Sunday, December 6, 2009

F* the First Look photos

Your wedding photographer will probably try to convince you to do two hours+ of portraits before the ceremony. He wants you to be able to go straight to the reception after the ceremony, but he also wants to capture the first moment you see each other in your wedding garb without any pesky wedding guests in the way. What you get is those incredibly stagy "first look" photos, where the bride and groom just end up looking like they're posing.

Come on. You're nervous. You're about to get married. And then you're supposed to turn and look at each other and be all lovestruck and amazed while pretending there's not a camera pointing at you?

You're robbing yourself of the (trust me) incredible moment of seeing each other for the first time at the altar. Or the arch or the stump or whatever. And you're robbing your guests of the joy of seeing you see each other for the first time.

For fuck's sake, please just take a little time to do portraits after the ceremony. They'll come out much better because you will be SMILING YOUR ASS OFF. You'll barely notice the camera. (Trust me.)

I have to give V, a non-engaged, non-blogger friend, some credit for inspiring this post. She went on a rant about first look photos at thanksgiving.

Image courtesy of My Parents Were Awesome


  1. We totally saw each other/did portraits before the ceremony because who the eff cares about this "waiting to see each other when we walk down the aisle" business (so contrived!) but it's possible that for that very reason, the "first look" makes me fucking crazy. Way to turn "we don't give a fuck" into something ten times MORE contrived. Thx.

  2. accordionsandlace beat me to it -- we didn't wait either (and it was still amazing to see each other for the first time on our wedding day, aisle or no aisle), but this "first look" stuff is obnoxiously contrived, and I hate the idea that people who really DO want the whole "see each other for the first time at the altar" moment are bullied into thinking that photos after the ceremony are somehow a massive affront to the photographer or the guests. I give my photog serious credit for never once using the phrase "first look," or trying to push me in either direction.

  3. waiting to photo it up until after the ceremony is fine, and let's emphasize here, as long as you give your guests shit to do then. i've been to many a wedding where we all spent an hour wandering around like we'd lost our souls because the bride and groom and their seventy-five closest relatives had to have a gigantic photo shoot and we weren't told to peace out and kill time while they did it. ba-ad manners.

  4. you mean as long as you give your guests cocktails and guac tostadas (bummed that I missed those) and a pianist covering tom waits?

  5. agree, also does it really have to take *that* long to do the photoshoot? My step-sisters destination wedding included a FIVE HOUR off-site photoshoot between ceremony and reception.

    No food, no drinks, no music... We all spent a crapload of money and were wasted before they got back... despite this though, there still wasn't a single moment of the entire wedding/reception where I didn't have the photog between me and the action, argggghhhhhhhh.

  6. thank you for saying this. seriously.
    i was so nervous walking down the aisle, that i don't think i looked up at joe until i was about 4-5 steps away from him. and at that moment, it felt like the whole world dissolved. best feeling i've ever felt. and i know you don't get that when you mess around with all that sneak peek/first look bullshit.
    and let me also add, lauren, that i totally see your point. i didn't want more than an hour of picture taking after the ceremony, because honestly, how many fucking pictures of myself do i really need? but, that's when we had cocktail hour so our guests we're getting all nice and liquored up before the real party started. having your guests wait around with nothing to do is definitely not cool. i've been to those weddings and i'm not a fan.

  7. Actually Celia, I'll disagree with you there (not with your experience, of course, but with your assessment of what you "lose")--I had a very similar walking down the aisle experience to what you described. And everything dissolved because it finally hit me that I was MARRYING this guy. Even though I'd seen him 5 minutes before, as we lined up to walk down the aisle. Seeing or not seeing would not have made a huge difference in my book.

    I wanted to see him before, a) because it was a Jewish wedding and we do our paperwork before, but more importantly b) because I knew I'd be stressed, and being able to spend the night with him/get dressed with him/chill with him beforehand was the best remedy for my nerves possible.

    Anyway I think we can all agree that folks who are doing this to buy themselves a fucking 3 hour photoshoot are just narcissistic nutbags, and also the "first look" is so made up it's like a pretense to go to war in Iraq. There are enough contrived invented moments in weddings; we don't need more.

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  9. Let's remember there is also a third option.... no "before" and no "after", just hire a reportage photographer who is paid to follow the entire deal from when you get ready to when you are ready to go to bed and... forget that he is there. You won't have none of those bs "canned" pictures showing your shoes, or your bridal party's shoes or whatever. Granted, you may end up with picture of yourself using a toothpick or your flower girl poking her nose but -- hey that's *real* life, and that's what pictures are about, documenting what happened, definitely NOT staging what didn't really happen!

  10. I think this is different for every couple. Some couples would rather see each other for the first time in private than with 200 watching them walk down an aisle to Here comes the Bride. Talk about contrived.

  11. I'm SO glad that we've already agreed to do the whole bidekin/veiling thing and I guess that'll be the first time we see each other. Just us, our parents, the rabbi and our 2-3 collective best friends (we haven't written in stone who that'll be yet) and the phographers. That's a bit more crowded than a "traditional" first look, but WAY less crowded than the traditional bidekin where the groom and his party invade the bridal party's party. Hooray for not having a bridal party and just going with sibs holding the huppah poles!

  12. I'll be seeing mine before the wedding because I think he is the only one that can calm my nerves...and I Am NERVOUS about walking down the aisle with tons of eyes on me.
    So, I will need that private moment to see him beforehand and I might even say sweet things to him in that private moment that some would qualify as vows. Don't rob me of one of the few private moments I will have with him that day.

    Regardless, walking down the aisle IS walking down the aisle. I'm not walking down any contrived aisle to see him in our private moment. I'm sure whether the groom sees his bride beforehand or not, when he sees her walking down the aisle towards him...I am positive that it is high impact.

  13. I agree that the 'first look' thing is absolute bollocks but I disagree that seeing each other before the ceremony will rob you of something amazing when you walk down the aisle.

    Nye and I got ready together and had lunch together before the ceremony and that moment when I looked up walking down the aisle and saw his face at the end of a pathway created by our friends and family felt like seeing him for the first time ever, never mind the first time that day.

    Getting ready separately would have felt painfully contrived and unnatural to us. Much like posing for photographs before the wedding (or at all) would have done.

  14. i totally agree. it was the most amazing feeling to see my husband for the first time on our wedding day, waiting at the end of the aisle for me. it was a strange combination of tears and grins and i will remember it forever.

    but, i'm against staged portraits, in general. luckily, our photographer was my cousin and we did the 'necessary evils' (family, etc), but it took, literally, less than an hour and then we went off the hang out with our guests and celebrate. and out of all our pics, my least favorites are the posed ones.

  15. I have to say, I love this debate going on, because it highlights that even in wedding blog land, what works for everyone is different.

    We spent the night before together and hung out all day until it was time to get ready. We saw each other to take pictures before and the only thing I would have changed is our "first look" - it ended up that our families and attendants were standing around us, which felt super awkward for me. I'm not comfortable with public affection, so I would have much preferred it to be just the two of us and our photographer (who was amazing at blending in the background!).

    For everyone still planning a wedding, I say talk to your friends, ask what they liked, think about when you are most comfortable, and DO WHAT EFFING WORKS FOR YOU!

  16. I'm not going to see my guy before hand- for the mere fact that it will be a special time with my family & b-maids, a "last" chance to do an all the single ladies dance

    and can I just state- for the person who said something about "here comes the bride"- all of you brides stay away from it!!! first of all- its corny. second of all- that song was originally composed by a nazi chauvinist for a specific scene in a play during which a recently married woman was being carried away to be raped. NO BUENO you tarts!

    sorry had to vent i get pissed whenever someone speaks of that song.

  17. i dig this. a lot. thanks for posting.

  18. ha, omg, this is the best comment thread ever. i was going back and forth about this, and in the end, we decided we're both journalists so we should just get a photojournalist to document from start to finish, like rosanna said. my bf hates posed shots, but we may do a few after the ceremony while guests are at cocktail hour, just to appease family and just in case all the live shots end up looking like an intro to cubism art book. thanx for this post.

  19. second of all- that song was originally composed by a nazi chauvinist for a specific scene in a play during which a recently married woman was being carried away to be raped. NO BUENO you tarts!

    well, wagner was anti-semitic and the origin of a lot of nazi ideology, i'll give you that. that's a pretty loose interpretation of lohengrin (opera, not a play), though.

  20. I guess we can all just do what we want, huh?

    But for the record I hate any photo that requires a name, "first look" makes me cringe.

  21. Also- can't believe you didn't choose the photo of Tom and Doris. That would make a great photo to recreate and put next to your "first look" in the album.

  22. If we stopped making decisions about weddings/adding wedding pressure based on photography the world would be a much better place. I can't stand the idea of a staged first look for photos, nor do I think a down-the-aisle first look is the way to go for us. I can tell you now that I'll need him around that day to keep me sane, and that I'm very much looking forward to signing our Jewish contracts in a small intimate pre-aisle ceremony.

    And hell, he's seem me in my dress already. It's the emotion of the moment, not seeing how each of us effing look in a contrived first-look moment. What about a first hug moment that day, or a stroke my hair moment that day, or a make a funny face to cut down on the stress from the hugeness of it all moment? Yeah, those are what I'm really looking forward to.

  23. I'm with accordiansandlace and a few others on here - the "first look" contrived idea is definitely ridiculous but I think seeing each other beforehand to get some photos out of the way is not going to ruin anything for the ceremony. well that's my sincere hope because that's our plan! of course it won't be a 2+ hour thing, just a few of us and a few of the wedding party, so we can get to the reception sooner (starting directly after the ceremony in the same building). We're also planning a few shots after the ceremony, to get the family photos done - I'm actually really looking forward to seeing the difference in our faces from pre- and post-ceremony photos.

    I fully support all rants against contrived BS at weddings but please don't try to tell me I'm doing it wrong because I want to see my groom before the ceremony.

  24. Thank you! Seriously. I felt a little pressured to do this because of the time crunch, but I actually have never seen a "first look" photo I liked. (Ooh, now I'm going to tap you on the shoulder and you will turn around and see me. That is just. so. not. us.)
    I also am loving the comment thread. Now I'm considering having less time for posed pictures afterwards, because I tend to hate posed pictures anway.

  25. A Los Angeles Love, I am so with you! I saw my husband for the first time on our wedding day at the hair salon, when he dropped by to say hi to me and the bridesmaids. Not exactly the most picturesque setting, but I couldn't have asked for anything more calming or meaningful than being able to see him and talk to him and give him a huge hug before all of the craziness really set in. The last thing I needed that day was one more thing to worry about -- "zomg if he sees me before the aisle/the 'first look' everything will be RUINED!!!" Ugh. No thank you.

  26. Thank you ESB, thank you Rosanna and thank you Lila Puppy!!!!

    The day that brides stop following this stupid set of "rules" will be a great day for all of us.

    Just do what you want and let the photographer capture YOU -- not another rendition of the same tired story we have seen a thousand times.

  27. i totally have to disagree. sorry love. being able to see my husband before the wedding was a friggin' blessing. it was so nice to have our private moment..just the two of us and made that walk down the aisle so stress free...i felt like i could really listen to the vows he had written for me too..but we also did pictures immediately after. my photographer was the best!

  28. you're getting married. YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE NERVOUS.

  29. Nah. We wanted time to ourselves before the ceremony so we could calm the hell down, and see each other privately, too. So it worked out fantabulously. My advice? Do what you want, F* etiquette requirements and photographer requests. Sure, some people look posed, but I've seen some beautiful "first glimpse ones."

  30. When is the 'first look' if you're both running around like crazy decorating the place, organizing ushers, hanging lights, checking on flowers?

    The idea of a first look seems to assume a lot of wedding elves magically preparing everything that DIYish weddings may not have access to.

    It also reminds me, creepily, of the idea of Snow White - or is it Cinderalla? - who is insensate until she is kissed and woken up by her prince. No thank you!

  31. we are supposed to see each other before the ceremony. i'm having second thoughts right about now. it wasn't my preference that we see each other first but it seemed like the most convenient thing to do. the photographer didn't try and stage it as a "first look" thing however and sell it that way, it was up to us.

    my fiance doesn't want to miss the cocktail hour. i don't really want to miss it either but i'm really on the fence now.

    it's nice to see someone fight for that special moment when you see each other at the alter, because certainly nobody in my world is fighting for it.

    maybe i will.

  32. Have to disagree on this one - we did our photos before the ceremony and were just so happy we were getting married, we enjoyed the photos and the time with just our bridal party! We still felt the same emotions at the altar, even though we had already seen eachother. We were then able to enjoy the cocktail hour and full reception with our guests:) For us, this was the best and most fun option:)

  33. Wow, some people are really worked up with this one. I would have to disagree with waiting, but my reasoning had more to do with my husband and I wanting to spend more of OUR day TOGETHER. We didn't want to leave our guests waiting (especially because our ceremony and reception were in the same place), so we did them before and got to hang out a bunch before the wedding and then ran around hanging out with our guests for the rest of the reception.

  34. I posted a piece on my favorite blogs and you're one of them. I suggest you go and read it :)

    Your post has got me thinking about the first look photos. I heard they were something you should definitely do, cause you still look "fresh and pretty" but I was always afraid it would spoil the walk down the aisle.

  35. Giovanna, I chose a reportage photographer also because I wanted the pictures to show me what happened "behind my back" (ie when I am busy adjusting my veil or taking my gloves off and so forth). Plus I must admit that my friends are such an unusual bunch of people that I'm looking forward to seeing all their spontaneously funny faces, even more so the ones they are going to make while I'm not watching them :)

  36. I'm a wedding photographer in Chile so I would like to add my two cents to this discussion.

    I don't think that most photographers will "try to convince you to do two hours+ of portraits before the ceremony," because "he also wants to capture the first moment you see each other in your wedding garb without any pesky wedding guests in the way."

    That's definitely not my motivation, nor the motivation of any other photographers that I know. I don't give a shit if there are guests there or not the first time you see each other. I care about giving you the photos you want -- be it a more photojournalstic approach with no staged portraits or a huge two hour portrait session. And honestly, YES, people are narcissistic by nature. I see absolutely nothing wrong with that. Why should a couple not want a ton of pictures on the day in their life where they probably look better than they ever have or ever will. Most people are at their prime when they get married, plus they most likely have a dress they've spent so much time searching for that they're crazy about, and how often do guys really get in a suit other than the day they get married?

    A lot of brides and grooms want two hours for pictures of themselves and are concerned about where that's going to fit in in the day. So if that's what they want, and think that a first look is a good option for them, why the hell not?!? I've only photographed two weddings with first looks, or whatever you want to call it, and at both of them, the groom cried when he saw the bride at the first look and then again when she walked down the alter. Their smiles were just as ear to ear as any bride and groom that choose not to see each other beforehand.

    Personally, I don't care for photography/wedding blogs that push the first look so hard. But I also don't care for this post either pushing back. F* people telling brides and grooms what to do. Let them do whatever fits them.

    PS. Nat, I'm guessing that your sister probably asked for a ridiculously long photo session...or maybe she just hired a nut. No photographer in his right mind would take the bride and groom away for that long without having discussed it with the couple beforehand.

  37. I agree with you Kyle, I'm not for any blog, photographer, family member, or stranger telling me what I should do on my wedding day. I'm not also not a fan of forced poses or contrived shots but I do know that you can't just throw out a blanket statement like "eff the first look." i only know what worked for us and wouldn't assume that my experience applies to others.

  38. Rolling my eyes at the photography comments. Next.

    You know I disagree, so just some points.

    1) First look is stupid as hell, don't do it.
    2) Our 'first look' was waking up next to each other and that was great. Also, as evidenced by our pictures, getting ready together was one of the high points of the day.
    3) The pictures we took on our way to the ceremony are truly special. Intimate, tiny, us weighing this very important thing we were about to do.
    4) Our photos right after the ceremony are amazing, we have these open joyful faces. But honestly, they are more contrived and rushed, because we wanted to party. So I'd definitly say the pictures of just the two of us before are the best of just us.
    5) Jews get legally married before they walk down the asile, so, uh, not seeing each other is impossible. It's a western idea, it's not a idea in every culture.
    6) My asile walk was just scary and strange, not the high point of the day. I can't imagine how awful it would have been for me if that was the first time seeing David. I probably would have cryed from being disorented, and not in a good way.
    7) And uh, the dress was NOT a surprise for us anyway. It was important that we both liked it. Who hasn't seen the pictures of the groom looking in horror a the bride in a princess monstrosity as she walks down the asile.

    So yeah. Do what feels right. Unless you're jewish. Then, do what makes it legal ;)


  39. i have to agree i like the idea of seeing each other for the first time when your walking down the isle.... its the best feeling in the world. the looks on each others faces are priceless.... and i have to say we loved getting away for a hour or so to take a few pictures we needed the time alone, just to take a deep breath and soak in what just happened and in the mean time your picture is being taken its really cool. the pictures are so organic and real... you are nervous.... you are crying you're getting married... its really really cool. WAIT do them after.
    your guest like to walk around and mingle.... have a snack drink. not a big deal.

  40. Just happened about your blog today and have subbed. This is great. Not only a place with fabulous ideas and a great stomping ground for weddings, but a place where people can agree to disagree.

    Very refreshing.

    I say this. Do what you want to do not what is expected. I hate that any wedding has 'expectations' of how something should be. If its not a religious necessity that's important to you work it so that it fits your views and your actions and who cares about what anyone else thinks.

    That being said I saw my husband before the wedding. We had our brief moment and it managed to calm me. My walk down the aisle was a sea of flash until I saw Rob and having seen him beforehand did not rob me of that moment.

    I'd say situations where, say, the wedding and reception are at teh same location, seeing each other beforehand is a splendid idea because really, you want to enjoy your party, your cocktail hour, your everything. The day just flies by so why not.

  41. We got our outfits together, got dressed together, walked to the ceremony site together. And I was still insanely nervous walking down the aisle! I can't imagine how I would feel if we had been apart all morning. I loved taking pictures before the ceremony because we went off by ourselves to the park with just our photog and got a few moments away to relax (I was shocked it was so relaxing). Plus, I wouldn't want to miss cocktail hour with my guests!

  42. we had photos done before the ceremony. not because we wanted a "first look" shot. but because we didn't want our guests to stand around waiting for our photos to finish, and we didn't want to miss the reception (we had a really short one, so a half hour+ of photos would've felt like we were missing out)

    i'll admit it felt contrived. but our photos don't look staged. i'm just burying my face into his chest (trying to hide from the camera) and he's just grinning like a lunatic.

  43. file under:
    "is this a wedding or a photo shoot?"

  44. I did a first glance with my husband when we got married. I loved it, and we were both still super emotional when it came time to walk down the aisle. It didn't diminish that feeling at all...but it did give us a chance to enjoy each other's company, check each other out, talk, hug....all those things that I wanted to do when I saw him as I went down the aisle but couldn't (since we had a ceremony to do an all). And we were so busy the rest of the day that we didn't get another chance to really just quietly and intimately enjoy each other (ha! not in a dirty way!). I'm so glad we did it...and those pictures are some of my favorite from the entire wedding. So screw it...there are pros and cons to both. Presenting the anti-side so vehemently does a disservice to people trying to be thoughtful about it.

  45. I agree completely! I've noticed that here locally in Alabama, many photographers are refusing to do photos after the ceremony and will ONLY do them before. HOW HORRIBLE IS THAT?!?! It's tradition people don't mess with a good thing!

  46. I cannot agree with you more. People have been trying to convince me that seeing my guy before the ceremony is the way to go.

    Next time someone gives me any crap for not wanting to do it, I'm sending them here. ;)

  47. God, Meg, stop rolling your eyes already. You're so over it, aren't you? Consider that some people are just entering into this and would appreciate the conversation.
    I think the number of posts on this conversation is telling that it is an interesting topic.

  48. Staged first look photos are lame. Whether you see your guy before the wedding or not is up to you. I didn't, but it might have been nicer if I had.

    For non-journalistic photos, if you are even a little nervous or stressed about the wedding, *after* is the way to go. After the ceremony you just can't stop smiling. In photos taken before the wedding, you can often see a little strain in the face; I had to kind of force myself to smile, which of course looked dumb.

  49. We chose venues for the ceremony and reception that were a 10 minute walk apart. We had some photos with family after the ceremony at the church, then had 'our' photos on the walk to the reception venue (though we took 40 minutes, not 10). Everyone else walked up ahead of us, and got the party started.

    easy. done. nothing fake or contrived about it.

    ALSO i completely agree with the "you will be SMILING YOUR ASS OFF." comment. so so true.

  50. @Vanessa - do what you want, not whats convenient.

  51. I like it best when couples get ready together, I think it's so natural and cute. My husband helped me with my hair the day we eloped, and it's one of my favorite memories! From a photographers point of view, I think if you aren't going to see each other beforehand then something has go to give. Because you can't expect the same amount of awesome photos that your best friend had who started photos before the ceremony and gave the photographer 2 or 3 extra hours to work and be creative.

    Shooting family photos afterwards in between the ceremony and reception is usually CRAZY (like herding cats but worse). It is almost always so much more relaxed and enjoyable before the ceremony. Plus it gives you an extra hour to enjoy your extra special people like your Grandma before everyone else arrives.

    I find that there often is this drama around NOT seeing each other that can be kind of annoying the day of the wedding espically in a small venue. People yelling and trying to hide from each other, not worth it. But if it's a big space an you can easily avoid each other and you don't mind cutting back your group shots and don't expect a zillion portraits and it's what you really, really want, then just do what you want- I mean it's your wedding!

  52. vanessa- we opted for photos before because we didn't want to miss any of the reception. both of us were a little disappointed that we didn't have that "aisle moment."

    in retrospect, i don't exactly regret our decision... but there was a good half hour between ceremony and reception, where folks were milling around outside the reception hall and we just waited to be able to get in. we definitely had enough time to do photos without missing anything.

    go with your gut.

  53. i know you're supposed to be nervous, but what if you're an anxiety wracked wreck like i expect to be? my bf is one of the only people in the world who can calm me down, so everyone should do what they want. some people LIKE cheesy photography, some people like the photojournalistic approach. thank god for variety so we can all get what we want. not what YOU want.

  54. I'm a bride and a photographer (often weddings, though not my primary source of photo business). I'm kind of surprised by this post because I had no idea that buttloads of photographers were "convincing" couples to do a "first look". The times that I've done this service it was at the suggestion of my clients. In my experience, these pics are hardly forced...usually they're incredibly intimate probably because the couple is alone for the only time of the entire day and really excited. They don't seem to notice that I'm around...and the pics are far better than the staged shots that typically come after the ceremony. In my experience the couple has been just as emotional in the "first look" as the ceremony.

    BTW: I come from a photojournalism background, so the posed sessions are the only hectic part of the day for me but most couples request it to satisfy their families.

    I guess I'm just wondering whether A LOT of photographers are really forcing this on couples...that's shitty.

    Oh, and my boo and I are seeing each other beforehand because we just want that time together.

    And this comment thread is awesome. Thanks ESB!

  55. I disagree. We did a first look, and it didn't look contrived, in my opinion (mainly b/c we had awesome photographers). Also, seeing my guy before the ceremony helped to calm my nerves SO MUCH. We didn't spend 2+ hours taking pics beforehand. Maybe an hour and a half, tops, including those with the bridal party. For us, it was the way to go.
    I think your problem is you think just because you did something one way, you think everyone should do it that way. I say, do whatever the fuck you want!

  56. I have to TOTALLY disagree with this post. Not just the "Don't do a first look" recommendation, but the forceful, commanding tone in which it is said.

    Firstly, it's OUR wedding day. Taking a few moments to spend with just each other is going to be amazingly special to us. Having our photographer near by to capture those moments is going to be a bonus.

    Secondly, by doing as many wedding party photos prior to the ceremony also allows us to spend some fun, special time with our wedding party. We've chosen these wonderful men and women to stand up with us because they are meaningful to us and we enjoy being with them. We are looking forward to some fun and kooky photo taking time being spent as a group prior to being consumed into the rest of the day.

    Thirdly, after the ceremony we have scheduled only a few minutes to get some group shots (15 minutes max, hopefully) while the guests are handed out cones of petals for our wedding party "send off" from the church to the reception site. This would not be as easily done if we waited until after the ceremony to take all the photos. And, since I am TOTALLY looking forward to us escaping with our wedding party on a special, old fashioned "wedding trolley" (and the photos we'll have of it all), post-ceremony "staged" photos are SOOOO out trumped. :)

    Lastly, the aforementioned wishes and wants are OURS. They are what WE'VE decided will work best for US. I think it's certainly beneficial to hear the possible pros and cons to any given wedding aspect that you are considering. But, PLEASE remember that ultimately it's YOUR decision because it's YOUR wedding. Having a post like this one so venomously telling you NOT to do a "First Look" is just as bad as the original poster being told that she must do one. Neither one is looking out for your best interest. Your best interest is just that: YOURS. You can do whatever works best for you.

    Sorry for the long winded rant.

    Happy wedding planning everyone!!

  57. hear hear. i got married in october, 2008 and we almost fired our photographer a week before we got married because she KEPT PUSHING the whole pre-ceremony photos. my husband DID NOT WANT TO SEE ME BEFORE THE WEDDING. simple as that, we didn't want to do the pre-thing.

    we decided to do portraits of ourselves (me, only) (him, only)...we both closed our eyes and a friend took us to a meeting place where we held hands without looking at each other (there was a marble column in between us at the church).

    this picture is fun for us because it was taken just before we were married and though the picture doesn't tell that story, we'll always know.

    Link to Column Photo:

    Have fun, everyone!!

  58. Have to say that I actually liked doing our pictures before the ceremony because a) I prefer not to cry in front of people, b) I wanted to be at my cocktail hour and actually enjoy what I paid for and c)I don't give a flippin' fly about what my guests think. Weddings can be as contrived as you make them, so if they were all waiting to see his face, then isn't that just as bad as the first look you so hate?

  59. I heartily agree. The only reason I would have been slightly tempted to do it otherwise would be for logistical reasons, so in order to reduce the time that our guests had to wait for the reception, we actually did our bride/groom shoot AFTER we technically "left" the whole wedding. We had our sending off line (yay, everyone toss the popcorn!), hopped in our car, and "zoomed off" to our honeymoon.... but actually went about 3/4 of a mile and then met up with our photographer. It was SO relaxing to do photos then, and were were happy and giddy and all that. All that to say, I concur.