Pros and Cons of a First Look

Ohio wedding venue first look

Pros and Cons of a First Look

“Are you planning on having a first look?” This is one of the most controversial questions we ask brides and grooms. If you are still struggling to decide whether you want to see your bride or groom before the ceremony, this blog will help you reach a decision!

What is a “first look”?

A first look takes place hours before the ceremony. It is a topic of controversy because it goes against the traditional, “It’s bad luck to see your bride before she walks down the aisle” mindset. The tradition originated when a bride was betrothed to her groom by their families.

The father of the bride would arrange the marriage to gain either monetary value or a higher status in society. The father feared that the groom would not find his bride attractive enough to marry and would only reveal the bride to the groom at the ceremony. This would give the groom less of a chance to call off the wedding! Fortunately, the tradition has become much more romantic.

PRO’S of a First Look:

  • By seeing each other before the ceremony, the day is a bit more flexible regarding photos. If you have limited time between the ceremony and reception, completing all of your photos beforehand can relieve a LOT of pressure!
  • First looks can take some of the stress out of the day. Taking a private moment to be with your soon-to-be spouse is a great way to reflect on the beauty of the day. It lets you get rid of some nerves before saying your “I do’s”.
  • First looks can create more time to enjoy the ceremony! If you are worried about only having a few hours for dancing or greeting guests, a first look could be a great option. This is the day you have been planning for perhaps YEARS! It’s understandable that you would want to spend as much time enjoying it as possible.
first look at an outdoor Ohio wedding
Photo by Veranda Studios

CON’S of a First Look:

  • By doing a first look, you might be worried that the “magic” is just not there when you walk down the aisle. This can be debated either way, however there is a reason the tradition of not seeing each other until the ceremony has stood the test of time. Nothing beats the groom’s reaction when he first sees his wife in her wedding dress. Your guests might want to enjoy that moment with you!
  • First looks will cause you to have to be ready for pictures at an earlier time. Not only for you, but for your bridal party and even close family members. If you have an early-afternoon wedding or you are not an early-riser, this option might not be for you.
  • First looks are non-traditional. If you love the idea of tradition and are superstitious, first looks aren’t for you. There should be no regrets on your big day- go with your gut!!
first look Grand Rapids Ohio Venue
Photo by Swatch Studios

ALTERNATIVES to a First Look:

  • Just because you don’t want to SEE each other before the ceremony, doesn’t mean you can’t TALK to each other before the ceremony! Standing around a corner holding hands can be just as an intimate and private moment as a first look. If you both have different stances on the first look, this can be a great compromise!
  • Writing letters can also take some stress out of your day before the ceremony. This is also a great alternative for anyone who is a little bit more reserved and would rather not say their deepest feelings in front of others.
  • Changing your appearance after the first look, before the ceremony! If you are wanting a first look, but still would like a “wow” factor when you walk down the aisle, we recommend changing your hair, wearing your veil, or even changing your dress before the ceremony!

As you can see, there are many factors when deciding whether a first look is right for you. The coordinators at Nazareth Hall are looking forward to your next meetings, where they can help you problem-solve and compromise!








Cover photo by Love is Greater Photography.

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