This is such a huge question for most brides, when it comes to your wedding day! So many photographers, and even other vendors LOVE first looks. And YES they are beautiful, romantic, and sometimes necessary for a wedding day. However, I am going to share some thoughts on why you should NOT have a first look...
1. The Anticipation...
Waiting until you walk down the aisle builds up so much anticipation- not just for yourself, but also for your groom! All day he waits to see you... and when the moment happens, with the music playing, family smiling and crying around you, he FINALLY gets to see you in your full bridal glory, walking towards him, about to commit forever to each other, he is absolutely in love with that moment and seeing you for the first time on your wedding day! That moment, his reaction, your feelings, all of it is just as great in photographs as a first look, if not better... so doing a first look just for the pictures holds nothing of more value, in my opinion! However, I have seen the most special and romantic first looks, and the groom is just as excited. So in the end, it comes down to what YOU want YOUR wedding day to look like, feel like, your own schedule & how you want to remember it. I just love tradition in this area, and I think that the tradition does hold value, beauty, and significance.
2. This moment is very special to your family, ESPECIALLY to the father of the bride.
The father of the bride is doing the one thing he has known was going to be difficult, since his baby girl was born, in giving his daughter away... and to know that the bride and groom have waited for this moment, holds so much significance to him. The bride's father is experiencing everything with them in that moment as well! Even family watching are able to feel the emotions and excitement of the bride's grand entrance and moments of seeing each other and being given over to each other.
3. Pictures after the Ceremony
The pictures you take together officially as husband and wife are so full of emotion, romance, happiness, joy, and love!!! You are currently feeling what it feels like to call each other "husband" or "wife", all while the stresses of everything leading up to your wedding are gone, because the rest of the night is full of fun and the hard part is over! So now you are so focused on each other, and focused on just being together for photos! As long as your guests have something to entertain themselves, they don't mind waiting 30 minutes -an hour, especially if they are already eating appetizers! You can plan for your ceremony and photographs to be around sunset time so that you have the BEST light- rather than a first look in the early afternoon (when the sun is the harshest).
You really just can't beat those moments of pure joy that you feel after you are finally married!
Most photographers that I talk to love first looks because it is "so much easier time-wise", and to be honest, if that is the reason you are forcing yourself to do something you don't want to do, then it is not worth it. Only do a first look if that is something YOU want, or YOU have dreamt of, if it's something you BOTH agree would be beneficial or special. Always run your timeline by your photographer, but ultimately it is YOUR wedding day, you are the one who gets to call the shots, especially when it is something that you value/don't value. I encourage you and your fiance' to sit and talk about your options before jumping into a first look just because it was suggested by your coordinator, photographer, etc. Make it your day, and uphold what matters to you the most.