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The Magic of A First Look

Updated: Oct 30, 2018

Hands down, one of my favorite moments of my wedding day was the First Look.

There is naturally some debate on whether or not to do a First Look, but for me it was a must-have in our wedding day schedule.

First of all, I could not wait to see my (then soon-to-be) husband. I know tradition says we shouldn’t see each other before the ceremony, but how could I resist? Spending all morning getting ready really built up the anticipation!

Also, after hiding my wedding dress in my closet and making Cam swear up and down he wouldn’t peek, I was dying for him to see my bridal look. And even though I helped him pick out his suit, I knew it would feel different seeing him in it as a groom.

We also had guests coming in from all over, and I was looking forward to enjoying visiting with them. But having this moment for just the two of us before the ceremony grounded us before we were pulled in multiple directions. Cam is my rock, and I knew that seeing him before the ceremony would keep me focused and calm.

Our amazing photographer Tonie gave us a couple options for the first look, and we chose to stand back to back holding hands and then turning to face each other. I was so nervous! But those nerves changed to excitement and butterflies when I turned and saw my handsome groom.

First Look | Twin Willow Gardens | Snohomish, WA Wedding Planner Coordinator

First Look | Twin Willow Gardens | Snohomish, WA Wedding Planner Coordinator

Nothing compares to a moment just between the two of you before the ceremony begins. All the emotions and excitement were at an all-time high, and the First Look (without a full audience of our wedding guests) gave us a moment to truly appreciate and experience those feelings.

It feels like our wedding day passed in the blink of an eye. There was so much to do starting first thing in the morning, and our First Look was perfectly timed in the middle of our wedding day.

First Look | Twin Willow Gardens | Snohomish, WA Wedding Planner Coordinator

This helped with the flow of our timeline for the day, since we were also able to tackle family portraits before the ceremony. Doing so gave us more time at the reception to visit with friends and family and enjoy the party! You better believe I’m all for more time for merriment.

Plus (and I may be biased here) it gave us some amazing portraits. From a practical perspective, doing a First Look gives an advantage to your photographer, because it allows for photos focused on just the bride and groom without distractions.

For those who think that the First Look takes away from the magic of the walk down the aisle, I beg to differ. The feelings in those two moments are totally different. A First Look is almost like a sneak preview, and feels so personal since it’s just the two of you (...and your photographers, and maybe a couple sneaky friends or family members).

First Look | Twin Willow Gardens | Snohomish, WA Wedding Planner Coordinator

The moment you walk down the aisle will still feel special - seriously, how could it not?? I chose to hold off on wearing my veil during the First Look, so that there was still an added element to my walk down the aisle. And seeing Cam waiting for me was a feeling unlike any other.

Having a First Look in no way detracted from how special it was to see each other at the altar. Both moments were completely different, but I must admit that seeing him for the ceremony was even more emotional than our First Look.

Our First Look took away some of those little nerves in the beginning of the day and centered us before the ceremony. So when we saw each other the second time, there was an added layer of depth. We weren’t just seeing each other as bride and groom, but as husband and wife.

First Look | Twin Willow Gardens | Snohomish, WA Wedding Planner Coordinator

Ultimately, it is up to you and your fiancé if a First Look is right for you. Discuss with each other and your photographer! And if you do choose to do one, I’m sure you’ll enjoy that extra bit of time to focus on each other before the festivities begin. After all, you’re about to embark on your first day as a married couple! What better way to kick things off than with a moment just for you?

And remember, it won’t take away from how special the ceremony is. It will just give you more time to spend together on one of the most important days of your life.

Photos by Tonie Christine Photography

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