Katie Jaynes Photography Blog





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For Brides

September 18, 2021

FOR BRIDES | First Look Vs. Traditional Aisle Reveal

I wanted to do a short series of posts called “For Brides” to help people during the wedding planning process. During the planning of your wedding, I’m sure you will have questions and want some advice. I have been there and I know it can be the most exciting season of your life, as well as the most overwhelming! Enjoy and feel free to ask me questions. 🙂
Other Posts from the “For Brides” series: 

  1. Wedding day details
  2.  Should you hire a videographer?
  3.  Should you hire a wedding planner?
  4.  For Grooms: How I proposed
  5.  Who to invite to your wedding
  6.  What to wear for your engagement session
  7.  Should you invest in bridal portraits

First Look vs. Traditional Aisle Reveal?

It was the absolute sweetest, most cherished part of our whole day and we wouldn’t trade that memory for anything in the world. It was so intimate and emotional. And I will never forget his tears as he told me to twirl for him in front of those great big, beautiful church steps and columns. THAT is what a princess feels like!

The first look gave us time to talk after I revealed my dress/look and saw him in his precious khaki tux and bow tie, whereas during the ceremony, we would have been quiet and I wouldn’t have had my big twirl!

The first look led into a sweet time of un-rushed photos with our photographer after she photographed the first look reveal. Our day was busy, with so much family and friends surrounding us, so we are extremely grateful for our first look.

Because of our first look, we were able to fit in all of the bride with bridesmaid photos, groom with grooms-people photos, my family photos and some of Mitchel’s family before the ceremony even began.

So that also was a special time where just our closest family members and bridal party got to share with us. We laughed, spent time together, and enjoyed that time as well.

For those of you reading this who just aren’t convinced, if you feel like you won’t get the “full effect” when you walk down the aisle to your soon-to-be-groom, I just need to let you know that Mitchel still cried when I walked down the aisle.

The first look helped us both to be much less nervous and allowed us to be completely focused on each other while taking the moment in. The first look did not at all take away from the walking down the aisle.

It was also very special, but the great part is, I had already gotten my ugly cry out of the way, so my face was pleasant in the pictures during the walk down the aisle!

There is no “right” or “wrong” way when it comes to choosing a traditional, aisle reveal or a first look reveal. Weigh the pros and cons and choose whichever seems to fit you both best!

Should you Do A First Look?

If you’re a by the rules, traditional couple, you probably won’t want to do a first look. More than likely, you’ll want to wait until the ceremony to see each other for the first time. That’s GREAT!

But, maybe you’re shying aware from some of the traditions of weddings, and you think you might want to do a first look. Obviously, it’s a big decision to make and not an easy one.

A lot of the decision comes down to personalities and nerves. One unexpected benefit we’ve learned about of first looks is it can help the nerves before the ceremony.

If you think you or your groom will be VERY nervous before the ceremony, having a first look can help calm you down and give you a little peace. So many of our couples talk about how much better they feel after seeing their loved ones on the wedding day. Some of the anticipations is relieved and you can get some of the feelings out.

The other reason to consider doing a first look is simply because of the timeline. Having some of the couple portraits and the bridal party pictures done BEFORE the ceremony says you a ton of time after the wedding.

We do everything we can to make the process as quick as possible after the ceremony, regardless of how many pairings, family members, or bridal party shots we need. But if we can do a good portion of those before it saves us close to an hour of time.

For some people, that’s not a huge deal – it all depends on what matters most to you. Some people don’t want their wedding guests waiting a long time before the couple enters. Usually, this isn’t a problem, but it all depends on your timeline, where the reception is, and so much more.

These are only two factors you should talk about when planning your wedding and deciding if you’re doing a first look or stick with a traditional aisle look. Whatever you pick, make sure you choose the option that will make your dream day everything you imagined.

  1. […] note – we did a first look, so we BROKE this tradition, but we are SO glad we […]