I am so excited to chat with you all today about a mistake I made planning my OWN wedding. I was so excited to see my husband for the first time on our wedding day as I was walking down the aisle. Truth be told, I wouldn’t have listened even if you had listed all the reasons why a first look might be a better idea. I thought a first look would ruin the feelings I had walking down the aisle, not enhance them. This was a mistake.
As wedding planners, we always encourage our couples to consider a first look before the ceremony. Ultimately, what you choose to do is up to you and it’s our job to educate you on our own past experiences, which is what we will talk about here. For more information about our wedding planning services in Northern Georgia or the Carolinas, you can find our packages here or contact us with any questions here!
What you think you are missing out on when you see your partner before the wedding ceremony, you are actually gaining. A first look gives you all the intimacy and rush of emotions that you picture yourself getting as you walk down the aisle. The truth is, as someone who has been there (and done that!), it’s hard to actually feel all of your true and authentic emotions when all of your friends and family are staring at you. For those who choose not to have a first look, it can be incredibly overwhelming to feel that rush of emotion. You think it’s going to be such a sweet moment but it can also make you “black out” or obsess over little details (like “please don’t let my fake eyelashes fall off”) instead of just feeling truly present on your wedding day. You won’t remember it which is SUCH a shame.
A first look, doesn’t rob you of that first rush, if anything it enhances it because there is nothing to distract you. Trust me, I was that bride that was so adamant about having that fairytale moment. I wanted my husband to absolutely crumble when he saw me for the first time down the aisle. When that didn’t happen, I was partially devastated (and keep in mind, this was when I was saying my vows!). After the ceremony, we had a chance to connect and he explained that it was almost a “black out” moment for him too – total overwhelm that prevented him from truly feeling the emotion at that time.
I truly believe that the most important reason to consider a first look is that you get a chance to be truly present and feel all of those emotions together. We always recommend the wedding couple spend a few moments alone together on their wedding day, and a first look gives you the chance to do that without any timeline crunch. Sometimes, our couples also choose to have their parents or wedding party there, which can be a really special moment to share.
When you have a first look, you have a lot more freedom in your wedding day timeline. If you want, you can also take photos with your bridal party and more formal family portraits before the wedding ceremony, so that you don’t feel rushed before the reception. This is a great idea – especially if you live somewhere like North Georgia where the rain can be kind of spotty. When we have a more relaxed timeline, we can take advantage of the sunnier times without stress. You get the “work” out of the way, and you can be truly be present during your wedding ceremony and reception knowing that you have all the photos you want.
When we look at wedding photography pricing, you can see that photographers charge an average of $300-$350/hour (at least in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina). When you plan a first look, you get better use of your photographer’s time because often getting ready photos can lead to a lot of time to snap detail shots. You spent a lot of money on those details (your invitations/stationery, rings, shoes, etc) so those are definitely photos you are going to want to get, but they aren’t the photos you are going to hang on your wall. Having a first look also gives you the opportunity to touch up your makeup for your wedding ceremony photos!
If you were on the fence, I hope this has given you some food for thought as to why we so strongly recommend a first look before your wedding ceremony. Like I mentioned before, it really is our job as wedding planners to equip our couples with all the information they need to make an informed decision about their wedding day. Whether you choose a first look or an aisle reveal, we will support you every step of the way. Space is filling quickly though so if you are still looking for a wedding planner for your 2021 or 2022 wedding, make sure to inquire here. We would love to talk about your wedding day!