Do you know what a “first look” is? Sometimes called a reveal, a first look is when a couple about to get married choose to see each other before the wedding ceremony on their big day.
By Catherine Bogaty, MSV Special Events Manager
It’s a very private moment shared with just the couple and a photographer. The bride or groom stands in a set location while their wife- or husband-to-be walks up behind them, taps them on the shoulder, and they turn around to see their soon-to-be spouse.
Being somewhat of a traditionalist, I was initially hesitant when I heard about first looks. I thought it might spoil the surprise of the big walking-down-the aisle moment. Having been fortunate enough to witness many weddings in the Museum gardens, I have also had the chance to sneak peeks at several first looks. I was surprised how sweet and special they were; in fact, the moments often made me teary eyed.
As it turns out, in the busyness and stress of a wedding day, a first look gives a couple some quality time to enjoy the moment, just the two of them. First looks may also help couples relax a little bit and not be too nervous during the ceremony when all their guests are watching.
When I asked professional photographer Julie Napear—who frequently shoots weddings in the MSV gardens—about first looks, here is what she had to say: “I love when couples do a first look before their wedding ceremony! It is an opportunity to get your photos done beforehand so you can truly enjoy your day. As a photographer, I feel it’s my job to make photo-taking fun, but I have no illusions that formal portraits with family members are not everyone’s favorite part of the day.” She also feels first looks help put couples at ease. “Couples can talk to each other beforehand and help each other relax,” she adds.
First looks also allow couples to get important pictures taken before the ceremony. Julie did a first look before her own MSV wedding and says that having finished all of the formal photographs beforehand, after her ceremony she “slipped into my flat shoes and went straight to our cocktail hour at the Pink Pavilion!”
According to Julie, it’s not uncommon for couples to be hesitant about a first look. Many brides tell her “I want to see my fiancé’s face when I walk down the aisle for the first time.” Julie says that doing a first look took nothing away from her own walk down the aisle and that her husband still teared up.
I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the photographs of first looks in the MSV gardens, and that this blog post might even have you considering a first look. Ultimately, remember that it is your wedding! Do what you want and what makes you the most happy and comfortable.
If you or someone you know is looking for a unique wedding venue or special place for an intimate “first look” photo shoot, the seven acres of gardens at the MSV are worth considering. Learn more about MSV weddings and set up a free visit here http://bit.ly/WeddingsMSV. Best wishes!