After the big day it seems for most couples their memories of the wedding become a blur of happiness and emotion and whilst the details may become less clear over time there are always certain stand-out moments that will never fade from your mind. For me the biggest of these was the first look.
The first look is an idea seen relatively rarely in the UK but one that in our opinion is always worth considering. For those unfamiliar with the concept the idea is for the bride and groom to see each other in their wedding attire for the first time in a private moment away from prying eyes rather than solely as the bride reaches the groom at the head of the aisle. It’s an idea that, whilst sounding intriguing and potentially a good idea for some couples, I was pretty sure wasn’t really for me.
In the build up to our wedding the moment I was most looking forward to by far was turning around to see my beautiful bride walking towards me with our friends and family looking on, knowing that we would soon be husband and wife. The idea of already having seen each other before that moment had little appeal to me as surely that would ruin the one moment I couldn’t wait for amongst all the stress and expense of planning a wedding.
I was wrong.
Our first look came about almost accidentally. Having decided to have our wedding on a beautiful island we were gutted to discover that a tropical storm was due to hit on the day of our wedding. As the photographs were one of the most important things to us and it looked like the shots we had dreamed of were going to become impossible on the day we decided the only way forward was to do a photo-shoot in the beautiful weather of the day before. If we wanted to have those shots in our wedding outfits though that meant a first look became inevitable. Seeing little other choice I reluctantly agreed and so I found myself high on the cliff tops looking out to sea awaiting the arrival of the most beautiful bride I would ever see.
Despite my trepidation at the thought of spoiling the entrance of the bride in the church, the first look turned out to be far and away my most perfect memory from the day and one that didn’t actually have any effect on the way I felt when I saw her in her dress for the second time at the doors of the church. As she walked up the aisle my excitement and emotion was focussed on the excitement of what was about to happen, but I was so grateful that the first look had allowed me the time to fully take in the incredibly emotional and exciting experience of seeing her for the first time. In the church there was no time to truly live the moment – once she was beside me the ceremony began immediately, but at the first look we had all the time in the world to be together for a private, incredible moment without holding back our emotions.
So if you haven’t considered a first look it’s definitely worth thinking about, it might just become your favourite moment from your wedding, particularly if you ensure that you truly mark the occasion with the perfect location and the time to enjoy it fully. I for one have the picture of our first look hanging proudly on our wall and think about it regularly.
But sometimes a picture’s worth a thousand words and I think there’s no better way to tell you what a first look is all about than to share with you the photos from Zara & Rich’s incredible first look that took place in a beautiful, secluded spot on the Yorkshire Coast. The looks on the faces of this unbelievably happy pair tells you everything you need to know about what a first look truly can be.
Photos by York Place Studios