There are two ways to schedule the portrait session of your wedding day (that being the bride and groom and bridal party pictures). One way is the more traditional way of taking the pictures right after the ceremony, the bride and groom seeing each other for the first time as the bride walks down the aisle. The second way is to take the picture before the ceremony, allowing the couple to have a First Look.
Each way has it’s pros and cons. The traditional way of seeing the bride for the first time when she walks down the aisle is sweet because everyone gets to see the groom’s expression as he takes in her beauty for the first time. There is so much anticipation for that moment when the doors open and the bride is revealed.
The First Look is my preference, as a photographer and as a bride. Here’s why I think this. For one thing, you have so much more time for pictures, which makes it a more relaxed atmosphere and I can get all my ideas and inspirations into the photos because I’m not pressed for time. For the bride and groom it means that you get to have an intimate moment with each other on your wedding day, just the two of you and me taking pictures of the moment he first sees you and his honest and real reaction. You get to embrace and kiss and soak in each others beauty and handsomeness alone, without 200 people watching you. It also takes away some of those nerves that have been lingering in your stomachs all morning. You now get to fully enjoy each other and what the rest of the day will bring. You get to soak in the entire ceremony, all the guests and decorations, so much more. This was a huge reason why I chose to do a First Look when I got married (5 years ago tomorrow!). I’m a very emotional person (and that’s an understatement!) and I knew that if I saw my groom for the first time as I walked down the aisle I would most definitely be crying the whole way down the aisle, and through the entire ceremony. Every picture would have my lip curled out and my eyes red as tomatoes and a kleenex glued to my nose. Pretty picture, no? =)
I loved the moment I first saw my husband. We met outside of the Vancouver Art Gallery. He waited with our photographer and faced the opposite direction that I was coming from. I walked alone along the sidewalk and came toward him, his back to me, the photographer taking pictures as I approached. When I neared my groom he turned around and we smiled. HUGE smiles. And tears. From me. And we embraced. We had time to tell each other how beautiful they were and how happy we were to be spending the rest of our lives with each other. When it came time for me to walk down the aisle at the ceremony I was composed and collected. I was able to look around and make eye contact with some of my guests and see their excitement for us. Of course I had to tear up at some point in the ceremony (during the vows) but that was about it. I fully enjoyed the ceremony and can remember so many moments from it which I wouldn’t have been able to do had I not seen James before the wedding. Plus, the wedding day is already so busy and so full of people that you don’t really get much time alone with your husband that day. The First Look gives you some time to be alone. To be a couple. To be husband and wife without people around you constantly.
That’s why I prefer the First Look! Don’t get me wrong, there is still beauty in waiting to see your groom for the first time at the ceremony, and I admit that I usually look at the groom when the bride is revealed because the look on his face when he sees his radiant wife-to-be for the first time is priceless.
Hope that made sense! And I’ll still photograph your wedding if you don’t do a First Look! =) Your wedding day is all about you and how you’ve envisioned the day to go. And if seeing your groom for the first time when you walk down the aisle is what you’ve always imagined it to be, then that’s what we’ll do and it will be fabulous!
This is what our First Look was like 5 years ago….
Ahhhhh the memories!!! I have a special blog post all ready to go for tomorrow. Tomorrow is a special day. A very special day. Much reflecting and reminiscing will be done!