First look vs keeping it traditional | Detroit, MI

first look in belle isle conservatory

If you have been to a wedding, been in a wedding or know someone who has gotten married recently, you have more than likely heard of this thing called a “first look”.

This is where the couple who is getting married sets up a private time to see one another before the ceremony, instead of at the alter. The trend has really taken off in the last 5 or 6 years and I am SO grateful for it. Not just because its a HUGE time saver on the day of the wedding. But because it allows the couple to have time alone, together, privately, before the madness starts.

Wedding days go by quickly. You blink and it’s over. Most couples will tell you that they didn’t get to spend any time with their new spouse the day of their wedding. First looks allow for this.

Also, I know everyone has seen those viral posts of a spouse having an emotional response to seeing there soon-to-be husband or wife for the first time. I have been to hundreds of weddings in my career, and I can tell you that 8 times out of 10 there is no response like that with them waiting at the end of the aisle for you. Don’t get me wrong there are a few exceptions to the rule. But, more often than not the one waiting at the end of the aisle will try to “hold it in” and will end up looking in pain or uncomfortable. By no fault of their own, they just have all those eyes on them.

Take into account as well, that aisles are long and by the time you are within god view the emotion has come and gone. Or God-forbid guest step out into the aisle to get a “great cell phone shot” and they block that view you have been dreaming of. Just this last year I had the mother of the bride step right in front of the groom with her cell phone and hand-held video camera blocking the view of the groom when I turned around to get his reaction. It happens more than you think it does.

Not to mention it helps SO much with nerves. Seeing the one you love more than anything before the biggest moment of your lives together? Really gives you peace I can’t describe.

Also, out of a nervous habit all of us humans have. When you start your walk to your partner waiting for you at the end of the aisle, you are instinctively going to look down. So you will end up missing their reaction. With the officiant having everyone stand and look at you, all of the cameras and cellphones pointed at you. Even with an “unplugged ceremony” there are still selfish-entitled guests who will sneak their phones out. I see them and take pictures of them every time, by the way. 😉

When I got married, our first look was my absolute favorite part of the day. Even though we eloped and have maybe 20 people there (I have a lot of siblings) it was still a time for just him and I. And boy was he emotional….. <3

As I previously mentioned above first looks allow for extra time the day of a wedding. By doing this we aren’t just hiding you from one another and doing nothing for a few hours. We can use that time to do wedding party pictures, family formals, your portraits, etc. Which at the end of the day gives you more time to PARTY later!!

If you or your fiancé are still set on the traditional idea of seeing each other at the end of the aisle? That’s totally cool too! Some people just like the idea of doing that because everyone they know have done it that way.

A piece of advice? Have the partner waiting at the end of the aisle turn their back before you enter the area of the ceremony. Then have the officiant tell them to turn around when you are about half way up the aisle or even standing right there. That way you can see their reaction face-to-face and look each other in the eye. Kind of like a first look but not as private.

There is no “right or wrong” way to do this. There is just YOUR way and what you feel is best for you and your spouse. Don’t let any one pressure you one way or another. Keep your wedding day about the two of you and how you want it to go.

If you’d like to talk more details or have questions about wedding days- hit me up!!

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