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To [First] Look or Not to Look...

You plan for months. You book the vendors. You comb over every detail. And it all leads up to the moment you see your partner for the first time on your wedding day. Out of all the decisions you make leading up to your wedding, this might be one of the hardest!

As wedding trends go, the first look is here to stay. And while we love this trend, we know it isn't how everyone envisions their big day! Not sure a first look is right for you? Here are our pros and cons to having a first look before your ceremony.

Photo by Arielle Peters

PRO: It's a time saver.

You only get your wedding day once, and time passes by so quickly. By doing a first look before the ceremony, photographers are able to take photos of immediate family, full bridal party and the couple, all before guests arrive. This also allows you to have a shorter cocktail hour with more time to be present and interact with your guests if you have photos done before the ceremony.

CON: You miss out on tradition.

It's tradition for a reason! Waiting to see your partner until your ceremony allows all your friends and family who have traveled near and far to take part in the emotions. You add suspense and a little (good) drama to the day. And why not - you look STUNNING! And while your only focus might be on what happens when you reach the end of the aisle, everyone who is witnessing that moment will have beautiful memories of you two seeing each other for the first time on your wedding day.

Photos by Arielle Peters

PRO: Kiss those nerves goodbye.

Nervous about bawling your eyes out as soon as you lay eyes on your partner? First looks allow for all the emotion of seeing each other without worrying if your eyes will be puffy and your nose will be red during the ceremony. It gives you both time to compose yourselves before standing in front of all your guests. It can also take away some of those pre-ceremony butterflies that you would otherwise be occupied with during the ceremony - you have more important things to think about!

PRO: Take the time to slow down.

It's cliché but oh-so true: your wedding day will go by in the blink of an eye. Taking the time to do a first look with just you and your partner gives you both an intimate moment together in an otherwise busy day. And while you might not be completely alone, photographers can stand back at a distance while the two of you reminisce on the sweet memories that led you both to this moment in time.

CON: Time[line] is not on your side.

Depending on how many family and full wedding party photos you want, you might have to start your day earlier to make sure everyone is ready to take portraits before the ceremony. You will also need a longer cocktail hour for your guests in order to get all those group shots after the ceremony. This can mean that those yummy apps you have been looking forward to might not be there by the time you have finished taking those pictures.

Photos by Ed & Eileen Photography and Coss Creative

Alternatives to First Looks

First touch is a great way to have a quiet intimate moment together before your ceremony without seeing each other. You can read private vows, pray or even just have a conversation together without spoiling the surprise of how fabulous you both look.

Rather than do a first look with your soon-to-be spouse, you can do a first look with just about anyone! Dad, mom, siblings, the family pet, it is your day, so you can make it into whatever you want!

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