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The Friday Fight-Out: Private First Look Vs Public Surprise

Tradition dictates that the first time the Groom sees his wife-to-be in her wedding dress is when she reaches his side at the alter and he can finally look upon his dazzling bride. It’s a beautiful moment often filled with an outpouring of emotion at both her beauty and the realisation that this is it, she is about to become his wife. It’s significant for the bride too, she may have seen her soon to be husband in a suit before, maybe even the one he now wears, but seeing the man you love waiting for you to come and join him in marriage is just as emotive. Recently though the tradition of this moment has started to be challenged with more and more couples choosing instead to share a private “first look”, where they can see each other in full wedding regalia for the first time away from the guests and before the ceremony. But is it better for such a significant, unforgettable moment in your lives to be shared between you and your partner in private or should it be, as is traditional, the opening key moment of the ceremony? Well, I guess we’ll find out as we begin…

…The Friday Fight-Out!! 

In the Red corner, breaking the mould and, shockingly enough, looking for a private moment with a unique photographic opportunity, she is after all terrified that our first look will be shared with her laying down in the aisle having tripped over her wedding dress and fallen flat on her face, it’s Dom “The Tog” Bride

In the Blue corner, looking forward to sweating buckets in a public place whilst waiting for his bride at the head of the altar, he at least only has to stand still rather than walking gracefully down the aisle with all the emotion, it’s Matt “The Gormless” Groom.

Private First Look Vs Public Surprise: FIGHT!!


Dom: The first time the Bride and Groom see each other it’s always dripping with emotion but with everyone watching and little time before launching straight into the ceremony it’s not something you really get time to enjoy. The private first look allows you to make the most of the moment and enjoy it to its fullest.

Matt: But the emotion of that moment is a key part of the ceremony! The guests seeing the Bride walk up the aisle before the groom sees her, standing side by side, the groom pulling the veil back to reveal his bride… it’s a fantastic moment and one for the guests to enjoy along with the happy couple.

Dom: The first look provides some of the best photographic moments of the day. Away from the crowd the couple are so much more relaxed, so happy, it’s a moment you’ll always remember and the photos will look beautiful!

Matt: All the build up with the Groom knowing nothing about the dress and being separated the night before the wedding is all leading up to that moment. It’s steeped in tradition to deliberately enhance that raw emotion as the ceremony begins. If you see each other before the ceremony a lot of that tension is lost and you might as well have just seen each other dressed up before the day.

Dom: The Bride and Groom don’t get much time to spend alone together on the wedding day. Having that romantic time together before things get going can be invaluable, a chance to share some private time away from the guests and remind yourselves what the day is really about: the two of you getting married.

Matt: But the time you really want to spend together is the time just after you’ve gotten married, the time when your lives have just changed forever. Getting away from the guests for a while for photos after the ceremony is often a relief for many couples – their change to escape and enjoy their first moments as husband and wife.

Dom: The first look can also help from a scheduling point of view. The Bride and Groom usually want to get some private pictures together but this always takes them away from the guests and interrupts the flow of the day for everyone. Getting the photos out of the way before the guests even get there means you can stay with the guests and enjoy their company.

Matt: There is always plenty of time to spend with the guests, often the bride and groom spend so much time speaking to everyone they fail to see each other. The photos afterwards give you that private time together, but as for wanting to keep the first look private, I think the moment the Bride and Groom lay eyes on one another on their wedding day will always be private, they will always forget about everyone else in the room and be lost in the moment. 

 We’d love to hear your thoughts on this argument, join the debate by leaving your comment below!

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