JOSH + SUSAN FOWLER
Adventure seekers  //  adoption advocates  //  13 years of marriage
5 kids  //  2 businesses  //  We like living life to the fullest

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Wedding Planning

Sick of Everyone Suggesting a First Look?

Most of the time when I ask whether a bride is doing a first look, I get a groan.  Brides are sick of hearing that question!  I only ask it for planning reasons (so I can make a timeline), but I do think they deserve a fair look.  So I’ve included some photos and stories from the two first looks we had this weekend to give you more of an inside glance.  I’m not here to talk you into a first look, I promise!  Honestly, I don’t mind one bit whether we do all the photos before the ceremony, all after, or half and half.  As long as there is adequate time for pictures, I do not mind one bit what you choose.

But… I’m a huge fan of first looks. Not for me, but for you.  Yes, I get cute pictures, but that’s just a nice touch.  The first look gives you a chance to see the one you love in a much lower pressure situation than walking down the aisle.  And for a lot of people, that is a welcome change!  Whether you end up laughing together or crying together, it’s a time to be just the two of you before the craziness of your wedding day ensues.

You might be like Bud + Alyson and laugh your way through your emotions…Or you might need tissues like Justin + Kayla!  They also took the opportunity to Skype with some friends overseas who prayed with them for their marriage before their ceremony.  Truly an incredible moment!  

And if you think for a second that these couples didn’t have the exact same emotions while the brides were walking down the aisle, then you are definitely wrong!  Bud + Alyson absolutely laughed their way through their ceremony, and Justin + Kayla held back beautiful tears the entire time.  Take it from a bride who didn’t have a first look– the moment you walk down the aisle will absolutely be just as special.  Honestly, I imagine that you’ll get two special moments instead of one because you’re separated for at least 30 minutes leading up to the ceremony, and that builds quite a bit of anticipation!

So if you’re toying with this idea, or you’re just sick of everyone telling you to do a first look, I urge you to disregard the photographer, the wedding planner, your parents, the bridal party, and anyone else.  Think about what will really make your wedding day amazing for you!

Also, it’s worth noting that a first look doesn’t mean you have to do picture before the ceremony!  We’ve been at several weddings where the first look was just a special moment, and all pictures were handled the ceremony.  

It’s no secret that I really wanted a first look at our wedding and Josh did not.  He was very adamantly against it because he wanted the tradition of not seeing the bride before the ceremony.  I, on the other hand, hated waiting for brides and grooms to arrive at wedding receptions.  It always felt like an eternity waiting for the photographer to finish taking pictures.  So I thought Hey, we can knock ALL the pictures out before the ceremony, then beat all our guests to the reception and welcome them as they arrive!  Yes, perhaps I’m a little too practical, but it’s a nice thought.  And cocktail hours are big in the Hampton Roads area… and they really keep guests happy!!

  1. Holly says:

    I am a bride who did not do a frist look, but I REGRET it! When we got married “first looks” were a new concept, and I don’t think I really had it explained to me very well. I wish I had gotten some time alone with my husband before the hustle and bustle, he could have been my calm before the storm!