Is Doing a First Look Terrible Luck?

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    Traditional marriages dictate that it's bad luck for a groom to see the bride before the ceremony, but what happens when couples break tradition and opt for a first look? One word…magic. For those of you who haven't heard about this crazy trend, a first look is when a couple gets to see each other in their suit, dress, etc., before the ceremony. It is an incredibly intimate moment that allows the bride and Groom to spend a few moments alone without an audience's pressure.

    First looks are a beautiful way for the bride and groom to experience the intimate, private, and deeply emotional moment of gazing down the aisle at each other before the ceremony begins. The moment when the groom first lays eyes on his bride as she walks down the aisle is one of our favourites to photograph, but the intimacy of the first look is unparalleled.

    First of all, good looks aren't reserved for the happy couple. A first look with the bride's father is an increasingly popular tradition, and for many brides, it is as meaningful as or more so than the first look with the groom. An emotional father of the bride preparing to walk her down the aisle is one of life's most touching sights.

    So, how do you feel about a first impression? To what extent this is a workable choice for you depends on a number of factors. In a "first look," the groom foregoes the customary first sight of his bride as she walks down the aisle, which calls into question the validity of many superstitions. Yet, it gives the couple a chance to be alone and ease any nerves they might be feeling before the ceremony, making their walk down the aisle that much more meaningful. If you need advice on your wedding photography, check out our photography packages and services at Wild Romantic Photography.

    It's up to you and your partner if you want to do a first look, but you can always do it with your parents and get some beautiful shots. Your first look with your future spouse or parents will be an unforgettable and magical experience for everyone involved.

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    Why the Groom Doesn't See the Bride Before the Ceremony?

    Is Doing a First Look Terrible Luck?

    While more and more couples are opting to do first looks before the ceremony, whether as a nod to modernity or a means of streamlining their photography schedules, the age-old custom of not seeing the groom until the moment he walks down the aisle remains firmly in place. It's natural to have questions like, "Well, where does the practise come from?" pop into your head as you consider adding the custom to your special day.

    In accordance with custom, brides and grooms traditionally do not see each other before the wedding. The reason for this is that before the altar, the bride and groom were forbidden to see or speak to each other until the wedding ceremony. Looking for wedding photography Melbourne? Look no further! Wild Romantic Photography has you covered.

    Where the Tradition Originated

    Superstition or bad luck, the thrill of seeing each other for the first time as you walk down the aisle is amplified when you don't get to see each other beforehand. However, the tradition's roots are less than romantic. Once upon a time, marriages were arranged as a matter of convenience rather than romance. Even before the wedding day, it was common practise for the bride and groom to have never met before the ceremony.

    The agreement was typically made by the bride's father, who hoped to improve his financial situation by marrying off his daughter to a wealthy suitor. However, he may be concerned that the Groom will not find the bride attractive and cancel the wedding before the ceremony, which would bring great shame to the bride and her family. How unfortunate! The custom of the couple not seeing each other before the ceremony originated to protect the honour of the family.

    The veil is relevant here as well. The groom wouldn't be able to back out of the kiss at the end of the ceremony if he didn't see the bride's face first. The (much more romantic) idea that the groom shouldn't see the bride in her wedding dress until she walks down the aisle originated as a superstition about the bride and groom seeing each other before the ceremony. This tradition can now be seen as a symbol of the couple's coming together to begin their lives in the presence of their friends and family who have loved and supported them throughout their journey.

    What Happens If We Do See Each Other?

    Literally nothing. Superstitious people might think it's bad for their marriage if the couple ever sees each other again, but we're not so sure. It will, if anything, ruin the element of surprise.

    How Long Are We Meant to Stay Away From Each Other?

    Depends. Many newlyweds choose to spend their first day as husband and wife apart, while others may choose to spend the morning together over breakfast before parting ways when it's time to get ready.

    Do We Have to Observe the Tradition?

    Not. Whether or not you want to include age-old customs in your wedding is a personal decision.

    More and more modern brides are opting to see their future husband before the ceremony even begins. First impressions are "It's the first time you see each other on your wedding day. It's becoming more of a time for the couple to pause and appreciate one another." There is no need for an audience to witness the ceremony, but you can still feel the same range of emotions. A photographer and videographer are typically present to record the event for posterity. Following that, the bridal party will assemble for some photos before the ceremony.

    We get asked a lot if couples should do a first look. Some couples, we've found, worry that seeing each other before the ceremony will diminish the joy they're expecting to feel when they walk down the aisle. Your first look shouldn't be defined by how much time you spent apart the night before, how far you walked down the aisle, or how grandiosely you revealed yourself to each other; it should simply be the look you give each other as you enter into a lifelong commitment.

    Some brides choose to have a father-daughter first look moment instead of a traditional first look with their fiancé if they want to follow the tradition of not seeing each other until the ceremony. The pictures show that it can be equally (or even more) heartbreaking.

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    The Traditional (Down The Aisle) First Look

    The custom of the groom not seeing the bride until she walks down the aisle likely originated in arranged marriages. Due to concerns that the engaged couple might try to call off the wedding, they were not allowed to see each other until the ceremony was over.

    Although it is no longer a part of arranged marriages, the "supposed bad luck" custom persists. It was considered bad "juju" if the bride and groom saw each other before the ceremony.

    Despite this, many couples continue to treat the first look as a public display of emotion during the wedding ceremony. Reasons why can be broken down into several categories, and they include the following:

    Doesn't Frontload the Day

    Your wedding day's first half will be the busiest and easiest to slack off during. After the formalities are over, the day can settle into a more casual rhythm. There won't be as much to do in the time leading up to the ceremony if you skip the modern first look in favour of focusing on getting ready for the big moment.

    Maybe You've Dreamt of That "first Time He Sees You Walking Down the Aisle" Reaction.

    If you want to have the customary first look, you can. Go for it if that's what you prefer and you thrive on suspense. That's not a bad thing at all!

    Cons of Doing a Traditional First Look

    • Increased peer pressure (for some)
    • When the wedding party is separated for an extended period of time, tensions are bound to rise.
    • Instead of having a celebration after the ceremony, there will be a ceremony followed by up to an hour of formals.

    The Modern First Look

    There isn't a lot of formally recorded history about the where, when, what, and why of the modern first look, but it was likely created to help the wedding day schedule run more smoothly and give the bride and groom a chance to see each other in a low-key manner before the ceremony.

    More and more modern-day couples engage in this activity, and here are some of the reasons why:

    It Can Be More Personal and More Intimate

    Do you and your future spouse worry about how you'll react in front of a crowd of hundreds?

    A contemporary first impression could become your new BFF.

    You can have some alone time to connect and unwind with your spouse before the rest of the wedding party arrives if you choose to have a private first look at each other on your wedding day.

    Now, perhaps you want your future spouse to shed a tear as you walk down the aisle. However, it's a fact that some men (especially men) are uncomfortable showing their emotions in public. A small group of close family and friends is an ideal size for a modern first look.

    Even with the advent of the modern first look, it is not uncommon for the bride and groom to shed a tear as she approaches the altar.

    You Two Spend More Time Together Throughout the Entire Day

    Since you won't be able to avoid each other, you'll be able to spend more than just the wedding and reception together afterwards. You'll have the chance to hang out with each other for several extra hours.

    You and the groom will be able to see each other before the ceremony, which will also allow the entire wedding party to start getting ready at the same time. That's great news because it means the wedding celebration can continue for longer.

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    Ceremony and Then Party Some More!

    Photos for the most part can be taken care of before the ceremony even begins. Or, you could do the immediate family members ahead of time before the ceremony. Then, take pictures with the senior citizens and the more prominent group(s) involving an extended family who couldn't all make it early in the day and didn't want to be there super early.

    If possible, it is preferable to do the formal photos (first look, etc.) before the ceremony so that the time between the ceremony and the reception is not monopolised. As everyone else leaves for the party, most people don't start to feel restless. If you want photos of the reception area, it gives your photographer more time to get them before the guests arrive.

    Cons of Doing a Modern First Look

    • To accommodate the first look and the formal photos of the wedding party and family (if you're also doing those before the ceremony), your ceremony may need to start a little later than originally planned.
    • You shouldn't compromise on having a traditional first look with your future spouse.

    The Professional Perspective: First Look vs. Down the Aisle

    Is Doing a First Look Terrible Luck?

    A contemporary first look is recommended by most photographers because it allows for a more relaxed and enjoyable reception by minimising the need for a flurry of family formals immediately following the ceremony. You can have a perfectly functional schedule regardless of which option you choose, in our opinion; it's all about personal preference and what works best for your routine. If you’d like to work with professional photographers for your wedding, book with us at Wild Romantic Photography.

    When the bride and groom see each other for the first time on the wedding day, this special moment is known as the "first look" and is photographed discreetly. Some people feel that having these pictures taken before the ceremony takes away from the magic of the bride making her way down the aisle.

    Traditional brides may be uncomfortable with the idea of seeing their future husband before the wedding, but many modern brides are seeing the advantages of this popular photo trend.

    The photographers themselves could shed more light on the merits and drawbacks of taking first look photos. Here are some pros and cons to consider before deciding to take first look pictures.


    You can experience one of the most romantic moments of your day in private.

    You can take a break from your hectic day to privately express your love for one another in your first look photos. This private time will give you a chance to express your true feelings and shed a few tears before the big event.

    You are not allowed to touch or speak to each other during the first meeting at the altar. I think if we had seen each other the conventional way, my husband wouldn't have gotten emotional during the first look, but he did because no one was watching.

    You won't miss the cocktail hour.

    Setting up a time for first look photos before the ceremony will free you up to spend more time at the reception you've worked so hard to organise. Photographing the bridal party and family right after the first look is a great way to ensure that everyone is ready to celebrate with the rest of the wedding party and guests at cocktail hour.


    It's bad luck to see each other before the ceremony.

    When marriages were more commonly arranged, the bride and groom would be kept apart in case either of them didn't like the other's appearance before the wedding. This practise gave rise to the superstition that it is bad luck to see your betrothed before you get to the altar.

    Kandice Brown, a wedding photographer based in New Brunswick, is happy to report that in her five years of work, she has never witnessed a modern couple cancel their wedding due to unexpected ugliness.

    In the end, we always tell my couples to follow their hearts when deciding whether or not to see each other before the big day. Don't add to today's already high emotional toll by worrying yourself silly.

    It may take away from the excitement of walking down the aisle.

    Many engaged couples decide against a first look for one of two reasons: either they've heard it's bad luck, or they don't want to spoil the excitement of the walking-down-the-aisle moment.

    This is a non-traditional wedding practice.

    This contemporary approach to wedding photography may not be for the more conventional bride who envisions a wedding similar to those of her parents and grandparents. Those of a more mature generation might not see the appeal in this sort of photo shoot, and their thoughts could be taken into account if they are contributing financially to the cost of the shoot.

    Planning your dream wedding and don’t want to miss out on the special moments on your big day? Worry no more, Wild Romantic Photography has you covered.

    Choose what feels right for you and your partner and savour that special moment when you finally lay eyes on each other for the first time on your wedding day.