Tip or Trend Tuesday: Tip: The “First Look”

Thinking of doing a “first look” on your wedding day? Want to know what those who’ve done it thought of their experience? Well, here’s my advice for a great “first look” experience for you and your love.

Over the past *mumble* years that I’ve been in the wedding industry, I can hardly remember a more argued topic amongst my colleagues than when the notion of “first looks” came on the scene. What’s a “first look?” A “first look” is a time both you and your soon to be spouse get your first view of one another on your wedding day. The reason for the argument? A “first look” happens before you both head down the aisle.

Some say it ruins the entire surprise element of that first glimpse of your love coming down the aisle and other say it alleviates the anxiety of that moment, making it a moment just between the two of you. I am a “first look” advocate. I did it at my first wedding in 1998 and I can’t even begin to tell you the controversy that was for all of the church ladies. Luckily, my Dad was the Senior Pastor and our officiant, so my ex and I got our wish. Sometimes it definitely pays to be a “Daddy’s Girl.” 😉

Both my ex-husband and I were ridiculously nervous before our wedding. I literally got no sleep the night before and the tuxedo rental place messed up the guy’s order, making them three hours late to the rehearsal. I remember just wanting a moment alone with the man I was about to marry. We’d both been through a chaotic 24 hours and didn’t want that to show in some blubbering outburst as I made my way down the aisle. Having that moment just the two of us with only the photographer and videographer (both stayed at a distance) settled our nerves and it was just about the only time alone we had all day. It was SO worth it.

Fourteen years later, I’d be making the “first look” magic happen for him and his wonderful fiance (seriously, I have the best ex-husband and step-mom to my kiddo…EVER). Here’s their experience and try not to drown in their respective cuteness:

Bear: “I think it’s the best way to go for any wedding, you relax and calm yourselves. Seeing Tana in that dress was beyond words, Goddess-like does not do it justice. Still thinking about that moment makes me emotional…ok…move on now…lol.”
Tana Marie: “I remember waiting with anticipation to see his reaction as he opened his eyes and saw me for the first time all dressed up. Bear picked out my dress, seeing it in ivory at the store. I love that he was the one who picked it. 🙂 He never saw me in the red dress ’till that moment, and when I saw his face and the love it showed, it made my heart melt. He looked absolutely handsome in his tux! It is a moment I will never forget.”

Me: Would you recommend a “first look” to other brides and grooms?
Bear: “Oh hell yeah!!!!!”
Tana Marie: “Highly! You have that moment where it feels like it is only the two of you there and you feel complete. At last it was for myself.”

firstlook1

firstlook21
*Photos by Eric Murphy of Piscean Dreams Photography

So, what are my tips for a great “first look?”
*Always, always, always have your photographer and/or your videographer present. They can capture the moment, but stand back a bit so that you can have your privacy.
*Let your wedding party know ahead of time. That way, they don’t go hunting for you and interrupt your time together.
*Appoint someone to keep the lookie loos at bay. For Bear and Tana, it was me as I was their wedding planner and they knew I could do so with tact. You don’t need a “first look” bouncer, just someone to politely ask folks not to interrupt you.
*Scout out your “first look” spot before the wedding day. You want a spot that is out of the way and one that will photograph well.
*Budget about 20 minutes of your pre-ceremony time for your “first look” and include it on your itenerary for the day. Be sure to hand out that itinerary to all involved in your wedding party as well as your vendors.

Here are some of my favorite “first look” pics from across the web. I’d love to hear if you and your love are planning a “first look.” Or if you’re already married, how your first look went.

Stay tuned tomorrow for some “red velvet” inspiration!

First Look 1

First Look 2

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