What Is The First Look?

first look
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One of the first questions I ask when I first meet with my couples is “are you planning to do the first look?” The reason I’m asking them is so I can build their itinerary. If they say no, then I move the ceremony time earlier to allow more time for pictures after. If they say yes, then I move it up. So it really doesn’t matter to me either way….but as soon as I ask the question, most of my couples give sort of this blank stare at each other.

Most of the time the reason for the deer in headlights look is because they either have never heard about it, or they really don’t know much about it. So then I go into my “first look” talk! Now, I make it a point to tell them that this is ultimately their decision, but I have to admit, my biased opinion tends to spill out into the conversation. So, that is why today I’m just going to come out and say it….I love the “first look” and here is why.

The Non Romantic Reason:

#1. Its sooooo great to get all your pictures done before the ceremony!! I mean seriously, the last thing you want to do after the excitement of just becoming Mr & Mrs, is to take 1 gazillion pictures! So the more you can get done a head of time the better!

#2. Your pictures will start right after you are done getting ready, so you are at prime beautification (pretty sure I’m making words up, but you get it)! So this is quite frankly the PERFECT time to capture how gorgeous you look, and let’s be real, you’re going to look STUNNING!!

#3. Your guests appreciate the later ceremony start time so they don’t have to be in such a rush. And not only that, but they will appreciate that there isn’t a 3 hour time between ceremony and reception. At Kilbuck Creek we have a 1 hour cocktail time and it’s a win win for everyone!

#4. Hotel check in is at 3pm typically, so by pushing your ceremony to say 4pm, it gives your guest a chance to check in to their rooms so they don’t have to deal with their luggage. And if they have been traveling for a while, it gives them time to freshen up in the comfort of their own space.

The Personality Reason:

So I’m a bit of a fraud on this end, because even though I plan weddings for a living, I’m completely un romantic. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good RomCom, but in all reality I’m more of Will Ferrell comedy kinda girl. So if you suffer from these symptoms as well then the “first look” is the perfect choice for you and here is why:

1. Most of us (men and women…but mostly women) build up this fantasy in our mind about the day we walk down the aisle to our prince charming. Cut to reality….you’re walking about 30ft in which everyone is starring at you and watching every move you make. Do they think I look pretty? Is my hair placed just perfectly? OMG please do not trip, why did I wear such high heels…stupid $400 rhinestone stilettos..what was I thinking?!?!? Then you arrive safely to the alter, thank god, only to still have everyone staring at you, and you’ve got to just keep that smile on your face or they are going to think that you think this is just all a big joke, and maybe I’m not really that in love, and what am I even doing up here!! You’ve just completed awkward stage #1.

2. Awkward stage #2: So let’s just say, you do fine with an audience watching you, in fact you love the attention (no judgement here), then the second potential threat hits you..…..I’m staring at my prince charming, only its not Mr. fairytale, its my best friend. And now I’m staring at my best friend, but I’m not allowed to talk to him. I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever just starred at my husband adoringly for more than a second, now I have to do it for 20 minutes? Get out of here!! When it was “my turn” up at that alter, my awkward immature self quickly felt the urge to make a funny face, or just start laughing….but I knew my mother may disown me if I acted so child like in front of all of our friends and family. I mean, this is a very serious/romantic moment that is right? So instead I fought through every natural urge I had and just kept picturing myself in church with my great grandma Anna when I was a little girl who would pinch me if I moved an inch or tried to mess with my siblings in the pews. I kept it together, and when we finally got to get off that stage it was my favorite part of the ceremony thus far. Luckily I married a man who shares the same humor as me, and was feeling the same way I was. We had a good laugh, FINALLY, and we kissed and high fived (more our style) and congratulated each other on making it through!!

My point with my personal story is this, after it was all said and done, my husband and I both agreed that it would have been great to have a moment (first look) with just us two, and could joke or say what’s really in our hearts, without the pressure of everyone starring at as. Because as much as I’m painting this bro-seph type relationship with my husband, the truth is we are madly in love with each other and we couldn’t wait to be married. We had just assumed that the ceremony would be this oh so romantic moment and didn’t think anything of it….well I’m giving that narrative 3 pinocchios. All in all it was great and I’m mostly exaggerating, but we truly wish we would have done the “first look” to shake some off some of those jitters, and to have our first moments seeing each other to ourselves instead of sharing it with 200 people. But that is us, and every couple is different!

The Only Alone Time You Get All Day Reason:

Besides everything above I just mentioned, another great reason to do the first look is that you actually have some alone time with your partner before you basically get torn away from each other by your guests immediately after they announce you man and wife.

My husband and I remember feeling so guilty the next day because we really didn’t get to see much of each other. The whole day was based upon our love and vows to each other, but it seemed more like just one big expensive party. Don’t get me wrong, we had a blast with all of our favorite people in the world, but we did have this feeling of regret that we didn’t share more time with each other. The “First Look” gives you an opportunity to really be able to enjoy and embrace this moment together!