Avant Garde

To First Look or NOT to First Look…That Is The Question!

The basis of creating your wedding timeline is exactly HOW you are getting married. Are you having a church ceremony or mass? Everything at the venue? An intimate officiated ceremony on the beach or park?

All of these options can create VERY different timelines and adjacent choices, so this is the question you need to answer first!

More and more brides are doing everything at the venue, meaning, they are doing the ceremony, cocktail and reception at one location. If you are one of these brides, the next question to accurately make your timeline, is if you would like to do a “first look.” This is when you will see your fiancé before the ceremony at the venue.

Now don’t start freaking out!

This is still an intimate moment where you will see each other for the first time looking all glorious. You can have it private (For my ugly criers, you know who you are!) or you can have it with the audience of your close family and bridal party.

Now, you may be asking why would you do this?

Done properly, a first look can have all of your formal pictures done before your ceremony so that you only have to enjoy your cocktail and reception. This is also a way to have pictures taken at another location as well as your venue. Now the con of this is of course not seeing your fiancé down the aisle at that classic moment.

For those that are more traditional, getting married in a church may be for you. There’s just something about seeing your fiancé’s face seeing you for the first time that resonates with you.

With this option you have to ask yourself, exactly how long do I want it to be? The choices are usually a ceremony (roughly 20-30 mins) or a full mass (45 mins-1+hours). With church weddings you also have to choose whether you would like to do a receiving line as well. This is when you greet every guest after you walk back down the aisle together. Depending on your guest list this could take upwards of 25+ minutes.

Now for those that are my unconventional/modern day brides that are not traditional but also are not into the first look AND still want to have plenty of time for pictures at a different location than your venue, you may want to look into having an officiant(or ordained family member or close friend) do your ceremony at a park or beach.

This will still give you the moment your fiancé seeing you down the “aisle” and provide another location to have plenty of time to do formal pictures(if early enough from cocktail). Just don’t forget to check if you need a permit from the town!

Whatever you decide, you can make an effective timeline to ensure you can get the photos that you want. Just remember to also keep in mind travel time in between places!

January 10, 2023

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