man and women on street sharing first look before wedding

I’d really love to touch base on FIRST LOOKS this week.

It’s common to have pretty strong feelings either for, or against them. I can “understand” both sides, but am here to tell you why I TOTALLY, ABSOLUTELY, THREE MILLION PERCENT, suggest a first look. (See more from Paige + Jake’s downtown Milwaukee wedding here.)

bride and groom seeing each other for the first time on their wedding day, standing in front of two wood carriage doors on a brick building with vines

groom walking towards bride as they see each other for the first time on their wedding day, standing in front of two wood carriage doors on a brick building with vines

bride and groom seeing each other for the first time on their wedding day, standing in front of two wood carriage doors on a brick building with vines

Now I’m not here to knock the traditional “see your person for the first time as they walk down the aisle.” It’s just that, traditional. I can go a little deeper here, but I do know that some do want meeting at the altar to be the first time they see their forever, and that’s okay. However, if you’re on the fence, I have some great reasons why I suggest a first look versus first seeing each other for the first time down the aisle.

bride sneaks up on groom for first look

Okay, number one – you can opt for a later afternoon/evening ceremony time, which means much better light – especially if your ceremony is outdoors.

Straight noon sun means it’s directly above you and shadows are casting sharply and directly from above. This accentuates baggy eyes, makes perfectly proportionate noses seem larger, and adds much more than a 5 o’clock shadows above lips of every type. A later ceremony time provides more of a golden glow AND makes time for more photos before the ceremony, leaving more time to celebrate with your guests.

groom is surprised by wife for first look

groom wipes bride's tear during first look

Numbaaa two – a First Look is MUCH more private.

This creates a much more intimate moment between the two of you instead seeing each other for the first time during the ceremony. You both are more inclined to express and let out all of your emotions in a more private space versus having everyone watch you share this moment.

Certain people may feel more comfortable holding their emotions back in front of an audience, especially those they don’t see very often, instead of just being in the moment with your partner. I’ve also had many couples choose to read their vows to each other during this time – again, because it is much more private and intimate and you can vow anything you want to each other. From vowing to always make bacon on Sundays, to promising you’ll never watch the newest episode of the Bachelor without each other (not sorry) – you can be comfortable and honest in the moment with each other.

groom turns around smiling to face bride for first look

Last and honestly MOST importantly – this day is about the two of you – SHARE IT TOGETHER!

Many couples don’t have a ceremony until 3, 4, 5pm…by the time you finally see each other, the day is half or more over. Then, as soon as you see each other, you’ll have to be rushed into photos and hope you make it by cocktail hour. After that, it’s usually still go, go, go until you sit to eat. Let’s be real – you most likely won’t have more than a moment to yourself. A first look allows for a little cushion to your timeline.

Slow it down. Relax.

groom excited seeing bride for the first time on their wedding day with a huge smile and his arms outstretched towards her

So with that being said, do the first look – take that intimate moment to yourselves, spend the day together, space out your timeline so you can ENJOY the day and not have to worry. Focus on each other, and then take in alllll of that love surrounding you.

after the first look, bride and groom take a step back from each other to get the full view of each other's outfit. Bride is showing off her shoes, groom is a few steps back with his hand above his brow in disbelief.

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