get to see other once before the ceremony but you get a 2nd chance and that is an awesome thing!
Another MAJOR advantage to seeing each other before the ceremony is to get all the formal portraits done and out of the way. The majority of our couples have paid for a cocktail hour and they want to enjoy the food and drinks with their guests. The cocktail is a wonderfully fun time and couples who opted not to see each other before the ceremony are out doing formal portraits with their bridal party and their families. Although, we do everything in our power to photograph the formals as quickly as possible there are always some sort of "bumps in the road" such as someone going off to use the restroom and then getting sidetracked and we have to wait 10 minutes just for that person to come back. It makes the formals run longer than any of us would hope for. This is something to definitely take into consideration.
There are a few other things to take into consideration. If the weather is teasing and unpredictable, a first look could mean that portraits will be done indoors or outdoors. If there is no rain during the morning hours, maybe it will be better to see each other so portraits can be done outdoors as it may rain later in the day with zero chance of outdoor portraits. Sometimes weather can be a factor. The heat can be a factor as well. If you dream of outdoor portraits but wait until later to do them, your make up could be "melting" and your hair could be hating the humidity. It's always nice to get portraits done when everything is fresh and perfect!
There are always pros and cons to a first look. And honestly, we want our couples to be 110% happy and we accommodate for anything that the couple wants. Whether they do a first look or choose not to, we certainly do not dictate what should be done. It is YOUR wedding and you should do what feels best for you! We just wanted to share our thoughts on why we love the first look!