By Daria Kurilo
While traditionally it’s bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the wedding, modern couples are getting more comfortable with ditching old myths in favour of newer customs.
First look photography can be narrowed down to two moments on the big day. The first is the classic fun shot where the bride sneaks up behind the groom while he stands anxiously waiting for his bride-to-be. The photographer captures that candid moment the groom turns around and sees his partner for the first time, looking ethereal. The raw emotions and heart-warming embraces make for stunning photographic moments.
The second style of first look photography is creating a whole separate pre-ceremony shoot where the couple comes together for the first time on the day. Taken before the actual ceremony, it’s understandable why not all couples embrace it. Many want to save the surprise of seeing each other for the first time for the walk down the aisle. But, there are several creative ways of capturing that first moment the soon-to-be-weds lock eyes with each other, so couples shouldn’t disregard this interesting new trend emerging in the wedding photography world.
Melbourne-based photographer Alan Moyle couldn’t agree more. Having done many first look shoots with different couples, he shares his insight. “First looks are great — to get that reaction when the couple first sees each other, generally in a fairly intimate encounter instead of a big public one, is very special,” he says. “All the emotions come out. It tends to not diminish the emotion of walking down the aisle later in the day, it’s all still there. One couple I worked with, Firas and Stella, wanted to get straight into celebrating with their family and friends, so a first look shoot was perfect, followed by some photos with their bridal party.”
This also means more time with your guests and no guilt hanging over your head that you’re not giving them enough attention. When you’ve already had a short pre-wedding photo session, you won’t need to spend as long taking photos during the reception, allowing couples to spend time with loved ones instead. A lot of pressure is taken off by seeing each other before the ceremony, which can also help calm the nerves. Doing a private shoot with just the two of you and the photographer will make that walk down the aisle a lot easier, too.
As a bride-to-be, you might be wondering if a first look shoot is for you, or if you might prefer to meet your fiancé at the altar. We’ve compiled a selection of first look pre-wedding and altar images to help you make the decision. We’ve come to the conclusion, however, that if you’re truly and madly in love, that first wedding day look is priceless regardless of how, where or when you do it.