I know I'm giving it away rather quickly, but in short the answer is, yes. Most of the time. Let's explain.
Before we dive into this topic, what is a first look? Maybe you haven't heard of this term, but don't worry, it's very simple. Instead of seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony, a couple can choose to do a "first look" where they see each other more privately beforehand.
In the past years I have been part of many weddings and traditions and I can confidently say that I love first looks and I think they are a huge benefit to your wedding day! However there are rare occasions where they won't make sense for your day. Here's a couple of reasons to do a first look, followed by reasons NOT to do a first look.
1) HAVE TIME DEDICATED TO THE TWO OF YOU
One of my absolute favorite reasons for having first looks is that I have seen how special it can be for me and my wife. At the time we didn't even know what a "first look" was, but we had it anyway and it took a lot of anticipation off your shoulders. So going to a private location around your venue and seeing each other for the first time could be an incredibly emotional and beautiful time, if it's something you're considering. In any case, I’ll be off just to the side, silently capturing these special moments. =)
2) GROUP PHOTOS BEFORE THE CEREMONY
Another reason for having a first look is that now that you've already seen each other, you can then do all your group photos before the ceremony! On a more traditional timeline you would normally have the group photos after the ceremony, during the cocktail hour. Now, you'll be able to free up that time to just be with your guests!
3) ENJOY THE COCKTAIL HOUR
As I've just mentioned, you've already done some couple photos during the first look and now you don't have to leave for photos during the cocktail hour and instead be present with your friends and family!
4) EXTRA PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES
Don't want to be there at the cocktail hour? You could also go ahead and use that time to take additional photos with your photographer!
Now let's go through some reasons why may want to consider NOT having a first look:
1) SEEING EACH OTHER AT THE CEREMONY
If you think that you'd rather enjoy the first time you see each other at the ceremony, then you might consider not doing a first look. While you'll still feel the emotional "high" when walking up the aisle after a first look, for some this is not the real deal. Talk to each other and find out what your best fit is!
2) EARLY CEREMONY
If your ceremony is early in the day, having a first look might interfere a little depending on your timeline. Talk this through with your photographer and planner! You certainly don't want to feel rushed on one of the biggest days of your lives!
3) BEING MARRIED IN YOUR PHOTOS
For some, it's special when looking back at their wedding photos to know that they were actually married in them. It might not be a total deal-breaker, but if it's something you'll worry about, then a first look may not be for you.
Did this bring up any further questions? You can get in touch here or drop me a mail here!