The First Look ~ A Romantic Wedding Tradition

Martinsburg, WV Wedding Photographers

We are so happy that most of our wedding couples now schedule a First Look! Some brides & grooms, however, still don’t understand what the First Look is, or why it is an AMAZING experience that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Back in 2009 I wrote an article for The Blue Ridge Bride explaining all about this new tradition that so many couples are getting to enjoy. So the following is that blog post from 2009 (I can’t believe it’s been almost 10 years!)


I met up with Amanda of Lux Photography recently to write a short article for this month’s Blue Ridge Bride about the First Look. I’ve been anxious to post this article for all the brides-to-be out there, because this is something that is still “new” to this area, although in other areas of the country it has been much more commonplace.

For those of you not familiar with this growing trend, the First Look is a private moment between the bride & groom before the ceremony.  Usually, the groom is facing away, the bride comes up behind him, and the only people there are the photographers to capture the intimate moment that takes place.  The bride gets to hear what the groom thinks right away, the groom gets to express his true feelings (instead of being a “man” and controlling his emotions in front of 100+ guests), and they both get more time to see each other on their wedding day.  And, if you’re wondering if it takes away from the moment of walking down the aisle?  Ask Jon… he was the biggest skeptic ever, and was still not sure about it until it happened… now, he is a true believer! Ask anyone else who has ever done it!

Check out the article, and then make sure to read on to see other comments I have about the First Look that couldn’t be squeezed into the article.

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Now, I could go on & on for days talking about the First Look. I honestly feel that this should become a part of every modern wedding. I’m not sure why it is still so taboo to some people to not see each other until the walk down the aisle, especially considering the reason behind that tradition we discussed in the article. Did you know 100 years ago we carried garlic down the aisle to ward off evil spirits? I’m glad that tradition was replaced with beautiful-scented flowers instead! Did you know that we used to have our fathers tie all our old shoes to the car to signify the fact that our new husbands were the ones that were now responsible for us (and the husbands would beat us over the head with these shoes to show us who was our new “boss“….)? Did you know that in ancient times, guests would smash wedding cake over the brides head to wish her luck?

And think about this… It was a very strong tradition that the bride’s father would pay for every penny of the wedding. While this still happens today, I’m finding most of my couple’s are funding the wedding either partially themselves, or with help from all parents involved. Since this is not a business transaction between father & groom any longer, it just doesn’t make sense to HAVE to follow that tradition… and so we have for the most part grown out of that.

There are so many “traditions” that have been replaced with new ideas from every generation, that I’m surprised that this one hasn’t been done away with already. Now, before some of you gasp at what I just said, I want you to think of one good reason why not seeing each other until the walk down the aisle is worth all the trouble of losing precious time with your groom on one of the most important days of your lives? Not to mention all the time spent taking pictures AFTER the ceremony that could have been taken care of before the guests arrive, so they wouldn’t have to wait forever to eat! I’m just saying… 🙂

Like I said, I could go on for days about this subject. But I won’t 🙂  I always let me brides choose what they would like to do, and I would never try to talk them out of any decision they have made. After all it is the BRIDE’s day, right? Not mine, not their parents’, not their friends’, and certainly not their great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great- uncle’s best friend who thought of some new trend for his wedding oh-so-many moons ago 🙂