Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates. For her Brides.com column, Jen answers a bride's must-ask question: Should I do a first look?
The concept of doing a "First Look" is a relatively new thing, shying away from the ancient tradition and superstition that if the groom saw the bride in her wedding dress before the wedding, it was a sign of bad luck. A lot of couples have ditched waiting to walk down the aisle to get a glimpse of each other and the main reason that's happening is because... Photos! It's awfully hard to snap as many as you'd like post-ceremony, when the drinks are flowing in cocktail hour and your guests are tugging at your arm to snap a photo of their own with you. But what does that mean for the romance of having your groom see you for the first time as you make your big entrance? Is the break in tradition worth the extra time you'll have to enjoy your cocktail hour (hello, you spent months choosing those hors d'ouevres, you better enjoy them!)?
Before you make the decision on whether or not you'd like to make eyes with each other before it's time to say "I Do," take in mind two very important things. First, how much do you want to stick to tradition? And second, will you have time to snap all the photos you want post-ceremony? If you can chat with your photographer to make sure this happens, then consider scrapping the whole first-look idea and stick with what your gut says about waiting until the doors open and you take your first step toward your one and only.
After all, the cocktail hour exists for this reason only: so you can take your photos while your guests get the party started!