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Should you do a first look? | San Antonio wedding planner

Tips + Tricks

June 1, 2021

We tell our couples all the time – what you think of as tradition or not can really go out the window – it’s your day. So does that mean you should do a first look with your soon-to-be spouse? Or save the anticipation for the moment you walk down the aisle? Read below for some of our pros and cons to a first look before the wedding!

Pro: you get the nerves out. Or in my case, I wanted to ugly cry less. Admittedly I’m a crier (I mean, have you seen me at weddings?!) and I wanted to be less anxious during the moment I walked down the aisle and not have photos of my face all scrunched up and in tears. And it worked! Until my vows….then I ugly cried, but you can only do so much, yeah?

bride and groom have first look at San Antonio wedding venue
bride and groom first look at Kendall Point

Con: you’ll have to get ready earlier or add more time to your photographer. Depending on the number of hours your photo crew is contracted for, you may need to either add on additional time before the ceremony, or shift up their exit and do a mock sendoff. It also means being ready for the wedding a bit earlier to allow for time in the schedule.

Pros and Cons of a first look

Pro: this is your chance to be ALONE on wedding day. With the hustle and bustle (no pun intended) of wedding day, mingling with friends and family, taking photos and completing all of the ‘to-dos’ on the timeline…this may be your one opportunity to have a quiet moment alone together. You’ve been waiting for this day for months, sometimes years. Soak it up together and enjoy a little bit of peace and quiet.

bride and groom first look at hill country wedding venue
bride and groom share intimate moment on swing under a large oak tree

Con: it ruins the ‘tradition’ aspect of seeing each other at the altar. We hear it all the time, your guests love to see the look on your faces when you see each other for the first time. And maybe you just want to ensure that piece of tradition stays in wedding day. And hey, maybe you want to see your boo shed a tear up at the altar, too.

groom has emotional reaction seeing his bride walk down the aisle
bride walking down the aisle with her dad
groom gets emotional seeing bride walk down the aisle

Austin wedding planner | San Antonio wedding planner

Pro: you get more photos together and can actually ENJOY a cocktail during cocktail hour. The amount of time you can save getting some of those bridal party photos complete before the ceremony by doing a first look is enough to let you mingle with your family and friends during cocktail hour! A first look helps remove some of that rushing feeling to check off that long shot list immediately after the ceremony.

first look with bride and groom inside St. Anthony hotel
bride and groom pose with bridal party on rooftop

Con: the lighting may not be ideal. Everyone loves that coveted golden hour glow. Having your first look earlier in the day before the ceremony may not make for the best lighting possible. But, let’s be real – a great photographer will know all the good spots at your venue to make magic happen no matter what, right?

bride walks down the aisle to see groom for the first time

So, what’s our final thought on the topic? You do you. Personally, I’m team first look. Ask Kilee or Rhea’Lynn, and they prefer to keep the tradition alive. Whether you have a first look, wait until you walk down the aisle, share an intimate moment like a first touch or reading letters and vows to one another – the best decision you can make is the one that will ultimately make you both happiest.

Want to read more tips + tricks on the blog? Check out some of our favorite first dance songs and tips to find your perfect venue.

To see more from Rhea’Lynn’s own wedding day, visit our friend Anna Kay Photography’s blog post all about it!

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