The First LookTuesday, February 02, 2021
You've asked and we've answered! Welcome to your weekly column 'Planning Your Happily Ever After' with wedding consultant Shikima Hinds. Her focus this week: The first look
One of the most memorable moments of a wedding day is the couple's “first look”. For a brief moment in time, the couple enjoys an emotional connection that they'll cherish forever. The first-look wedding photo has been one of the top wedding must-haves for many couples over the past several years and remains a hot trend.
What is the first look?
The first look is when a couple sees each other for the first time on their wedding day. It's a modern tradition involving a one-on-one photo session to capture this intimate moment between the bride and groom before the ceremony.
As a part of the first look, the groom will have his back turned to the bride as she approaches him. When the bride is close, he turns around to see her in all her glory.
The instant a couple first locks eyes on their big day is an absolutely romantic moment — whether or not it's done in private before they say “I do,” or as the bride makes her grand entrance at the ceremony. Even a woman who is not superstitious may cherish the idea of an “aisle reveal” — the moment when the groom sees her as a bride at the end of the aisle. A first look isn't right for everyone; there are some advantages and disadvantages to taking this route.
Consider these advantages:
•You save time by taking most of your photos together before the ceremony. This will give you more time to enjoy other aspects of your wedding; for example, spending more time with your guests and having a chance to actually enjoy the cocktail hour. With most of the couples' photos done, this will save time when the transition from ceremony to reception takes place.
• The first look can ease any pre-ceremony nerves. If you're worried about being nervous on your wedding day, this is the ideal way to go.
• You will look your best. A first look is done before the ceremony and reception when your hair is perfectly in place; you both have fresh faces and you look amazing.
• You get more photos. Scheduling time for photos before the ceremony with a first look will eventually allow you to get more photos, ideally during sunset.
• More private time together. Even though the bride and groom may be by each other's side for the majority of the wedding day, they barely spend a moment alone. The first look gives the couple that moment in time.
Here are some disadvantages:
• You lose having your first look at the altar. Delaying the first moment you see each other builds suspense and adds emotion to your wedding ceremony. Most brides don't realise that once you start the walk up the aisle, so many people will have their eyes on both of you and no matter how spectacular you look, sometimes a groom will be tempted to hide his emotions. In actuality, you have to wait 30 minutes, sometimes more, for the ceremony to end before you can speak freely to each other.
• You have to get ready earlier. First-look photos before the ceremony mean taking photos earlier, which means you need to have hair and make-up done and get dressed earlier than would have been required for just the ceremony.
The question you should ask yourself is: Does having a first look detract from the emotion of waiting at the altar? The decision will be whether or not you'd rather share that moment alone, or with your guests.
While the first look is not for those who feel superstitious, whichever route you choose, the moment you see each other for the first time on your wedding day will be amazing! There is no right or wrong decision. It's all about what works best for you and your partner.
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