Meghan Stewart Photography » Jacksonville Florida Award Winning Wedding and Portrait Photographer

Should You Do a First Look?

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Traditions are great. I love that I’m the 4th generation to wear my grandmother’s engagement ring. Digging into mom’s egg bake on Christmas morning sets the stage for a perfect day. I’m falling in love with our Saturday morning tradition of my husband making breakfast. . .maybe I really like breakfast. I digress. There is one tradition I’m okay with not following. It’s seeing the bride for the first time as she walks down the aisle.

Did you know that the tradition began when arranged marriages were still in fashion? The couple didn’t see each other before the ceremony so the groom wouldn’t bolt if he didn’t find her “pleasing”. Sure it makes for great anticipation but believe me, the anticipation is still there.

My thoughts on this tradition come from both the bride and wedding photographer stand point. Let’s begin with the photographer in me.

  • It’s one of my jobs to keep the day running as smoothly as possible and getting as many pictures done before saves so much time. It’s seems to always be a concern of couples to not keep their guests waiting while they take pictures. Here’s your solution…first look.
  • Doing a first look also allows your photographer the ability to get your genuine expressions when you first see each other. The joy, hugs, tears, laughter, googly eyes you may not be able express when you’re standing before your friends and family.
  • Let’s be honest ladies, your makeup only goods great for so long. Getting your pictures done as early possible keeps you looking fresh for your photos.

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Now for the bride in me to share my thoughts. I knew I wanted to save the time and get as much done before the ceremony but what I didn’t know was how I would feel the day of.

  • Once I was all dressed all I wanted was to see Gabe. I missed him. I wanted to connect before the rest of the day rushed in on us and we had no time to take in the magnitude of the moment.
  • Being in his presence put me at ease. Another thing that grooms and brides worry about is the “down the aisle moment”. My husband said our first look didn’t take away from seeing me walk down the aisle to him on our wedding day. He said, “Everything faded away and all I saw was you.”
  • I felt like I could really be present during the ceremony. Girls, after you get married you realize that the big day was nothing compared to the daily life of marriage. The daily life is what really matters. I’m so thankful I was present during our ceremony and not wanting to talk to Gabe. I’ve been able to go back to moments in our ceremony when times have been tough and keep moving forward.
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So, don’t be afraid to break with tradition. I feel like either way it’s a win. Of course you decide for yourself but I don’t think there’s been a single couple who regretted doing a first look.

And because pics of us are always fun to share here’s our first look taken by the fabulous wesley and emma.

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  • Heather - I definitely agree with the photographer perspective – a first look makes the day much more manageable and simple. From my own perspective, I loved waiting and seeing the look on my groom’s face when he first saw me walking down the aisle – it’s a moment I will never forget. Either can be beautiful & it’s pretty great we have the option to do either 🙂ReplyCancel

    • meghan - You are absolutely right! I love the option and that neither is right or wrong. You definitely have to do what best fits you as a couple and will mean more to you.ReplyCancel

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