As far as things go, here at Mueller Co. we're pretty non-traditional. In the age we live in, we love looking back at old traditions and we appreciate the meaning these customs and superstitions had, but these days couples are putting their own spin on things. One of the fresh ideas we get asked about is the 'first look'.
A first look is almost exactly what it sounds like - a chosen time before the wedding ceremony where you get to see your husband or wife-to-be in a special and intimate moment. Moments are fleeting on your wedding day, and a first look ensures a little slice of time for just you and your intended to be to spend together in a way that is relaxed, fun and personal. These moments are some of our favorites and often result in some of the best photographs. Often, whether it be from the distance down the aisle, or from nerves from all the gathered eyes, the emotional reaction we are expecting from the traditional first seeing your bride/groom walking down the aisle can be missed or stressed, As far as the initial excitement of walking down the aisle, don't worry! A first look won't take away from this part of the wedding. If anything, it adds to it by allowing the bride and groom to be more relaxed and present. A first look allows for logistical and emotional advantages. As they go, weddings have a habit of running late and the last thing we want is to have photos rushed and couples frazzled, getting shots out of the way early on helps to avoid these kinds of situations.
Here are six great reasons we love first looks.
1. It's intimate and personal. How you do your first look is entirely up to you - it can include moms and dads, family, etc, or it can be just the two of you. You can be completely out of the eye of your guests. You can talk and touch - which often isn't something you can do when you first see each other at the ceremony. Without any one around, you don't have to hold back and are able to have any reaction - hug/kiss/cry/laugh/smile/anything - and those honest emotions will show in photographs.
2. More time for photographs. In modern weddings, schedules are unique to each wedding and often it can be really beneficial to have a good portion of photographs taken before the ceremony. We often do bridal party and family photographs earlier on in the day. You've spent a lot of money on your wedding and you want to have it remembered! With a first look, you'll end up with more portraits of the two of you, and really special ones at that.
3. Better lighting. Sometimes due to the time of day or location, ceremony lighting isn't the most flattering. With a first look, together we can chose a beautiful location where the light is great and some of your most beautiful photographs can result from this portion of the day.
4. Calms the nerves. Many people don't realize how nervous they'll be on their wedding day! Combined with the fact that they haven't seen their partners all morning, all the excitement of the day, and all the people around them, a first look really helps to get those jitters out before the ceremony.
5. Your look will be fresh. A first look often comes after you've both finished getting ready. This means your hair and make up will be perfect and you and your partner will be looking their freshest, most fine selves.
6. More time with friends and family. Often photographs are done during cocktail hour. If a bulk of them can be done beforehand, this frees everyone up to get to the good part - the party! Sometimes all photos are done beforehand, and sometimes a few are still done after the ceremony. Either way, having a portion of them done beforehand avoids rushing through photos and allows you to spend that extra time with your friends and family.
Hilariously enough, the superstition of 'bad luck to see the bride before the alter' comes from the days where arranged marriages were commonplace and considered a kind of 'business deal'. The bride and groom were kept apart to avoid the groom backing out of the 'deal' because of looks! Fortunately today, it's not very often anyone backs out at the last moment due to appearance. Traditional couples may chose to go the 'altar' route - and we support everyone's choices. However first looks remain one of our recommendation for the above reasons, and because we love the raw and honest emotion that comes from such a beautiful moment.