For Brides

August 1, 2019

Two Alternatives to the First Look

It’s no secret that the First Look is becoming very popular. (I should know – I did one at my wedding!) While the First Look is GREAT for the wedding day timeline as a whole, I always respect my couple’s wishes when they opt for a more traditional stance. Today I’m sharing two alternatives to the First Look and how they are the best of both worlds!

One of the major reasons I love when couples do a First Look is that they get to spend a quiet moment together, just the two of them. It may sound crazy, but this is probably the only part of the wedding day where the bride and groom are actually alone! One great way to get this quiet moment, but still wait to see each other until the aisle is by doing…

A “First Touch”

As the name alludes to, this is when the bride and groom are able to hold hands, but they don’t see each other. Often this is done by standing on either side of a doorway. (I’ve also seen it where the groom is blindfolded and they are holding hands face to face. It makes for sweet photos, but if you’ve worked with a blindfold, you know this could be risky!)

This gives the couple a chance to talk, quell any nerves, and just soak in the meaning of the day before it starts getting really busy. It gives them a moment to connect and builds the anticipation leading to the ceremony.

If you’re interested in doing a First Touch, here are some things to consider:

  • You will need a quiet spot or room to do this. This often happens at the church or ceremony site, so make sure that they have a space where this can happen.
  • The best ways I’ve seen this set up are around the corner of a building, around a door, or on either side of a large pillar.
  • This whole process will probably only take 5-10 minutes. That is PLENTY of time to talk and share your excitement for the day.
  • This is a private moment meaning no bridesmaids, groomsmen, or other family members present!

The next alternative to the First Look stems off the tradition of the bride and groom exchanging gifts on the wedding day. In stead of a gift, or in addition to one, you can…

Exchange Letters

Of the two alternatives to the First Look, this is by far the most conservative option. However, it is one of my FAVORITE ways for the couple to connect before the ceremony. There are few things more personal than a handwritten love note, and what better occasion to write one than your wedding day!

Even though the bride and groom are separate for this exchange, it still produces a quiet moment for them to reflect. This private moment almost always results in tears and is one of the highlights of the wedding day.

If you’re interested in exchanging letters, here are some things to consider:

  • You will need a private spot for this. It can be indoors or on a bench outside, as long as there’s no one else nearby. (When others are present, it often hinders the couple showing their genuine emotions.)
  • Write your letter ahead of time. If you wait till the morning of the wedding you might not have time!
  • If you’re exchanging gifts, this is a great time to do that as well!
  • The letter exchanger is often a bridesmaid or groomsmen (or sometimes the photographer!). Whoever it is, make sure they have the letter and know where to bring it.
  • The letter exchange is usually done right after the bride/groom gets dressed and after they do any photos with the bridesmaids/groomsmen.
  • This process usually takes about 15-20 minutes depending on how the letter is being delivered, how fast you read, and whether or not there is a gift.

The bottom line, as the bride or groom, this is YOUR wedding day. If you’re set on not having a First Look, that is completely fine!! Waiting for the “aisle moment” is such a sweet tradition. But if you’re on the fence, these two alternatives to the First Look might just be the best of both worlds!!

Happy planning!

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