bride and groom first look at The Riverbed Farm in Anaheim, CA

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First Look: Traditional vs. New Tradition

Wedding Wednesday

April 24, 2019



Having a ‘first look’ on your wedding day offers many benefits. During bridal consultations, we often talk about their first look on their wedding day. Often times, brides who aren’t sure about a first look, the number one reason is “I want my groom to cry when he see’s me walk down the aisle” or “having a first look might lessen his reaction at the ceremony”. As a bride a few years ago, I had the same mentality!! I think that’s a dream of most brides.

military groom during ceremony at St. John Vianney Catholic church

bride and groom during ceremony at St. John Vianney Catholic church Bride and groom during ceremony at Mt. Palomar Winery in Temecula, CA

A New Tradition

Imagine that the day of your wedding. Your groom hasn’t seen you all day. You have spent all day getting ready. Your sweet groom has been spending his with his friends secluded from you. He seems calm and collected but the nerves are starting to creep up on your groom. But, instead of keeping him in a secluded space until his time to enter the ceremony, he was taken to a private place with no people, no on-lookers, no distractions. Then, his beautiful bride, the love of his life, walked up and gently tapped his shoulder. He would turn around and finally get his first look with his stunning bride. He would be able to embrace you, cry with you, kiss you, and really enjoy that moment with you for as long as you both wanted. Then, you could show him your dress, twirl a few times and then ask him what he thinks. His nerves start to diminish. No pressure. No nerves. And let’s face it when the nerves are gone, true emotions are free to be expressed.

Now, don’t get me wrong. The first look at the alter is still amazing, powerful, and something you’ll remember forever.

Bride and groom during ceremony at Mt. Woodson Castle in Ramona, CA Benefits of a First Look

More couple portraits.

With a first look, you generally have more time for romantics. Remember, these portraits are what you will hang in your living room. You will be so glad you took the time to enjoy taking lots of them!

The reaction!

One thing that I love about the first look is that your groom can actually see your beautiful face and dress close up and you can hear what he has to say about how you look! You get to really experience his reaction together this way. I get that some have forever envisioned seeing their sweet groom at the alter with a handkerchief in hand wiping away tears as he watches his stunning bride walk down the aisle, which I love, too!

But, what if I told you that your groom might feel a ton of pressure standing at the alter with 80-300 people watching him and his reaction for when he sees you! Talk about anxiety provoking!

Either way, you will get a reaction. Just consider which type of reaction is best for your personalities and desired experience.

An intimate + magical moment.

When you choose a first look, you are choosing to have an intimate moment together before the wedding begins. During this time, it is just the two of you away. All the stress of the wedding vanishes. There is no one around to pull you in different directions. No one running up giving you both congratulatory hugs. During this moment, you can exchange letters, words, and feelings and make a memory of when you first saw one another in our wedding attire in a space that is more “staged”, but also so incredibly intimate, magical, and special. When choosing to see each other at the alter, this magical moment is shared with your guests, which can be completely heartwarming and so special, too. Like I said, it totally depends on the couple and what you’re dreaming of.

Diminished nerves.

Some of my couples have chosen to do a first look simply because they know they will need to get their nerves out before they walk down the aisle. It can be intimidating walking down the aisle with 80-300 of your closest family + friend’s watching you. If a bride or groom is feeling nervous about the process, we suggest that you opt for a first look for one big reason. Typically, seeing your groom or bride will wash away the anxiety. After all, you’re the one that makes each other the most comfortable anyway!Bride and groom during first look by Temecula Wedding Photographer

From A Groom’s Perspective

During Krystle and Eric’s bridal consultation, they both were on the fence about a first look. Like most couples, they both had visions of seeing each other at the alter. A few weeks before the wedding, Krystle and Eric decided on a first look. Afterwards, Eric could not stop talking about the first look. He was so glad they decided to take an intimate moment away from the stress of the wedding day just the two of them. He mentioned that it was one of the only moments he had alone with Krystle the whole day. The kicker–Eric said that the first look was one of his favorite + memorable moment’s of his wedding day. At the end of the day, Eric and Krystle were both so glad they decided on doing a first look. During their first look, Eric and Krystle exchanged private vows to each other from their personalized vow books from Something Lettered that hit me right in the feels. If you want to see more of Krystle and Eric’s wedding at The Riverbed Farm and their first look, check out their blog post!Bride and groom during first look at The Riverbed Farm in Anaheim, CA

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