I have found that often when a couple chooses not to do a first look, it’s because the groom doesn’t want to do one! Even Chris would have preferred not to but I couldn’t fathom not doing one when everything is in the same place (meaning there was no gap in the wedding day so we would have had to miss cocktail hour and extend it to do all of our pictures!). Since I have also had quite a few grooms decide to do the first look, I thought it might be helpful to share their experiences and so I asked a few of them to tell me how they saw it from their perspective. Maybe this will ease the fears of a first look to a few future grooms out there!
Dan: My first look experience was better than I could’ve imagined. It made the whole day get off on the right foot. We decided to do the first look because we both wanted to be able to mingle during cocktail hour and not have to cram all the photos we wanted to take during that time. We also wanted to get as much time with Meredith taking our photos because we wanted tons of photos.
Chris met me at the entrance to the first look place and calmed all my nerves. He laid out the whole plan, (i.e. where I was going to stand, where she was going to come in from, what to expect, and they were going to be doing) and he also just kept the conversation light and happy. The build up to the moment was great and then when she arrived and I turned around it was just a great intimate moment of just us, talking and sharing what had happened so far today and loving each other before everyone else got to see us.
As she was walking down the aisle I was able to take in the moment more than if it was the first time seeing her. It was still very exciting and and filled me with so many emotions because it was actually here and happening but I’m so glad we decided to do the first look. We were able to enjoy cocktail hour like we wanted and we got so many awesome photos that wouldn’t have been possible if we didn’t do the first look.
Tyler: Deanna and I both liked the idea of a first look as an opportunity to share that special moment between the two of us. Because we chose to get married in a church, if we waited until the ceremony I would have seen her come down the aisle then not be able to speak for the remainder of the time (or kiss her!). The first look gave us the chance to have our moment together and truly enjoy that special piece. It also gave us a chance to take detailed photos prior to the reception so that we could spend more time with our guests. The feeling was indescribable—my folks said that my face was the same that I had when I was super excited as a little kid. Knowing the woman of my dreams was coming to meet me as my soon-to-be wife was incredible. I felt a level of peace being able to stare at the ocean/reflect while she came to me; we love the ocean which is why we chose to get married in the cape. The whole moment was perfect.
Mike: I am not going to sit here and lie…I did a first look because Jenna (my soon to be wife) said we were going to do one. As many soon to be husbands should know you listen to your better half and do what you are told!
Leading up to the first look I was a bit fidgety, I think Chris could tell…luckily a couple Coors Light helped me relax a bit! I was nervous…I knew she would look amazing and have everything perfect. Me? My hair was probably a mess, I forgot to trim off the tails of my suit jacket and it has been a moment I have been waiting for since I first fell in love with Jenna 8 years ago!
Once the first look took place..I finally felt like I could breath and have a moment just with Jenna. The moment was perfect…Jenna was even more beautiful than expected.
Walking down the aisle…Wow. Emotions like I have never felt, the thought of having so many friends and family there completely overwhelmed me. It is a feeling that I will never have again EVER….As Jenna walked down to one of our “favorite songs” which I wasn’t expecting…I fought back tears. Watching her come down with her mom and dad and seeing everyone’s eyes fixated on the woman I was about to marry was a moment every groom should cherish. Once we were officially married…THE PARTY WAS ON!!
Gordon: I was the token oblivious groom. How bad? She came home from buying the dress and I straight-face asked to see it.
That said, the first look had some added excitement as the big reveal. She crept up silently behind me with the rest of the party in tow, and...wow. Talk about butterflies. It was a rush.
P.S. I think I would’ve lost my cool entirely if I had seen her for the first time walking down the aisle. It would have been straight waterworks.
So there you have it! The first look experience right from the mouth of four of our 2018 MJP Grooms. Do you still have worries? Still have questions about the logistics? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll be able to calm your nerves even further!
P.S. There are certain circumstances where adding a first look to your day actually doesn’t make sense timing wise. Be sure to talk with your photographer about what makes sense for YOUR unique day!!