A Case Against First Looks
Pre Contest, we discussed why doing a first look would be super cute and fun, as well as non traditional. We absolutely love doing first look photos, however, I can completely understand the tradition of not seeing your bride or groom until you're about to walk down the aisle. For my own big day I don't plan on seeing my groom in my full wedding look until I'm about to walk down the aisle with my dad (I want to see his face SO bad).
The tradition of not seeing the bride before the wedding stems back to when arranged marriages were very common. The union symbolized a business deal between the two families, and the father of the bride wanted his daughter to marry well. Many feared that if the groom saw or met the bride before the wedding, the groom would not be attracted to her and would call off the wedding. This is where the tradition of the veil came from, so the identity of the bride would remain concealed until the last possible moment, making it impossible for the groom to back out.
Hence "The Grooms not allowed to see the bride before the wedding, it's bad luck".
Now a days, the door opens, the groom sees the bride for the first time, and literally takes his breath away. It's usually one of my favorite photos to get, because it's either a huge dorky smile, a few tears, or the most excited face a guy could make.
I would LOVE to thank "27 Dresses" for making this idea so public and now more people are gazing at the groom waiting for the reaction as opposed to keeping their eyes on the bride as she makes her grand entrance, lol.
If you want to stick with tradition and NOT see your groom before you make that walk down the aisle, there are a few fun alternatives to a first look! Check these out:
1.) First touch. You can do these around a door or around a corner....however you want. There is a decent variety of things you two can do with this non first look. Many couples exchange love letters, notes, or gifts. Some pray together for a grand wedding day and for their deity to bring them joy and prosperity in their union. This is by far and away the most popular method for a non first look...and it makes from some VERY cute photos!
2.) First look with Daddy. I love my fathers of the bride! Your wedding day is the day that your dad has to show so much of his strength. He's giving his little girl away, she's become a woman, and he has so many emotions running through him. More often than not, dad is off with the groomsmen or taking care of other things regarding the wedding and isn't hanging around you all that much, nor has he seen you in your gown. This is such a great way to have a special moment with your dad before he walks you down the aisle to give you away.
3.) Blindfold your groom. I personally haven't done one of these in a very long time, and it is a tradition in some faiths. This way you can see him, without him seeing you, and it gives you guys a great opportunity to talk, pray, or exchange gifts before your ceremony.
4.) A first look WITHOUT it being a first look. I did this most recently about 3 years ago at Shannon and Bradley's wedding. I had Bradley sit down on the sofa, and Shannon pop out of the Juliet Balcony at the Avalon Legacy Ranch in McKinney, TX. This made for a super cute pic and gave them an opportunity to talk before they walked down the aisle.
Here you go! These are super fun ways to NOT have a first look on your special day, to still get some cute pics before your ceremony, and to still see your grooms awesome reaction when he sees you for the first time!
That's it for me this week. Stay Tuned for more!!!
Owner and Lead Photographer