Whether or not you want to do a first look is a completely personal decision, and neither choice is right or wrong! If you do not want to do a first look, that is TOTALLY fine! I did not do a first look at my wedding, so it all boils down to personal preference. In the text to follow, I will be explaining what a first look is and some reasons why it may be beneficial for you.
What is a first look?
A first look is a super special moment. Traditionally, a bride walks down the aisle towards the groom, and this is the first moment that the groom sees the bride in her dress. When you opt to do a first look, you still get to do this, but it will NOT be the first time you are seen in your dress by your partner. A first look is an opportunity to see each other before the wedding ceremony and before any guests are present.
Why should I consider doing a first look?
#1: a moment alone
Your wedding is going to be non-stop action and the day is going to fly by! You will be surrounded by friends and family who love you and are ready to celebrate this moment in your life. The day will be filled with events like cake cutting and dancing you will not have very much time to yourself or to spend with your partner one on one. A first look gives you a moment alone in private (aside from the photographer being there) to spend together on one of the most important days of your life.
#2: It saves time during your event
This may not be the number one reason to do a first look, but it is a side effect that works to your advantage. Doing a first look means that you can take all of your formal photos as a bride and groom BEFORE your ceremony, saving a big chunk of time you would have spent away from your guests after the ceremony. In fact, the family formals that are usually taken after the ceremony could also be taken before the ceremony if that was your preference. In this case, you could join your guests at your reception immediately following your ceremony.
#3: More opportunities for photo locations
If you are wanting to take your formal photos together as bride and groom somewhere other than your venue or somewhere that takes a few minutes to get to, you can completely finish your off site pictures and be back at your venue before your guests even arrive. So you know that really cool spot 10 minutes away from your venue? You can get photos there too.
If you are skipping a first look and going the traditional route, these options are all available to you as well, so do not feel like you are missing out if it doesn't feel right for you! Just keep in mind that you will be taking time away from your guests and you may need to have something going on to occupy their time!