Are you considering seeing each other before the ceremony?  It can be a weighty decision for couples to make.  Why?  Well, first off it bucks tradition that says the bride and groom should not see each other prior to walking down the isle. 

The traditionalists in your family might roll their eyes. 

I am not here today to talk you into one way or the other, but to offer you a view from both sides of the fence.  Perhaps some of this information will help you in choosing how to structure your day. 

Pros:

  • Seeing  each other privately allows you to have an emotional reaction on your terms.  If you get really emotional you can retouch your makeup and such before your ceremony.
  • You get to have a quiet moment before you start the most whirlwind day you have ever had.  Family and friends will be everywhere - it will be much harder to steal a private moment later on.
  • You will have lovely portraits.  If you are choosing to do a first look I always suggest giving photography 30 minutes of time.  You are at your freshest, your makeup is perfect and it a wonderful time to have private portraits.  
  • If you do portraits at this time you will have more time at your reception and cocktail hour. 
  • You will be able to have secondary location in your images if you choose.  Many couples choose a unique place to have the first look that will not be used during the other events of the day. 
  • You can opt to do your wedding party portraits ahead of time.  If everyone is ready and in place.  You have to be firm in communication with the bridal party.

Cons:

  • You might get dirty before the wedding starts.  First look in a forest?  Yes, sap (or something worse) might drip on your dress from trees up above.  It has happened.  
  • Your family won't be there.  Yes this can be a pro or a con depending how you're feeling.  Of course, you will have the pictures to share at a later date. 
  • You need to get ready sooner, and it is one more thing to schedule into your timeline.  So, the old story is that weddings are always running behind - and this is often true, so be aware a first look might squeeze your timeline a bit. 
  • You will not have the first look coming down that isle.  If this is important to you don't do a first look and plan your portraits for after.  It is that simple.

I am a huge fan of moments that reflect who the couple is authentically. You will choose to do a first look based on what fits your personality best.  Talk about what makes sense to you two and how you want the wedding day to unfold.  If you are having trouble deciding we can review together and see if we can you set up with a wedding timeline and images that are a true reflect of your day and wishes.

Cheers to planning!