Trend Alert: A Creative "First Look"

You've probably already heard of a "First Look"—the bride and groom sneak some time in alone before the ceremony and their photographer captures this private, magical moment on film. Modern couples love it because it leads to powerful, emotional photos and gives them a few precious minutes of solitude before wedding-day revelry begins. But what if you're traditionalists—like Jason and I are—and you don't want to spoil the surprise of seeing your fiancé's jaw drop to the ground when he sees you walk down the aisle in your big, white dress?

This creative take on the "First Look" trend is the ultimate compromise. Inspired by someone on a blog who took a similar shot, Julie and Ryan (the stunning couple pictured in these photos), came up with the idea of holding each other's hands behind a door (no peeking!) to calm their pre-wedding jitters. 

Here, Julie describes how she felt that day and the impact those few minutes had on her:

"At around 4:50 pm on our wedding day, I heard one of my bridesmaids call out 'He’s coming!' I could feel my whole body come alive with excitement. I stood on the other side of a big, white wooden door, waiting to hear his voice. When he said 'Hi Sweetie,' I felt my eye fill with tears. I reached out for his hand and felt his warm touch immediately...I started really crying. Happy tears. Tears of excitement and tears of sheer readiness. Ryan squeezed my hand and told me he couldn’t wait to become my husband."

How sweet is that? "I captured a few shots and then left so that they could share a moment alone.  It was perfect!" said Gina Leigh, the couple's photographer. 

Approximately 50 to 70 percent of Gina's clients choose NOT to see each other before their wedding takes place, although it depends on their party timeline. Some couples don't want to miss out on their cocktail hour, so it makes sense to take family and bridal party portraits before the ceremony, while others prefer to wait.

"I personally prefer to photograph the couple together after the ceremony as well. I find that I am able to achieve a greater personal connection with them during this time. After the ceremony, they are always so thankful to have a few moments together and the images tend to naturally feel intimate and romantic," said Gina.


Now it's your turn to weigh in: Leave a comment and tell us whether you're doing a first look or choosing to wait until after the ceremony!

Photos courtesy of Gina Leigh Photography


—Stefania Sainato