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Married Monday || First Look vs Traditional Ceremony

For Brides

May 4, 2015

Milwaukee Fine Art Wedding Photographer | Elizabeth Haase Photography

Happy first Monday of May! In an effort to streamline my bridal guide posts a bit, I’m trying a new blog series called “Married Monday” which will be a mix of wedding day tips and post wedding advice. Our first topic is whether or not you should consider a first look for your wedding day! Before we get started, I just wanted to stress that either way you chose to plan your day, theres no right or wrong way to do things. Don’t feel pressured by others to do things a certain way, as your photographer, it’s my job to help you create the perfect timeline regardless of you see your fiancé before the wedding ceremony or not.

What’s a first look?

You may hear this phrase throw out there a lot in wedding blogs and magazines. In a nut shell, the first look is scheduled into your timeline so that you see your future Mr. or Mrs. before the ceremony.

There are a few benefits to the first look:

  • For timeline purposes, you can get all of the bridal party photos (and possibly even family formals) done before the ceremony begins. Saving time for you to spend more time with your guests during cocktail hour.
  • The pressure of not seeing each other all day is off. Sometimes there is so much build up for the wedding to be perfect, seeing your love before the ceremony helps you stay grounded and relaxed. There’s also no sneaking around making sure the two of you don’t see each other.
  • This one is my personal favorite – you get to be alone. Weddings are busy and very social, its possible you won’t get any alone time with your fiancé until you get to your hotel room that evening. The first look allows you 5-10 minutes of alone time that you may not get otherwise.
  • Milwaukee Wedding Photographer | Elizabeth Haase Photography

Your other option is to do the traditional wedding timeline, where your fiancé is waiting for you to come down the aisle for that iconic groom-seeing-his-bride-for-the-first-time look.

There are a few benefits to taking the traditional approach:

  • You get to see each other for the first time on the cusp of your marriage vows, even though you’ll be in a room full of people, it’s still very intimate.
  • You can start your wedding day coverage later, so your photographer is able to capture more of the reception. You can also start getting ready later, and possibly sleep in a bit!
  • You follow a centurys’old wedding day tradition (and it’s good luck according to wedding lore).

One thing I’ve noticed is that the midwest is more traditional in their approach to the wedding day, while my brides in the south have almost unanimously chosen a first look. It’s so cool to see the changes in wedding traditions regionally. I’ve also noticed more brides choosing to do a first look with her parents (usually dad), which is always beautiful and emotional regardless if they go on to do a first look with their fiance later in the day.

Like I mentioned earlier – it’s your day so own it! There’s benefits in either way you chose to plan your wedding day, go with your gut, and we will create a timeline to capture your story exactly how you pictured it.

Until next Monday!


P.S. – Have a wedding topic you want covered? Make sure to comment!

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