Why First Sight?

Ok, first off, what the heck is First Sight?

Lots of wedding photographers today use First Sight to refer to when the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony.

I know, I know, you are probably thinking WHAT!? But seriously, do you even know where the tradition came from of the bride and groom not seeing each other before the ceremony? Lots of people like to be “traditional” in doing this, but let me give you a little background on the root of this old tradition…

This tradition stems from the early days of arranged marriages – when the bride and groom’s first meeting occurred at the wedding. The two were kept from seeing each other to prevent the groom from bolting should he not like the look of his new bride. If you ask me, that’s not a tradition worth keeping!

Anyway, almost all of the weddings I shoot have the bride and groom seeing each other before the ceremony(First Sight)…I even did it at my own wedding. Seriously, here are some things to think about…

  • the bride is NOT stressed out after she sees her groom–she is a hundred times more calm!
  • we get to do all the pics of the bride and groom and wedding party before the ceremony, so your guests aren’t  waiting forever for you to get to the reception
  • there is no need to constantly have a lookout to make sure the bride and groom don’t accidentally get a peek at one another
  • lighting, lighting, lighting! we get to use natural light to create fabulous images of the bride and groom and wedding party, whereas if we had to wait until after the wedding, there is usually little if any natural light left. Trust me. Natural light is the best! We will usually grab a shot or two of the couple and wedding party in the church or outside using flash, but it is rarely a shot that the couple likes anywhere near as much as what we get to do creatively before the ceremony.
  • the couple actually gets that special moment of seeing each other for the first time to themselves, instead of it being in front of all their guests at the alter. You get to talk and hug and give each other gifts or whatever you want that you would normally not get to do when you see each other for the first time at the alter. You can say things to each other that you will remember forever because there is no pressure.
  • it makes for such great images! I just love the honest emotions that can be caught more in this situation than in front of a huge crowd
  • there is waaaay less stress for everyone involved on the wedding day. trust me!


So how does this work?

We keep the couple separated until they are fully dressed and ready. You can choose a special place to see each other, or the ceremony site…it’s up to you. Once the bride is ready we send the groom to the place you’ve chosen(such as up by the altar) and have his back towards her with no one else in the room. Her father can escort her in or she can walk down the aisle alone. When she is ready she walks down and tells him when he can turn around and take his first look at her in her fabulous dress! This is the moment! Tears, sweet words and a sense of relief sweep over the couple!

The couple is no longer nervous and the groom still gets to see his bride coming down the aisle. I will take a few pics of this fabulous moment and then leave the two of you alone so you can have some privacy. Then when you are ready, we head out to photography the two of you, and then move on to the wedding party and family pictures. And what a relief it is at the end of the ceremony to know you don’t have to stick around for an hour of pics…you get to head straight to the party with your guests!!

As of right now, I do not require that the couple I shoot use the First Sight method….but be aware, that you are choosing me for my creativity and great images you have seen…and those are a result of this method, and you hinder that creative flow and ability when you refuse to see each other beforehand. PLEASE please please….make it easier on yourself and do First Sight!

Let us know if you have any questions or want to talk to a bride who orginally was going to stick to tradition, but chose this instead!


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