The first look is a trend which has taken the wedding world by storm in America, and has been subtly making its way to the UK. But what is a ‘first look’?

The first look usually takes place just before the marriage ceremony. Essentially it’s the first time the bride and groom see each other on their wedding day, and this special moment is often photographed too.

Why Have a First Look Before Your Wedding?

It’s not going to be for everyone, and if you’re a real stickler for tradition then this one isn’t for you. But putting tradition to one side it’s a shame so many people see the bride walk into the ceremony before the groom does.

Wedding First Look Moment

That first glimpse of each other is traditionally at the front of the aisle in front of all your guests, but in that formal setting few people can fully express their feelings. A first look therefore allows couples a few moments of near privacy to take in the commitment they are making. I’ve also seen some really special photos created.

On a practical level it can work well where wedding day timings are an issue with regards to light. In particular with winter weddings, the light can be failing by 2pm (a typical ceremony time). Therefore couples who organise a first look get that chance to have their romantic couple shots earlier in the day before the light fades.

It can of course allow more timing overall to be factored in for this. I’ve had couples leave for couple shots before guests arrive so it doesn’t eat into the flow of the day. This is music to the ears of a wedding planner of course!

How Do You Organise a First Look?

A first look needs precision planning with the help of your wedding party. Think carefully about where you’ll meet and make sure it’s beautiful for photos. Also check with your photographer that the light is just right.

It’s important that everyone knows and understands what you expect to happen. It’s a new-ish trend and you don’t want your best man lurking around during your private moment. Make sure you brief your photographer and videographer too if you’re expecting to capture the emotion on camera.

There could be considerable tears so don’t expect to walk straight into your ceremony! You should allow yourself extra time after the first look to tidy up make-up (and definitely bring tissues).

Finally, if a first look with your other half just doesn’t feel right for you, remember that the first look of a daughter by her dad is also really special.

Happy planning!

Guest post by Kelly Chandler

Image from Lauren Fair Photography