Your wedding day should be one of the most memorable days of your life, but it passes by in the blink of an eye. It’s so important to carve out intentional parts of the day to soak in all the emotions and create meaningful memories with your loved ones!
Most of our couples say that the best and most memorable part of their wedding day was the first look—the moment when they first laid eyes on their partner in a private moment before the ceremony. Some of our clients even choose to do additional first looks with family members and friends!
Here are 8 first look ideas to make sure you’ll never forget that moment.
Read private vows
Start off your first look by reading private vows to each other. This is an intimate way to express how much you love and care for each other, and allows you to write more meaningful vows than those typically shared during the ceremony. This is especially a great option for those who are nervous public speakers – after you’ve shared your personal vows together privately, all you’ll need to do in front of an audience is simply repeat the traditional vows (“to have and to hold”, etc.) after your officiant.
Read a love letter
What better way to surprise your love during a first look than to present them with a love letter? Many of our couples will exchange letters to read while getting ready – but if you save it for your first look, you can read it to them in your own voice.
From experience, it can sometimes be hard to speak from all the emotions when you first see them. The love letter allows you to express your feelings, and you’ll be able to save it as a keepsake to look back on for years to come!
Surprise them with a gift that symbolizes your journey together so far—it could be something from when you first started dating, like framed tickets from your first date, or it could be something new like matching watches or bracelets, or custom artwork. We’ve even had couples gift each other a custom song! Your partner will love this thoughtful gesture, and it’s ultimately up to you how creative you can be!
Practice your first dance
There are usually a few extra minutes to spare, so why not practice your first dance during the first look? Especially if you’ve taken the time to learn choreography, this will help you to feel more prepared for the reception!
Take portraits together
Carve out some time after your first look to take some pre-ceremony portraits together! You’ll be able to take advantage of the extra portrait time to get more variety and more wedding photos overall. You may even be able to take photos in different locations than those you’ll have access to after the ceremony. Plus, if you take enough photos before the ceremony, you may even be able to attend your own cocktail hour with your guests, rather than taking photos the whole time!
Keep part of your outfit a surprise
If you’re doing a first look but still want to make your aisle moment magical, consider keeping part of your outfit a surprise until you walk down the aisle! Whether it’s just saving the veil or bouquet, or adding another layer of clothing (like an overskirt), you’ll have a whole second look for your partner to take in.
First look with a parent
For those who want to include their parents in the excitement leading up to their ceremony, consider giving them their own first look! This is such an emotional moment that they won’t forget—and neither will you! We’ve even had couples do first looks with other important family members, such as aunts or step-parents.
First look with your wedding party
If you choose only one person to help you get ready, such as a maid of honor or a parent, you’ll be able to surprise your wedding party with a first look as well! This is sure to bring out lots of tears (happy ones!) while creating lasting memories with those closest to you.
By incorporating some of these 8 first look ideas into your wedding day, you’ll ensure that you’ll have plenty of time to soak in all the joyful emotions. First looks are a great way to add a personal touch to your day and making meaningful memories with your partner, family, and friends. From exchanging gifts to doing a practice run of your first dance, there are endless ways to customize this unique experience and make it truly yours. Have fun with it!
P.S. If you’re not sure if you want to do a first look with your partner, click here to read about the pros and cons (spoiler alert: there ARE some cons, but we think the pros outweigh them!).
February 7, 2023