Ahhhhhhhhhhh, The First Look. Possibly one of the best things that could EVER happen to the wedding industry. This is done alone, away from your wedding party, and it is a moment shared by just the two of you. It’s WAY more romantic when you see each other for the first time ALONE and not along with every, single guest that you invited. Most brides & grooms who see each other before hand are MUCH more relaxed when they are ready to walk down the aisle. The focus is on enjoying the ceremony instead of focused on “Tell him to turn around!!! I’m coming… OH Sh*T! Did he see me?!” If I got married again, one of the few things that I would change would be seeing John before the ceremony. I mean, he’s my best friend so I would want to have him with me as much as humanly possible on such a special day! Also, your hair & make-up looks BEST at the beginning of the day before we start sweating and getting anxious. I mean, I paid all this money to look fabulous so I want him to see me in tip-top shape. Another plus, you get all of your photos (bridal & family can follow First Look) done before cocktail hour… who doesn’t love cocktail hour?! Pass me a beer and lets get the party started.
"But its bad luck for him to see me before the ceremony!"
Throw these Pre-1900's thoughts out the window! This one came about back when brides were considered property of their fathers and marriages were arranged. Often the groom had NEVER seen the bride beforehand and if he caught a glimpse of her and did not like what he saw, the marriage was off. (Ouch) Therefor it became “bad luck”. This is also where other traditions like the veil come from. (One more way of keeping the bride a secret) So, if you are nervous about him bolting for the door at the sight of you, a First Look is probably not for you, or the marriage for that matter ;)
So, FINALLY, I get to talk about my part in this whole thing (I can be bias) THE PHOTOS! A few quick thoughts:
Most couples get married in the afternoon/evening. This means that by the time the ceremony is done and everyone has hugged a bit, there is only about 10-30 minutes of “good light” left in a day. If we just wanted a few shots of the two of you this would not be a problem, but we still have to get you guys with your side of the family, his side of the family, grandparents, and anyone else who feels like they are "immediate" family (crazy great aunt Sue?) Needless to say people start getting shuffled around like cattle and, rather than everyone enjoying the process, it feels like we are all in trouble and the clock is ticking away ’til the building explodes. Oh, and no matter how many times you’ve told them, there is always that one family member who heads to the reception and has already changed clothes and then we have to wait for them to come back, and get dressed, and fix hair/makeup, yeaaaaaaaaaaa NO.
Oh, and if you are worried that the level of excitement/anticipation/emotion or "what ever else you want to call it" will be lost for the ceremony...it won't. In fact, you will be more relaxed and you will be able to enjoy the day. But that's just my 2cents.