The ins and outs of a first look.
The traditionalist in me says no first look, give me the secret bride, surprise down the aisle vibes all day. However... the photographer and romantic in me is pretty in love with the idea of a first look, but I think there's a few different ways to do it that I would still have to choose between.
Here's idea number one... and I think it's for that super romantic, intimate, lovey dovey couple...
A private first look, just bride and groom, photographers & videographers hiding in the bushes vibe. You see each other, take the moment in, then read your personal vows to each other. Now go with me here for a second, because remember, this is for the highly highly romantic lovey dovey couple... you go from that moment, to walking down the aisle together. Yes, together. Because this is a step you're taking... together. The ceremony ends- and now it's party time to celebrate with everyone and be social (while also taking a few minutes to get family photos and bridal party photos!)
You might be wondering why I would keep the intimate-ness going from first look to down the aisle and here's why: every first look I've witnessed has this super sweet moment between the bride and groom, and then the photographers/planners/whoever stops the moment to move on to the next part of the day (in this case usually couple, bridal party, and family photos) and I always see the bride and groom go through this awkward transition moment like- ok that was nice, now moving on, back to business as usual. I just think, for a day so special... it'd be really sweet to not break that moment for the couple and let them stay in it as long as possible.
Okay idea number two is more for the practical couple, maybe idea number one is a little too touchy-feely for you- you're super in love, but this is a fun day to celebrate from dawn til dusk...
Private first look again, maybe the photographers and videographers don't have to hide quite in the bushes, but still non-intrusive. You read private vows, or not. Then the two of you as a couple go to have a first look with your family and wedding party. (There will be screams, cheers, and tears- very fun!) Get all those photos with the party and family done and out of the way, retreat back to your separate quarters, then have the traditional ceremony with the bride walking down the aisle. After the ceremony you get to go straight to being with your guests and enjoying cocktail hour because you've already done all those pictures beforehand!
My biggest suggestion here is to change up or add something in between your first look and ceremony so that you still get a little element of surprise. You could add a veil, straps/no straps, bustle dress for first look then un-bustle for ceremony, etc. Another note with this option, and I think every wedding needs this but especially this one, is sunset photos. Not only will the sunset photos give you more time for portraits (especially if you ended up in a time crunch after first look) but also the lighting during sunset is way prettier and more flattering than what you're probably getting during the time of day that a first look is happening but ALSO it gives the two of you a little time during the craziness to sneak away and have some intimate moments together!
Ok that's it for First Looks for now. What do you think, to look or not to look?