Traditionally speaking, a bride and groom are not meant to see each other prior to their wedding ceremony. Ever wonder why?
The origin of this 'rule' actually stems as far back as arranged marriages. Where the thought was, if the bride and groom saw each other before the wedding there would be enough time to call it off.
Fast forward to 2019 America, and the overwhelming majority of marriages are being entered into by two people who are choosing to do so knowing full well who on the other side. But if you're more of a traditional bride who's been looking forward to that 'moment' at the altar, it may be hard to convince you otherwise.
A 'First Look' is becoming more and more popular in recent days. With their photographer near by, a bride and groom set up a place and time to meet and have an intimate moment prior to the ceremony. It might not seem like much, but the positive shift in your timeline is paramount.
By doing a first look, you are allowing for time before the ceremony to capture portraits of the two of you, family pictures and even all of the bridal party images. As a rough guide, you'll want 45 -60 minutes just the two of you, 45 minutes with families and 45-60 minutes with the bridal party.
When doing this after the ceremony, these sessions cut into cocktail hour, are often rushed (especially if the ceremony ran over) and people are losing interest, at this point they are just ready to relax.
Bear in mind that doing a first look requires all hair and make up to be done, at the very least, 2 hours prior to the ceremony start time. I was reading a blog recently where the writer was trying to come up with an unbiased Pro/Con list for the first look, and the only con they could really muster up was "you have to wake up earlier."
I'm sorry, but who is sleeping soundly the night before their own wedding?! Because I certainly wasn't. An earlier start doesn't seem like an issue at all when you're ready to get the show on the road!
My best advice to lowering your stress level on the day of your wedding is to have the first look. Give your photographer the time needed to get the images you want before hand. Your guests will thank you, your photographer will thank you, and you'll thank yourself years from now when you have a gorgeous collection of thoughtful photos that you took the time to capture properly.
You may even be able to enjoy your own cocktail hour!
If you have other questions surrounding the typical timelines of weddings, or if you'd like advice on your own wedding day, shoot me a message! Let's chat.