Why The First Look Always Gets My Vote
I'm sure there are plenty of other resources I could give you on why people like or dislike the first look. After booking several weddings this past month and having to elaborate on the pros and cons, I figured it wouldn't hurt to make a little list of why I think the first look is a wonderful idea.
1) FOR THE SAKE OF TIME
If there is anything a bride should know about her wedding day, it's that things usually run late and are not on time. This is a fact we have to just take in and accept. Probably the number one request I get as far as taking photos the day of is that we take as many of the painful group shots before the wedding as possible. I get that. I want to get them out of the way as fast and as early as possible. However, if you haven't seen your groom all day and are choosing not to, sometimes the task of taking these photos becomes even more time consuming than you would think. We have to take out the bride and all of her bridesmaids. Make sure the groom is hidden. Snap those photos before anyone sees the bride. Put her away. Drag out the groom and his guys. Put them in place, make sure the bride is hidden. Snap those photos and then run back and hide the groom. That's a lot of work, considering that most couples ask for another bridal party photo after the ceremony because they don't have one with everyone in one photo. Gathering everyone again after the ceremony can take just as long as it did to take the pre-ceremony photos. I'm not complaining here, I'm trying to show you how much work it is for YOU! So why not keep it simple and designate time before the wedding to knock it out ? :)
2) FOR THOSE THAT ARE NERVOUS
I have had every bride from calm, cool and collected to nervous and sick and everything in between. There is A LOT of pressure when those doors swing open and you walk down that aisle. You're worried about lipstick on your teeth and if your garter is going to stay on. Do you smile the whole way down? What if you start crying? What is he thinking? Are they looking at me or him? You're trying to take this all in and enjoy it but there's so many people looking at you. It's a lot of emotion in a short amount of time and that creates pressure. I can tell you this, seeing each other before the wedding will SIGNIFICANTLY reduce the amount of anxiety you may have about walking down the aisle. During your first look you, you get to enjoy the moment of excitement and anticipation that there is in seeing each other first time on your wedding day. You don't have to share that with a room full of onlookers. I was so nervous about walking down the aisle in front of so many people that I giggled nervously to my dad the whole way down. I don't remember AT ALL if my husband was emotional or smiling. I don't remember even locking eyes the whole way up. While I'm sure we did and he has told me he was so excited, I don't have a visual memory of that because of my nerves and anxiety about all of those people. So if this is you, the first look might be your best bet.
4) IT'S NOT BAD LUCK
All I am going to say about this is that I don't think marriage is a place for superstition. Seeing each other or not before the actual exchange of vows will most definitely not change the fate of your relationship. Point made.
3) "BUT I WANT TO SEE HIS REACTION AFTER SEEING ME FOR THE FIRST TIME"
Me too, sister, me too. I will tell you from experience and years of turning around or telling an assistant to not miss his face when she walks out, probably 8 out of 10 times it's a disappointment. That can't be true, right? Unfortunately it can, and not for reasons you would think. I've never met a groom that just didn't seem to care or have emotion about his bride on the wedding day, they're always overjoyed. But that doesn't usually show until all the pressure is gone and he can relax. Just think about it, what do guys do when they get emotional or feel like they are on the verge of tears (in the midst of a hundred or so people)? They shut down. They get a stern look on their face and they don't smile, they don't cry. They don't seem to have any emotion. Is this a bad thing? Not at all! It's they way men are. Girls expect that Hollywood moment when the bride enters the room and the groom is overcome with emotion. The truth is, that emotion usually doesn't creep up to his face and show right then. And don't be discouraged- some men definitely get excited, smile, break down and cry. But you have to think hard about how he is going to react to that moment. I know that of all the first looks I've done, the groom will always be more expressive, excited and emotional when he gets to share that moment with just you. When he gets that chance to take all of your beauty in without a crowd of people and some bright lights watching him do it. Not doing a first look puts him under just as much pressure as you while walking down that aisle. I think that this would be my biggest reason for doing the first look. So save yourself some time and anxiety, share a genuine moment of excitement and joy just the two of you, so you can relax and enjoy your big day.