Should You Or Shouldn’t You Do a First Look?

Photographed by Dixie Pixel

For decades, maybe even centuries, grooms were told it was bad luck to see the bride in her wedding dress before she walked down the aisle. And for years, most couples abided by this superstition. But as of late, more and more couples have adopted a “first look” tradition, in which future newlyweds arrange to meet for a brief moment to see each other in their wedding looks for the first time before they say “I do” in front of their family and friends.

First looks have now become as common in weddings as cake cutting ceremonies. In fact, almost all of the weddings we’ve featured on Over The Moon have a first look photo included in their slideshow. So for those about to tie the knot, should you also put aside a long-held wedding superstition and aim for convenience instead?

According to celebrity event planner Yifat Oren, the belief of keeping a bride hidden before she walks down the aisle is an incredibly outdated custom. “The superstition is an old one, derived from the time of customary arranged marriages,” she says. “A couple would quite literally meet for the first time on their wedding day, so not seeing each other beforehand meant neither could get cold feet and back out (bad luck).” Oren has seen couples add first looks into their wedding day for as long as she’s been planning weddings, which is coming close to 20 years. “It’s quite common, approximately 70% of the couples we work with [have one.]”

For those who are split on whether to stick to tradition, Yifat believes there is something special about choosing to have just one moment for yourselves (well, you and your photographer!) before spending the rest of your big day with your guests. “The first time you see your significant other on our wedding day is quite special; a moment you will likely always remember,” she explains. “Is it something you want to share with 200 of your loved ones, or is it a moment you would like to have alone? Personally, I might be sheepish to share such an intimate moment in a very public way. So consider that. And, perhaps you will want to get those jitters out prior to walking down the aisle.”

Even those who prefer a grand entrance might be drawn to a first look session because of the convenience of getting your photos out of the way beforehand. “From a logistical perspective, seeing each other and taking photos in advance means a more relaxed schedule overall,” Yifat adds. “And actually getting to enjoy cocktail hour.” Now who can’t get behind that?