Get To Know the 'First Look'
Tradition has it that seeing the bride in her gown before the wedding is bad luck, but lately couples have been opting for purposeful pre-ceremony run-ins, all caught on camera.
The trend, deemed the “first look,” is a relatively new approach to capturing the moment when brides and grooms see each other for the first time on their big day. Marisa Manna Ferrell, owner of So Eventful wedding & event coordination in Healdsburg, Calif., says determining how and when brides want to get the initial reaction on camera is key. “When my team or I meet with a client, that is a question we always ask, ‘Do you want to have a first-look photo?’” Ferrell says. “Some brides are aware of what that means, others we have to explain to them.”
Ferrell typically says she’s noticed older brides leaning toward first-look photos, as well as couples who have had a longer engagement or relationship. “They’re the ones who tend to go towards the first look because they want to enjoy their party just as much as their guests do.”
Age and length of the relationship aren’t the only factors in a couple’s decision, however. Sharon Naylor, author of “Your Wedding, Your Way” (Adams Media, 2009), says much of the time the desire for first-look photos stems from wanting to participate as much as possible in the reception aspect of the wedding, as Ferrell mentioned. “There’s more emphasis on quality time with your guests,” Naylor says. With first-look photos, everything is taken care of before the ceremony begins, leaving plenty of time for all guests in attendance.
Plus, an encounter beforehand eases the anxiety and emotion of walking down the aisle to see each other for the first time, Naylor adds. “The photographer is still there to capture the wow-factor moment, but it allows them to be less nervous the first time seeing each other,” she says.
And to top it all off, first-look photos allow the bride to be caught on camera at her freshest moment, rather than facing the some wear of the day before photos have been snapped. “You’ve just had your hair and makeup done and you can get your picture taken right away instead of waiting an hour, two hours,” Naylor says.