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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Nelson

6 First Look Alternatives

Updated: Apr 3, 2020

So maybe having a first look goes against the traditional wedding day vibe you are going for. These alternatives are perfectly sweet ways to still experience being together before walking down the aisle.

For anyone who is nervous, or spilt between the decision of wanting to see their soon to be spouse before walking down the aisle, these alternative "first looks" are the perfect way to share in a private, and emotional moment together before your ceremony.

A first touch or hug

Look up first looks on Pinterest and you will be flooded with ideas of how to have that intimate first moment with your soon to be spouse. If you are wanting to keep the actual seeing of each other for the moment you walk down the aisle, the best way to feel connected is to experience a first touch.

I like to call this "the not so first look", because it doesn't involve you seeing each other. Have your photographer find a quiet and secluded space for you two to share in your moment. A door is a popular way for you to each stand on either side and then hold hands. A pillar, a hedge or a well placed piece of art are all options to keep yourselves hidden.

If you want more than just your hands touching, you can go for a blindfolded hug, or simply have one of you standing forward and the other come up and go in for a hug. It is an intimate moment for the two of you, so go based on your comfort levels.

A first read

It is somewhat of a tradition to send each other letters to read as you are both getting ready or right before the ceremony. A super sweet way to include each other in the moment is to read them aloud to each other, or silently, on either side of a door or back to back. It is a wonderful way to come together before walking down the aisle.

This is also an excellent option if you are not reading your personal vows during your ceremony. For some people, the emotions that come with the wedding are overwhelming, or it is part of their religious ceremony, and so they will opt in to read traditional vows to each other during the ceremony. Sharing personal vows beforehand is an intimate way to connect and speak what is in your heart to one another.

A partial first look

Ok. Hear me out because I am pretty sure I invented this option, but I personally loved it and did it on my own wedding day!

When we first talked about doing a first look, Jérémy was open to it. Like most couples we were slightly afraid of losing the light and wanted the potential of having photos taken before the ceremony so that we could spend time with our guests during cocktail hour.

However, the more we talked about it, the more Jérémy really wanted to see me for the first time as I walked down the aisle to him. I couldn't be too upset because I also sort of wanted that as well. But I also knew that I would be very anxious if we went the whole day without seeing one another.

So I crafted an idea. What if we did a partial first look where I had my hair and makeup done but didn't have my dress on? He could be wearing his slacks, since I already knew what he was wearing, and then we could do a "first look" as a way to see one another before the big moment.

And let me tell ya, it was perfect! Did he get emotional? No, not really and I didn't expect him too. Was it super sweet to see his reaction to my wedding hair and makeup though? 100% yes. And I really enjoyed seeing him partially done up as well. And it gave us 5 minutes to just be our goofy selves and a chance to come together before the ceremony. I was able to get all the good hugs from him and just have a quiet moment before going back to my bridal suite to put my dress on.

Your wedding party first looks

If seeing your soon to be spouse is simply out of the question, but you want some sort of first look captured, pull your guys and gals together and reveal your wedding look to them! Even if your bridal party has seen you in your wedding day outfits before, when they helped pick the dress or during fittings, seeing you on your wedding day in the whole get up, will yield priceless expressions!

So have your best guys and gals get ready and once you are all set up have them open their eyes, open the door, or walk out and watch their faces light up!

Share a first look with a family member

A really special way to involve a parent or sibling into your wedding day, outside of the typical duties, is to ask them to share a first look with you. If you are really close with your parents, ask them to step away from the guests who are coming in and share a close moment with just them. Sharing a first look with a parent or sibling can bring on the water works, so make sure you have tissues ready.

Get creative

The last idea for your first look is one in which you take a couple of creative liberties with how you show up to see your soon to be spouse. You can keep it simple and share in the moment together with out some accessories, like your veil, flowers, or jewelry and then have them on when you walk down the aisle for a sweet little surprise for your partner.

Or you can go really creative! I saw recently a bride who showed up to her first look wearing an inflatable T-rex costume and when her partner turned around, he broke out laughing! The photos were hilarious and they were still able to share in a moment together before their ceremony.

If wearing a T-rex costume is a little too extreme, you can show up in your wedding hair and make up, but instead of your gown, you are wearing your "getting ready" attire, like a robe or a pj set. The options are endless!

At the end of the day, if sharing a moment with your soon to be spouse is something you want to do before walking down the aisle, then do it! If seeing them in your wedding attire isn't in the cards, play around with being connected by holding hands behind a door or reading letters to one another. Your wedding day is a day full of love and connection, don't hold back on how you can achieve everything you want 😊

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