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"FIRST LOOK" - This is a common phrase that gets thrown around the wedding scene these days, but I realise that those new to wedding planning may not know exactly what it is!
SO, what IS a First Look?
Generally, the first look is that first moment that the couple sees each other, BEFORE their ceremony! Yes, you heard me right. They see each other all dressed up BEFORE they actually get married. It could be at the place they got ready at, or at the venue before guests arrive, or even a separate location.
As with anything, there are a number of pros and cons to doing a first look. I will briefly touch of these below and hopefully it will be helpful to someone :)
1. If you have guests coming from far and wide and you don't want to run away for photos after the ceremony, then having the bulk of your photos beforehand means you get more time to mingle with your guests. This is a huge factor especially here in multicultural New Zealand where so many people have loved ones flying in for their weddings from overseas.
2. If you are a nervous or anxious person then seeing your significant other BEFORE the formalities can give you an overall, more relaxed and enjoyable experience of the ceremony. You will STILL have butterflies and excitement, but it will be a lot more controlled as you would have got a lot of it out earlier.
3. It's a great way to build the anticipation of the ceremony in an exciting way. As you part ways after your first look and photos with your bridal party, you will have a final embrace and that exciting exchange of looks that says "Oh my gosh, I'll see you down the aisle!!!!"
1. As first looks often happen before the ceremony, they usually happen at a point in the day when the light is less than ideal for photos. If you have a good photographer they will be able to help with location ideas where this wont be as much of an issue. When I do a first look with my couples, I always try to sneak them out during the reception for 5-10 minutes of photos during golden hour when the light is just dreamy :)
2. Having photos before the ceremony means that you will likely need to get ready earlier, and in turn this can extend the length of the day (which is not a bad thing really!) however it also extends the day for the vendors you are hiring to cover it, which may result in a great expense or a jump in the hours they cover.
3. SOME people see this next point as a con. If you are really traditional and like the idea of your partner seeing you for the first time walking down the asile, then this may be the biggest negative in your opinion. HOWEVER, I can honestly say, the moment your love sees you walking down the aisle surrounded by your family and friends, they will feel as much happiness, pride and love as they would have had they not seen you for a month! First looks in my experience do not dull the happiness/smiles/tears of that moment.