So many long-held traditions are seemingly going the way of land-line phones and typewriters. One of the newer options a couple needs to decide is whether or not they will have a First Look photo session. It all boils down to “will you be seeing each other before the ceremony?”We always ask this question during our consultation with the Bride and Groom, and always…they look at one another and sigh. “What do YOU want to do?” It is not an easy decision to make. Do they honor the age-old tradition of not seeing each other before the Ceremony… or not?

Couples are now being offered the opportunity of having First Look photo sessions with their photographer. It is a relatively new concept and one to which many couples are turning. The Bride and Groom are taken to a beautiful, scenic spot. The Groom’s eyes are closed. He turns to look at his radiant Bride, and the moment is captured in photos forever. There is no question there are great benefits to this approach. Because you will be relaxed and unhurried, your “romantics” (photos) will be much more romantic. You will have more time for your photographer to pose you. Because these photos are taken early before the Ceremony, you will have more time to spend with your guests at the reception. Your photographer will be doing cartwheels because she/he will have more time to capture those sweet moments perfectly.

And then…there are those who want to remain loyal to the tradition of not seeing each other before the ceremony. This can be a cultural or religious choice or simply a matter of personal preference. If this is the way you want to go, do not be swayed from your position. But do be sure to allow ample time between the end of your ceremony and the beginning of your reception to get your “romantics,” and family photos as well. A big factor to keep in mind is the time of sunset on your wedding day. It’s important you, your photographer and your Officiant work out a schedule that will provide ample time for your ceremony, give you the photos you want, and give your photographer enough available light to shoot everything without being too rushed.

There is also a compromise. “The First Peek Photo.” Before the ceremony, the Bride and Groom are separated by a door or a wall and can hold hands. They do not actually “see each other,” but have a moment touch each other’s hand, and to utter those last words before they become husband and wife. As Officiants, we are blessed to be in the position of standing near the Groom as the Bride walks down the aisle. Regardless if there is a First Look or not, we can guarantee when he sees his beautiful Bride walking down the aisle, he will still be swept away with tender emotion. No matter what you choose, there is no right or wrong answer. Go with whatever feels best to the both of you, and celebrate your Day!


Kenneth Ray Seals Photography

~Happiness always from Two Rings and A Kiss~