First Look or Traditional?

January 25, 2020

To do a first look or go traditional… that is the question!

Yesterday, I sat down to write a blog on MY thoughts on the matter. What I liked or disliked about either route. When I got about halfway through I realized it was sounding a little to “photographer” and I realize that is not always completely helpful for you brides! So I took to my Rocha & Co Brides group on Facebook! (A group specifically for past, current and future brides. I share tips, vendors, recommendations, stories, photos and anything else wedding related in that group. I love keeping up with my brides and it’s really been a great resource for my new brides as well!)

So instead of sharing MY opinion. I want to share THEIRS. Real life thoughts and opinions on why they loved doing a first look or going the traditional route or what they didn’t love about their choice. 

To be honest with you, after reading through their comments, I had to start this blog over from scratch and I may just have a new outline on the whole situation! 

So let’s hear from them:

Did You... First Look or Traditional? Tell me WHY you loved or regretted your decision below:

Jolene says….. “I went traditional with my husband but did a first look with my dad! I kinda wish I would have did a first look with my husband though because I feel like it was more emotional and personal with my dad without everyone’s eyes on me and just me focusing on that. I wish I had that with my husband looking back and the way it all felt!”

I remember Jolenes wedding day very well. They got married at Snowshoe Resort here in West Virginia on probably the coldest weekend of July ever. It was rainy, so foggy and just down right freezing for the middle of summer. We decided to do her first look with her dad in the lobby/library of the resort. It was sweet and intimate and then after they hugged it out for a few minutes, we did a first look with her bridesmaids.

I love how Jolene said that she felt like the first looks were more emotional and personal. She has one on one time with her dad and bridesmaids. They were only thinking about that moment – not a hundred people watching them, focusing on walking down the aisle, and everything else that races through your mind on that very quick trip down the aisle to your husband.

Katie says….. “My husband and I did a first look and we were glad we chose to do so looking back. We chose to do one because we knew that we would be very emotional and nervous on our wedding day, and we thought being able to see one another privately would give us some time to process the emotions a bit before being in front of all the guests at our wedding. We loved having some time just between the two of us and it felt very private. We were able to process some of our tears before the actual ceremony, and this allowed us to really enjoy our ceremony so much, without the concern of “what if I break down when I see him and can’t ever stop crying.” ( I’m a big crier and I worried that’s all I would remember about the ceremony.) Our wedding party and parents were also nearby, so we are able to share the moment with our closest family members. Also, some of our favorite pictures from the day came from that moment! Our reactions to one another were beautifully captured and we cherish those pictures when we look back! I think they’re some of the best candid shots and genuine photos of our love for one another from the whole day. Also a great opportunity to get many photos out of the way prior to the ceremony, which leaves more time to enjoy the reception!

Real Wedding First Look

Katie and Joey’s wedding was one of my favorites! Katie’s sister was her master wedding planner/MOH/all in one! I remember getting a timeline from her sister before the wedding and I just thought, wow these people are more organized than I am! They made sure to leave enough room for the first look and ALL the photos before the ceremony. Katie and Joey shared some of the most special moments together as I and their family and friends stood off in the distance, so as not to bother them. It was just the two of them and after reading this comment from her yesterday, WOW. First looks can help serve in so many more ways than just saving time on photos after the ceremony. I love that they thought ahead enough to know that if they didn’t do a first look, sobbing uncontrollably have been the only thing they remembered from their ceremony. If doing your cry face in front of all of your wedding guests intimidates you, you may take a first look into consideration!

LeAnn says….. “We did traditional and it was nice… but I would do a first look if I had to do it again because it would have been more intimate. I would have been able to see his reaction completely instead of asking him after the fact, “what do you think”. Plus first look pictures are always so sweet.”

LeAnn and Jolene had similar thoughts when it came to their choice to go traditional. They each agreed that if they were to do over, they would choose a first look with their husbands. Each of them decided that the ceremony was rushed and they were so focused on other things that they can barely remember that actual moment they had waited on so for long. When they say that wedding days go by in the blink of an eye, they aren’t joking. They go SO FAST. There’s a thousand things going on, on your wedding day. Make sure and carve out some time for just the two of you to enjoy each others company. Whether that’s during a first look or after the ceremony.

Because I got such good input from my brides, I also decided to take to Instagram! I asked my followers the same question and here are a couple responses that I got….

“We did a first look in the woods. It was the quietest, best/sweetest part of the whole day.”

“I did traditional. I don’t regret it because in the end it was perfect but I kind of wish we had thought about it considering the weather. The morning of our wedding was muggy but no rain. Then after the ceremony, it rained so photos were rushed and we only got photos outside on a porch.”

“We did a first look and loved it. We would do it again if I had the choice. Neither of us are very traditional or sentimental so it was a no brainer when we learned about how it could really benefit us and our guests on the day off our wedding.”

So essentially, after gathering thoughts from multiple people and different platforms, First Looks win by a long run! Which is actually really funny because remember when I said I first started on the blog and I thought it sounded too photographer?! I was actually sharing my thoughts on why I liked going traditional! But after hearing all of this and seeing it from my brides point of view, I may start pushing first looks a little harder! I hope everyone’s stories and thoughts will help you make the right decision. In the end, it is YOUR wedding. Do what feels right for the two of you but always remember to make time for yourselves. You want to remember those special feelings for a lifetime!

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