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Kailey
Newbie February 2019 Alberta

Pros and Cons of a first look?

Kailey, on January 7, 2018 at 16:23 Posted in Plan a wedding 0 18
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My fiancé and I are planning an evening wedding. We are deciding if we do a first look and most of the pictures before the ceremony.

We are torn as to if we do a first look and wondering the pros and cons of one.

18 Comments

Latest activity by Becky, on March 15, 2018 at 15:12
  • Becky
    VIP September 2019 Ontario
    Becky ·
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    I am hoping to do a first look, I have anxiety when comes to crowds even though its family and friends. I am emotional person and also another reason was the photographer. We have two photographers who work together, get photos of me getting ready and him separately. Then separately the me and bridesmaids/ him and groomsmen. I thought it would give us some time to actually visit guests after the wedding during cocktail and supper.

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  • Holly
    Expert June 2019 Ontario
    Holly ·
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    Very true for cons! Lol I know his mom and aunt would be mad, but it seems every decision I've made so far has already done that do it wouldn't even matter. But for us it was my fiance, he really does not want a first look
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  • Kristine
    Frequent user October 2017 Ontario
    Kristine ·
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    I love your "Cons", it made me laugh!

    We did a first look, and that was the only Con we had (only from my MIL though)

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  • Biondina
    Newbie May 2019 Ontario
    Biondina ·
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    Pros: It's a moment shared ONLY between you two. It is so much more raw and emotional then doing it in front of all your guests and holding yourself back. You get all your nerves out and can actually ENJOY seeing each other for that first time rather than being so formal in front of everyone. You don't have to worry about tears ruining your makeup for pictures as you can touch up if need be.

    Cons: Non-traditional. Your parents might be mad.

    Smiley smile

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  • Taylor
    Frequent user June 2018 Ontario
    Taylor ·
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    At first we wanted to wait until the ceremony to see each other however I looked at some first look pictures, read some articles and we changed our mind. We decided we are doing a first look because it is more meaningful to us to see each other alone (with the 2 photographers) first, before we see each other in front of 130 people. It will allow a lot more time for pictures, which is one of the most important parts for me. It will take away from of the nerves of the ceremony. It makes sense for us as a couple to see each other first, alone. I also am worried I may cry during the ceremony, so I want to have good pictures before that! if you look up first look pictures, it will give you an idea of what you can get out of it, I cant wait!

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  • Kristine
    Frequent user October 2017 Ontario
    Kristine ·
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    My DH and I did a first look, and for me it was one of the best decisions we made! He was a little unsure at first, but after discussion we decided on it. Our ceremony was at 4pm in October.

    1. We had SO MUCH time for pictures, and nobody was rushed or stressed

    2. We still had our moment, and the pictures capturing it are beautiful.

    3. Guests didn't have that "in between time" and many of them expressed how nice that was!

    4. My DH and I got to spend more time together on our wedding day

    I still had that "OMG this is happening" moment once the processional started. My DH still teared up as I walked down the aisle. I was still smiling ear to ear every step of the way.


    The only con I have is that his mother wasn't exactly thrilled when we told her, since it's not "traditional", but his mother is a whole different story.


    At the end of the day - you do you. Don't let anybody else, or some notion of "tradition" keep you from doing what you want to do.

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  • Tatiana
    Expert April 2018 Ontario
    Tatiana ·
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    We are doing first look and pictures before our ceremony, that way we straight from ceremony to reception. My FH was not too happy about first look, but its something thats important to me.

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  • Candace
    VIP May 2019 Ontario
    Candace ·
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    This is one tradition that my fiancé are going to keep, the first look at his bride will be when I am walking down the aisle!
    We debated having a first look before hand but for us it would be tough because our ceremony, reception, and hotel are all in the same area and therefore a guest could see us if we did a first look. Especially if we did it in a nice area for the photos of the moment so we decided very quickly not to do it. Plus there is something romantic about the antipation building all morning towards that moment
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  • Mandy
    Devoted July 2019 Alberta
    Mandy ·
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    I really want to do a first look. But my FH doesn’t want too. He wants the first time he sees me to be at the actual ceremony. I can’t take that away, he is very much old school.
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  • Amyfanggg
    Frequent user April 2018 Ontario
    Amyfanggg ·
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    That's what I'm gonna do! I haven't let anyone see me in the dress. So it's gonna be a first look for everyone that matters. I'm excited! So first look and pictures before ceremony.
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  • Holly
    Expert June 2019 Ontario
    Holly ·
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    You're welcome! Glad I could give you some ideas! 😊
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  • Jen
    VIP June 2018 Ontario
    Jen ·
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    Same here! We are both pretty emotional people and this would definitely help calm us before the ceremony so we aren't blubbering idiots as he's standing at the top of the aisle and while I'm walking towards him. I'd like to preserve my makeup as long as possible lol

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  • Ashley
    Expert March 2018 Ontario
    Ashley ·
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    #2 is the reason we are doing a first look! I am such a crier and need the alone time with my almost hubby to cry and say hello and get excited about our ceremony.

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  • Maegan
    Super July 2018 British Columbia
    Maegan ·
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    We will be doing a first look and all of our photos before the ceremony Smiley smile we had a number of reasons for this:
    1) get to spend more time together the day of
    2) calmed nerves before the ceremony (and hopefully i dont cry the entire time!)
    3) more relaxed pace the whole day so it will be more enjoyable
    4) we can spend more time with our guests during cocktail hour right after the ceremony
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  • Breanne
    Expert August 2018 Ontario
    Breanne ·
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    Holly thanks for these pictures! We also aren't planning on doing first looks but I love these ideas. We are getting married later in the day (5pm) but doing a lot of our parties pictures beforehand (ladies and guys separate) as we have 2 photographers. We will do some quick total party, parents and couple photos after the ceremony. Luckily we both have small families so that won't take long. We're allotting an hour max after the ceremony for photos and then back in for the celebrations.

    We are all getting ready is separate rooms of a hotel so we can totally pull off the opposite sides of the door photo - thanks for the idea.

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  • Holly
    Expert June 2019 Ontario
    Holly ·
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    Yoire very welcome! And ame here. We will have our ceremony then a cocktail hour while we are getting photos then reception so we aren't really missing much guest time.
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  • Kailey
    Newbie February 2019 Alberta
    Kailey ·
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    Thank you Holly
    Those are all good ideas and thoughts to think of. I did find a timeline of an evening wedding that only takes an hour out of the time with family doing pictures together afterwords
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  • Holly
    Expert June 2019 Ontario
    Holly ·
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    We went through the same thing, in conclusion we decided against doing a first look. Here are some of the pros and cons we came up with for a first look..
    Pros: might help calm nerves before ceremony, get the photos in early allowing more time with guests, gives us a bit more time together.
    Cons: ruins the reaction of the groom seeing his bride walking down the aisle and seeing eachother for the first time, wedding band won't be in any of those formal photos you already took, takes away that pure emotional moment between the bride and groom and all their friends and family
    Him seeing me for the first time on our wedding day while I was walking down the aisle was huge for both of us, I would have regretted a first look. I am so excited to see his face when I walk down the aisle!
    Overall I'd say go with your gut.
    First look photos are gorgeous but in replace of that we will do letter exchange, where we are on seperate sides of a wall or door holding hands and reading a letter we wrote for each other.

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