A wedding day first look is an excellent way to start your wedding day together and cap off the excitement and anticipation of seeing each other all ready for the first time. Though many couples still opt for the traditional down the aisle first look, many more are opting to see each other before the ceremony in a private moment. This doesn’t have to be a two minute quick moment (though it can be if you want that!), but there are ways to make it a little more special and meaningful. After photographing so many first looks over the past years, I wanted to share some tips on how to make the most of your first look.
If you’re unsure if you want to do a first look, check out some reasons to do one here.
Make It Private
Though it’s completely your call, I find private first looks to be best to make the most of your first look. Usually one of the reasons a couple chooses a first look is to curb some anxiety of having that big moment in front of their friends and family at the ceremony. When parents or friends are looking on (sometimes not from a distance either), it can create a performative atmosphere instead of just having that private moment for yourselves. Your photographer and videographer should be shooting with longer lenses to give you the space and privacy you need as well.
Many couples choose to exchange gifts on wedding days, which is a super cute way to make the most of your first look! Sometimes it’s nice to exchange the gifts in person instead of sending them along to be opened during the getting ready part of the day. If you’d like to see your partner’s reaction to your gift, this is a great idea!
Gifts not your thing but love notes are? Make the most of your first look by writing letters to each other to read either out loud or privately during the first look. Sometimes couples choose to do this separately (similar to gift giving) to build anticipation, but it can be really nice to share that moment of reading these letters together. Plus, you can keep the letters and look back on them on each anniversary.
Share personal Vows
Some ceremonies do not allow for personal vows (many religious ceremonies do not allow deviation from their specific ceremony scripts) or perhaps you are not comfortable sharing personal vows in front of your guests. That’s okay! The first look is a great time to read those vows to each other. Marriage is between the two of you anyways so really no one else needs to hear the vows but you two! Usually vows are read aloud to your partner as you face each other. Have some tissues on hand!
Choose a Meaningful Location
It’s not always possible to choose a meaningful location for a first look due to timeline or transportation circumstances, but sometimes it’s possible to decide on a first look location that is meaningful to the two of you. Perhaps it’s where you met (nearby to your venue) or a spot you went on dates. Perhaps you’ll incorporate that location into your portrait session. Either way, it can be really special to appear in your wedding attire for the first time in front of your partner at a location you’ve frequented or is extra special to you both. If that’s not possible, don’t put pressure on yourself, first looks can happen just about anywhere!
First looks can be a great way to ease wedding day jitters and provide a private moment. You don’t NEED to make it any more special than that, but if you want ways to make the most out of your first look, one of the recommendations above are great!