The anticipation that leads up to seeing your partner for the first time on your wedding day is something you can only experience once. Whether you see that person for the first time alone or in front of all your family and friends is an important decision and each way leads to an entirely different experience. Yesterday, we got the opinions of our client’s who DID a first look. Today we look at the other side of this debate – not doing a first look has it’s own set of perks…Thanks again to our amazing PTC couples who gave their thoughtful opinions!
Why did you decide not to do a first look? Was it tradition? Was it a personal choice?
“We initially thought we might do a first look. I (Megan) knew that logistically, it might present great advantage, and it would make the time post-ceremony less stressful. As we got closer to the wedding, we talked a bit more about it, and Brett said he actually was feeling leaning towards not doing a first look. We both realized that the excitement leading up to that moment in the ceremony where we would first see each other was a once-in-a-lifetime moment that we could never get back. Even though there were over a hundred people watching as we saw each other for the first time while I walked down the aisle towards him, it still felt like an incredibly intimate moment between me and Brett. We felt that seeing each other before the ceremony would not be as exciting and emotional….we wanted to save it for the moment when we would actually begin the ceremony of our marriage vows.” – Megan and Brett
“We really struggled deciding whether to do the first look or not. Ultimately, we opted not to do the first look because we wanted the walk down the aisle to be really special. We felt like doing the first look would give us more time to take photos, but wanting to see each other for the first time at the ceremony outweighed that. Also, given where we all got ready and where we got married, another concern with having a first look would have been figuring out where we would have met! The hotel didn’t really have any pretty areas where we could have done it, so I think that was another factor as to why we opted not to do the first look.” – Jamie and Ian
“I never liked the idea of a first look, and Alex always agreed with me. The fact we both felt the same way made it a lot easier to decided not to do it. Tradition didn’t have anything to do with it and it was definitely a personal choice. The fact that the first time we would see each other all day was when I was walking down the aisle made the moment so much more special. Also, the fact that we were sharing that moment with all of our friends and family made it incredible. Just thinking about it makes me teary eyed!” – Tracey and Alex
Do you think your decision not to have a first look affected how you felt before the ceremony? How?
“Absolutely! We were both so nervous, in the best way possible. We enjoyed the traditional aspect of not seeing each other or speaking to each other before the ceremony. We didn’t even text that day. The last time we saw/spoke to each other was the night before at the conclusion of our rehearsal dinner when we took a short walk by ourselves, away from our family and bridal party. We had a few quiet minutes together where we talked and prayed, and then we said ‘see you at the altar!’ Every bit of emotion and excitement built up after that, and was released all at once during our ceremony.” – Megan and Brett
“I think our decision not to have a first look did affect the way we felt before the ceremony! I think if anything it heightened our excitement and nervousness. But at the same time it also made me really look forward to being in the moment and really focusing on him as I walked down the aisle. I think it made the walk really special and the emotion felt so genuine.” – Jamie and Ian
“Absolutely, but in a positive way. The build up made it just so much more exciting. I think the fact that our time before the event started was spent around just close friends and family in very relaxed environments helped as well.” – Tracey and Alex
How did you feel seeing each other walking down the aisle?
“It was the most perfect moment. It was so surreal and I don’t think either of us could believe that it was actually happening. The fact that we were finally in the moment where we would be husband and wife registered with us, and our joy and excitement–along with all the emotion of our friends and family– filled the room.” – Megan and Brett
“For me, I think happiness is the best word that I felt when I saw him as I was walking down the aisle. He looked so handsome standing there and everyone said I had the biggest smile on my face (which I later saw in photos!). He got so emotional and even teared a bit :)” – Jamie and Ian
“It was the best moment of my life. The anticipation was so exciting. I was very worried I was going to cry, but the moment I saw Alex and his crocodile tears, I knew I had to hold it together for the both of us.” – Tracey and Alex
Do you feel that not having a first look affected your day logistically? Did it make you feel more or less stressed about time?
“Not doing a first look does create the need for some efficient planning, but I believe it can always be figured out. As long as you plan ahead with your coordinator and photographer, there should be no reason why you can’t get your photos all done after the ceremony. We did not feel stressed about time. We had allowed enough space in our timeline for photos, and we also had to drive to our separate reception location. We took photos at the church, drove to the reception, took additional photos, and were ready for our grand entrance with some time to spare. I firmly believe that logistics are not a strong enough reason to sacrifice that moment of first seeing each other in the ceremony, if it is important to you.” – Megan and Brett
“I think the one advantage of having the first look would have been more photos of us before the ceremony, which would have been nice. But I think the photos that we ended up taking after the ceremony were great and everything worked out! Timing wise, I think we both felt less stressed not having the first look because that gave us both more time to get ready.” – Jamie and Ian
“Not really. We tried our best to make things as easy as possible, which we succeeded in doing, so the logistics worked out fine. We knew we could count on our bridal party to make sure we didn’t see each other while we were both at the hotel. We both never felt stressed about time the entire day/night. Proof of a great wedding coordinator! ;)” – Tracey and Alex
If you were to get married again(to each other, of course!), would you choose not to do a first look?
“Yup, wouldn’t change a thing! The mystery of not seeing each other before the ceremony was fun. The joy and love felt in that first moment of seeing each other in the ceremony was so overwhelming. We were 200% happy with our choice.” – Megan and Brett
“I think if we were to get married again, I think we would have stuck to our guns and not do the first look again! The feeling seeing him while walking down the aisle was so worth it, and it’s a special memory that I think both of us will never forget.” – Jamie and Ian
“We actually say to each other quiet often, that neither of us would change a thing about the entire wedding. In my opinion, first looks kind of cheapen the entire experience. I do understand why some people do it, but it just wasn’t for us.” – Tracey and Alex
Again, best couples ever – some of these answers made me tear up, they are so thoughtful and genuine. On both sides of the discussion, no one regrets their decision – sooo…to look or not to look?