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First Look: What Are They? Should I Have One?

wedding first look UK

The “First Look”- a term that seems to be popping up more and more frequently, thanks to sites such as pinterest.com which allow us to connect and engage with wedding ideas and traditions from all over the world. But for many of us over here in the UK, we’re completely baffled as to what a first look actually is and why on earth anyone would want one.

In short, a first look is basically where the bride and groom see one another before the wedding ceremony takes place. They get the “first look” at one another so to speak.

It’s something which is incredibly popular over seas, but as ever in dear old England we’re seriously lagging behind!
At first the very suggestion that you may see your bride or groom before walking down the aisle, for some, is ludicrous. It goes completely against tradition and is considered “bad luck” But there’s so much more to it than that! They’re beautiful, incredible and we believe that everyone should at least consider having one.

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Here’s why….
For starters, everyone and their aunt will tell you time and again just how quickly your wedding day will zoom by. Everyone will tell you how little time you will actually get to spend with your new husband/wife. Sadly on this occasion, everyone is telling the truth. I can’t even begin to describe how quickly a wedding day goes for us, & we’re just the ones shooting it. When it’s you who is actually caught up in it all, saying a constant string of hellos, goodbyes, pleases and thank you’s it’ll be over in the blink of an eye.

It is SO important that you get some quality time just to be together and look into one another’s eyes without having to worry about poses or blinks, or reciting vows. Just to hold each other and take everything in so that you can actually enjoy your day and enjoy everything you’ve worked so tirelessly towards for months and often years. Grabbing 10 minutes together before your ceremony will give you this quality time and prepare you for the day ahead. You’ll be able to offer one another the unconditional moral support that only your significant other can.

Copyright Sam and Louise Photography, UK wedding photographers, best UK wedding photographers,

Aside from which it’s fabulous for calming nerves. If you’ve been winding yourself up all morning about having to wait for your bride, or how you’re going to have to try and not walk down the aisle too quickly, guaranteed there is nothing that is going to put your mind to rest like seeing your partner.

Rather than letting a culmination of feelings come to a head as you hit the aisle (or as you stand at the alter waiting) take the pressure off by greeting your husband or wife to be beforehand. After that, what else is there to be worried about? From there on out, it’s all excitement and smiles, instead of trying to hold in tears and shakes and wobbly voices.

So forgetting the “practical” reasons, there are also the emotional ones.

Lincolnshire wedding

Although things are changing, stereotypically Grooms aren’t all that eager to share their emotions fully in public- or indeed in front of peers, workmates and extended family. Yet quite often brides expect (or want) an emotional reaction. That’s far more likely to happen privately, when they can truly respond in a way they see fit, without the pressure of peering eyes.

Whilst tears are really common for both brides and grooms, when you see one another for the first time at the end of that aisle, you’ll never get to say what you really want to say. You’ll never be able to embrace one another, hug, gasp or just spend time looking, because your ceremony will have already begun. Even if you do get the chance to steal a little kiss there’s no guarantee that conditions or permissions will be such that your photographer is able to capture it. Sometimes photography isn’t allowed, or your photographer may only be able to shoot from a certain position, where getting your reaction would be impossible.

Arranging a first look means that you’ll have privacy to be together alone, with a photographer at a suitable distance. When you see each other for the first time, not only will your reaction and subsequent meeting be documented, but that reaction will be a true and uninhibited one. And trust us, it makes all the difference.

Check out these first looks courtesy of Buzzfeed: FIRST LOOKS HERE

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I understand that some feel iffy about breaking with tradition, but think about it logically. Have you also followed tradition in every other area? Are you wearing white…should you be? Do you have old, new, borrowed and blue? Will you be keeping the top tier of your wedding cake and saving it for the birth of your first child? A sixpence, are you being given away and promising to honour your partner with your body? The list goes on and on.

And as for the bad luck thing…. will the outcome of your marriage really be dictated by a decision to see one another on the morning of the wedding? In many other cultures it is traditional to see your partner before you marry and those guys seem to be doing ok!

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Now we’re not saying everyone must have a first look, but it’s definitely something we feel couples should think seriously about. It doesn’t mean that you miss out on the chance to walk down the aisle or anything like that, everything about the rest of the day runs in the same way.

copyright sam & louise photography www.samandlouise.co.uk

You can see from some of the photos we’ve posted throughout the blog, how grooms have responded publicly, how mothers and fathers have reacted to seeing their daughter as a bride & how bridesmaids stand in awe. You may notice  the marked difference between the private reactions done away from peering eyes and those in front of an audience. Wouldn’t it be lovely, amazing even to share a special few moments embracing the one you’re about to pledge to be with and share everything with for as long as you both shall live?

Cpyright Sam and Louise photography, UK wedding photographers, best UK wedding photographers

If you’ve already placed your booking with us and would be interested in doing a first look, please get in touch!

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