Is a First Look for You?
One of the first questions I always ask my couples is whether or not they're doing a first look. When you choose to see each other really dictates how the rest of the day's timeline is played out. With that said, there are pros and cons to the increasingly popular first look.
PRO: Banish the nerves. If you're anxious, or nervous, or generally susceptible to the stress of a big day like your wedding, a first look might be a good way to shed some of your day-of jitters. It also gets potential tears out of the way so you're less likely to be weepy and smudged up at the alter.
CON: Tradition. If you're a particularly traditional person, don't feel the need to drop the down-the-aisle moment for the sake of what is currently in fashion. There's nothing wrong with tradition!
PRO: Quiet time. Your wedding day will be a whirlwind of well-wishers and loved ones pulling you in all directions for hugs and photos. Doing a first look gives you some time to be alone with your partner, and more time together in general, on this emotional day. It's your wedding day! Spend it together.
CON: Family and friends. Some couples feel that seeing each other for the first time is more meaningful when they can share that moment with their guests during the ceremony. If you go this route, make sure to ask guests to put away camera and other technology so they can really share your moment with you.
PRO: Better photos. First look photos tend to yield better end results in the photography department. As a photographer I have a lot more control over a first look than I do the ceremony, which can often have logistic or lighting issues that can impact images. Ultimately the most important photos will be of the two of you, and this gives us more opportunities for them.
CON: Expectations. First look photos are famous for the raw emotion they can capture. That being said, some people are just not outwardly emotional. No one knows your future spouse better than you, and whether or not they'll be emotive for photos. If you think it would be more awkward than heartwarming, opt to skip it.
PRO: Timeline. Doing a first look allows you to get photos together and of your bridal party before the ceremony even starts, meaning to can get to your reception (and food) more quickly after your ceremony. This also means guests aren't waiting around for you to come back from your photos together.
Ultimately what is most important for the first time you see each other will vary greatly from couple to couple. Regardless of your choice, you'll have beautiful photos of it.