Life is a special occasion

The Great Debate : The First Look

Kristen Weaver captures the first look

If you know me or work with me, it's no secret that I love my job, my company and my profession. Here is one of a million reasons why, I get to debate issues like the first look. For those readers who don't know what this is, no worries because I am about to tell you. The first look is when the bride and groom see each other prior to the ceremony, versus at the ceremony, the moment the bride walks down the aisle. Here is the big debate, which is better?

Besides being a Gemini, I have an argument for both sides. Before the ceremony is great because you have pictures of the moments leading up to seeing each other, pictures of the first sight of one another, and then the portraits that you pose for together. These most intimate moments are all captured when no one else is present. It is just the two of you, and of course your fabulous photographer. Can I type romantic? Yup, I just did. Put aside the romance for a second and think about the practical aspect to having your most special pictures taken without all of your family, bridal party and maybe even all of your guests around. That's a large audience, and a lot of pressure to handle. Stage fright is not just for Broadway and Hollywood.

Okay, so besides documenting the romantical moments and combating stage fright, there is a time factor involved. There is only an hour for cocktails, and if your reception is not in the same location as the ceremony...well, I think you can understand where this is going. The first look will not only produce amazing pictures but it will save you time. Think about it, by the time the ceremony is over, you could have completed most of - if not all of - the wedding portraits and this means that you will not be in a mad rush to fit in a million shots in short time frame.

Geoff White captures the groom's first sight of his bride
walking down the aisle

Okay, here is the other side. If you are more of a traditional bride and prefer to have the I'm about to be married glow and twinkle in your eyes at the first sight of your future husband standing oh-so handsomely at the end of the aisle, the first look is probably not for you. Or, if you are the bride who wants to show everyone, including your soon-to-be, how incredibly stunning you are as you enter the ceremony, then the first look is probably not for you either.

There are a lot of reasons why either situation is great but either way, don't get hung up on the tradition of "oh, I am not supposed to see the groom before" because it's a tra-di-tion not a rule. In the Jewish faith, the bride must see the groom prior to the wedding to sign the ketubah. See, nothing is written in stone here except that it is your wedding, and can and should be done the way you and your fiancé want it!

Now, if you are still stuck on the great debate of the first look and absolutely cannot decide what to do...check out Corinna Hoffman's picture (posted below) on a great alternate. Bravo, Corinna, for giving us the best of both worlds!

1 comment :

  1. It's definitely up to the bride...but photographers do love it when brides do the First Look. It allows to have more fun and relaxed time for pictures! I wish someone educated me about First Look when I got married in Spring 2007 and perhaps, I would have gotten more daylight pictures :) Thanks for featuring my picture!