May 17, 2012

Wedding Dilemma # 3: First Look or Not?

A few days ago, I asked my fellow W@Wie brides what are their opinions regarding the “First Look”. This is where the bride and groom meet before the wedding ceremonya break from the tradition where the groom only has his first glance of his bride while she’s walking down the aisle.  Most of them answered that while it is a nice idea, they still like to experience the drama and suspense of seeing their groom for the first time at the ceremony itself. 

I’m also torn with this idea, mostly because I don’t know if my parents would allow me to do this. They are sticklers for tradition, so I’m sure this moment of rebelliousness would not sit well with the both of them. And yes, I would also like to see how Mox would react once he sees me in all my bridal glory walking towards him. Would he cry? Would he laugh? Would he be rendered speechless by my gorgeousness (haha, ang feeling ko!)? I’m just scared that a “first look” session would ruin that special moment for the both of us.

So I listed the pros and cons of the “first look” to help me decide on whether we should do this or not:

  • Less stressful wedding timeline. Photographers don’t have to squeeze family formals and pictures of the bridal party into the cocktail hour because they can already take these photos once the “first look” is done.  So everyone, including the bride and groom, can get to the reception earlier than expected and enjoy the cocktail hour with the rest of the guests.
  • More time to do romantic shots. Again, the photographers would have more time to take more creative and romantic shots of the bride and groom together. In short, more beautiful pictures to choose from!
  • Hair and make-up would still remain “fresh”. Knowing how emotional I can be, you can bet I’ll be crying buckets during my wedding day. And so, I’m nervous to think how I’d look like during those after-ceremony pictures. Think Eugene Domingo with red nose and puffy eyes. Scary.
  • Having a private moment with your husband. This is the main reason why I’d like to do a “first look” session with Mox. A wedding can be stressful and chaotic because you have to follow the timeline to the tee lest you want to run late on your special day. There would be little time to have an intimate moment with your groom, not until the wedding proper is over. With a “first look” session, you would have luxury to hug, kiss, and talk before the wedding funfare begins, without everyone fussing over you. Only you and your husband-to-be (and the photographers) will witness this very emotional moment, making it even more special.

  • It’s against tradition. This would definitely be a problem if you are a traditional bride or if you have traditional parents
  • It can kill the suspense of the “aisle reveal”. Most brides dream of seeing their groom’s face light up as they’re walking down the aisle, but a “first look” may dim the groom’s excitement because he has already seen the bride beforehand.

Honestly, I'm all set to doing the "first look" with Mox, provided that my parents wouldn't object. Mox and I are not very showy with our emotions when we are in public, so I bet we’d be trying our hardest not to cry in front of our guests during our wedding day (although, I'll surely fail this one). That's why I would like to have a private moment with him before the ceremony starts because that's when we would tell all our heartfelt feelings to one another without everyone's prying eyes on us. Mox may act all tough and strong when he's with friends, but whenever he's alone with me, that's when his sensitive side appears. So yes, expect a few tears and lots of cheesiness during our "first look" session. While the romantic pictures are a great bonus, I'm just excited that I'd be able to hug, kiss and be with Mox even for just a little while during our special day.

Here are some of my favorite "first look" photos courtesy of Google. Check out how happy and kilig the couples are. :)



  1. Hi Nat!

    Awesome article. Was looking around about the first look and landed here. Here are my two cents, I hope it helps give you (and others) a different perspective.

    Here's the ugly truth. That "first look" genuinely lasts for about two seconds. What comes after is a series of directed poses, no different from the perceived "romance" when taken at another time, like after the ceremony and before the reception (which by the way, is almost standard for extra "romantic" shots). That's it. Really.

    The freshness of your makeup will depend on the quality of makeup your MUA uses.

    There are never private moments during the wedding. The most privacy you can expect is when sitting in front of the priest during the mass and while waiting in the holding room before you enter the reception hall :)

    That "aisle reveal" and most everything that happens in the aisle actually produce the sweetest, most genuine reactions from everyone - the groom, bride, parents, family and friends. Everyone. It's something no one should ever, ever miss.

    To cut it short, the "first look" unfortunately favors the photo/vid more than celebrants. It's a very very pretty marketing tool, but it takes away the very little real drama and emotion you can get out of a wedding. A wedding today is one big production, and those few moments on the aisle are the most precious, as the finality sinks in in those last few moments, those are the reactions that are the hardest to fake. And unlike posed photos, you will never, ever get them back.

    Before you decide, ask yourself if you want to give in to the production all the way with the "first look," or if you want to have at least one moment that you can say is truly, genuinely "yours" forever.


    1. Hi Anna! :)

      Thanks for your insights. :) I tried to ask my fiance if he wanted to do a first look, but he wants to do it the traditional way so he was against the idea. :( Oh well, we'd probably have some breakfast together instead. Haha.



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