The First Look: A Bride’s Perspective
It’s incredible how ‘anti-first look’ I was up until about 3 months before our wedding. “No way is he seeing me until I walk down the aisle,” I told everyone (even when they didn’t ask for my opinion on the subject). I adored that traditional aspect of a wedding. I wanted it to be this grand, unforgettable moment – walking down the aisle in a white dress I’ll only get to wear once, Corey crying like a baby as he sees me for the first time, and our guests surrounding us, witnessing all the feels and emotions (and if it’s really dramatic like I expected, maybe Corey’s reaction would end up on Pinterest).
However, it only took about 10 minutes of observing post-ceremony family portraits at Castleton to change my mind. Instead of spending the first 45 minutes or so of wedded bliss alone, this couple spent it posing and smiling with 30 other family members, trying to get the kiddos to look at the camera, and sending bridesmaids to find cousin Jimmy, who’s already introduced himself to the fruit and cheese display. After all of that, the two still had to take bride and groom pictures! Guests travel from near and far for YOU, and trust me, they get a bit antsy when you’re not around because the party truly doesn’t start until you walk in.
As a bride who’s been there, done that, these are just a few reasons why I would choose to do a first look again and again:
Sharing initial emotions. If we had waited for the initial reaction to happen during the ceremony, I wouldn’t have been able to hug and kiss him and tell him how much I was ready to marry him. I wouldn’t have been able to hear him say how excited he was or if he liked my dress. We would’ve missed out on that private, intimate moment together.
Aisle jitters and distractions. I can’t explain how nice it was to see Corey, for the first time, while it was just the two of us, instead of in front of every single guest we invited. Walking down the aisle, I was too busy worrying if I had lipstick on my teeth or how fast we were walking or oh! there’s Claire, so happy she could come! Don’t get me wrong, it was still an emotional experience – you’re walking towards your best friend, your forever teammate. I still almost cried (I’m not a big crier, folks), Corey still quivered his lips, and our guests still made comments about how sweet his reaction was. Having a first look, for us, didn’t ruin “the big moment” of walking down the aisle.
Seeing you for you. The first look was a chance for Corey to assess my dress and adjust to how much makeup I was wearing (I’m a mascara-and-go kind of girl). At the ceremony, since he had already taken in how I looked, he could see me for me – his bride, walking to him ready to begin our life together. It was able to be more of a “Wow, this is really happening” moment.
Post-ceremony privacy. Because we agreed on seeing each other before the ceremony, Corey and I were able to have a much more intimate moment immediately following our announcement as Mr. and Mrs. We were able to knock out our bridal party and family photos before the ceremony, so afterwards, we could escape and be together, just the two of us (and the photographers and videographers, of course).
However, all of that being said, choosing to do a first look is completely up to you! It’s what worked best for Corey and I, but that’s not to say it works best for everyone. Talk to your fiancé about it! He might surprise you by having an opinion. In the end, it’s about what YOU want, not what the Internet tells you to do.
Read Corey’s perspective on our first look here.