What detail could be hammered out so swiftly? The first look. Or, I guess, more accurately, the decision to not do a first look. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with this term, let me explain. A first look occurs when the bride and groom (and the photographer) steal away for a few minutes prior to the beginning of the ceremony. Everyone is all dolled up, ready to get hitched. It's the first time the bride and groom see each other on the day, and more often than not, it's the first time the groom sees his bride in her dress and full matrimonial get-up. The photographer then snaps some stellar pictures of the raw emotion of that moment, like these:
Photo by Ryan Estes Photography
Photo by Jonathon Campbell Photography
Don't get me wrong - I swoon and melt over all the awesome photos I see of other couples' first looks. I could stare at them all day. But they just aren't the right fit for the Snow Cones. Logistically speaking, they will put a crimp in the wedding day timeline. Our ceremony is slated to begin at 1:00 PM, I expect it will go until about 2:30, and then we have our cocktail hour likely kicking off at 5:00. In other words, we have a good amount of time between ceremony and reception to take countless photos. Plus, the thought of needing to get totally done-up in time for the ceremony kind of makes my tummy knot, let alone getting bride-ified for an even earlier first look appointment.
Beyond the logistics, Mr. Snow Cone and I independently decided that the first time we want to see each other is when the church double-doors open right before I walk down the aisle. I never really realized this was a "moment" over the course of a wedding day until I read a "Dear Abby" letter about how an elderly woman's most cherished wedding day photo is a snapshot that a guest took, featuring the groom's face the instant he saw the bride for the first time at the base of the aisle. Then, 27 Dresses really drove the point home that seeing the groom's face when he sees the bride for the first time is not a sight to be missed. I was convinced, but I'm only half of the equation. When I brought up the whole "to look or not to look" debate to Mr. Snow Cone, he summarily laid down the groom law and said that he was not having a first look because he was so excited for the surge of adrenaline that accompanies that opening of the doors at the base of the aisle. And just like that, it was decided. No first look for us.
Are you having a first look? How did you decide?