We have a lot of couples ask us these days whether or not they should do a First Look or wait to see each other at the ceremony. Our answer is almost always a resounding First Look! Of course, we completely understand if you and your fiance are very traditional, in which case a First Look is not for you. But for everyone else, there are so many reasons a First Look is an immense help to the flow of your big day.
By now (because of certain popular chick flicks), most people know to take a quick glance at the groom as he sees his future spouse coming down the aisle. That moment can be so moving, to see all the emotion as he takes in the view of his partner. A lot of people don’t want to have a First Look because they think it may take away some of the power of this moment, but we disagree. The couple isn’t worrying about a room full of people watching them, all of their attention is on seeing each other for the first time. The First Look gives a couple time to themselves, to get all the shots they want without worrying about anyone else.
Doing the First Look means that no one has to miss the cocktail hour! Most couples want pictures with their bridal party and VIP family members, and if you do a first look you can invite those people to be there earlier and get these pictures done in a stress-free environment. This is so important because family members (and of course the couple) want to mingle and have all the great appetizers at the cocktail hour! Taking pictures during cocktail hour can be rushed and stressful for family who want to be socializing or who are hungry, and gathering important friends can be very difficult with everyone standing around chatting away.
If you are a traditional couple, there are ways to work in your photos! You can either take all your pictures during cocktail hour or have your guests wait in between the ceremony and cocktails. This second situation is a bit more difficult in New York (but do-able!); you just have to find a place for the guests to go, whether it's another venue you've booked or a suggested bar/hotel in between.
We love how romantic a First Look is, and as planners we more than appreciate how it helps us schedule your big day. If you have any more thoughts on this moment, feel free to give us a shout in the comments!