Tying the Knot

The Pros and Cons of a First Look

Our digital content editor weighs the pros and cons of a first look in a blog documenting the journey to "I do."
Credit: Thinkstock

To have a first look or not have a first look? That is the question.

And, quite frankly, I’m torn.

Tradition dictates that the groom isn’t supposed to see his bride until the ceremony because of “bad luck.” Well, as it turns out (thanks to some serious wedding research I’ve been doing), that’s not exactly true. The practice originates from back in the day when arranged marries were the rule, not the exception.

Apparently, it was a ploy to get the groom to commit because if he were able to see the bride beforehand, there was a chance he may back out. In case you were wondering, that’s why veils are used as well. And bouquets? Well, who wants to marry a smelly bride?! But I digress…

Because Jeff and I are getting married at night, our photographer has recommended we have a reveal moment, or what’s commonly known nowadays as a “first look” to take advantage of the natural light.

Courtesy of Pinterest

Courtesy of Pinterest

Granted, Jeff and I haven’t exactly been sticklers for tradition throughout our relationship; however, seeing each other before the ceremony is something we’re both adamantly against.

At least, I thought I was before I started listening to reasons why first looks are a good idea and reading wedding blogs.

While a first look would allow us to get pictures together during the sunset and save us from rushing around to take bridal party pictures and family portraits during the cocktail hour, there’s just something magical about not seeing each other until I walk down the aisle on my dad’s arm.

Side note: I totally intend to do a first look with my dad before the ceremony. My hope is that we’ll get all our tears out before walking down the aisle, but Jeff doesn’t think that’s true.

Courtesy of Pinterest

Courtesy of Pinterest

If Jeff and I opted for a first look, our wedding photographer insists we’d really be getting a “double first look.”

“Because you’ll get that initial reaction that we will make look amazing prior to the ceremony start and then, of course, Jeff will have that ‘oh crap, I’m getting married moment look’ when you walk down the aisle. So you’ll have it twice!”

Another photographer made the argument that the first look during the ceremony goes by very quickly and you may not get the best shots. Plus, a first look is more intimate and allows the couple to share a special moment together before the hustle and bustle of the wedding, which goes by fast enough as it is.

So, thanks to Pinterest, I’ve been contemplating the idea of a “fake” first look, as I call it, or “first touch.” In these photos, the bride and groom stand on opposite sides of a door, or the groom is blindfolded. But I realize this doesn’t exactly solve the time crunch problem.

Courtesy of Pinterest

Courtesy of Pinterest

There are valid points to each argument and I’m not sure which side I’m on, which is where you come in…


About L’Oreal and Jeff

LOreal and Jeff

L’Oreal and Jeff met in May 2008, became friends and went on their first date at the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium in May 2011. They currently reside in Chicago and are planning a fall 2014 wedding in Baltimore with a LOT of purple details. Despite rooting for rival NFL teams, they love laughing and having fun together and look forward to getting married!