Many of you might not be familiar with the term ‘first look’ or ‘first glance’ and so I thought I would try and shed a little light on what it is and the benefits it can bring. In basic terms, a ‘first look’ is when a bride and groom opt to see each other before the ceremony. Sometimes, it’s in secret. Sometimes a few members of the wedding party will be present but it is always in a private place away from the rest of the wedding guests.
When I first introduced this idea to my couples back in 2009, I thought that there would be a huge resistance to such a step away from tradition but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I’ve been honoured to have witnessed a great number now and I’ve come to realise there are so many benefits from sneaking quietly away.
The first and most overwhelming reason is simply the fact that it is one of the most romantic moments you will ever be a part of. I can’t stress this enough! That moment, when the groom sets eyes on his bride for the first time, becomes less about the wedding guests watching and the anxieties that can bring, and becomes solely about them; their love and their commitment to each other. It’s beautiful, intimate and a very, very special thing to be privy to.
There are many practical reasons too. Many of my couples who have chosen a ‘first look’ tell me that it is the best cure for nerves. Many couples just need to see each other before they walk down the aisle, to hug, to cry privately and to get rid of all those anxieties and fears. Surprisingly, many also say, that it makes walking down the aisle afterwards so much more pleasurable because they were able to walk slowly and take everything in.
A ‘first look’ can also be used as a wonderful opportunity to take the Bride and Groom portraits. This means that you will not only look your best but because there is more time it makes for a much more relaxed experience. You will also have more time after the ceremony to spend with your guests. Some couples even choose to include their families in this, so all the formal images are taken well before the ‘I do’, leaving you to enjoy the rest of the day with your guests.
Fact and myth:
Although America has coined the phrase, meeting your bride before the wedding is something that the rest of Europe has been doing for a long time. In many European countries it is traditional for the Groom to collect the Bride from her house and take her to the ceremony.
The notion of it being unlucky to see the bride before the wedding stems from the days where marriages were arranged. The families didn’t want the couple to see each other before the ceremony in case they decided against the marriage! It’s also the reason why the bride originally wore a veil!!