Say "first look," and your mind automatically goes to stealing a private moment with your bride or groom. But some couples are opting for a different kind of first glance: One with their parents.
Why? Because while your same-sex parent will likely be present as you dress, your opposite-sex parent is waiting for a big reveal. Why not make it special, rather than run-of-the-mill? "It's nice to have a moment where the parents get to see and speak privately to their children," explains Viva Max Kaley, owner of New York City-based Viva Max Weddings. "This works for both the bride and groom, as any parent would enjoy a moment to see their child before things get hectic."
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, and while most parents would relish a first look with their son or daughter, some might shy away from a moment in which they're the center of attention — and the bulls-eye for a photographer's lens. "If the parents or the couple don't like being the center of attention," says Kaley, "then maybe skip the formal viewing and instead have the parents wait to see the bride and groom when everyone is together for photos at the ceremony. You can still acknowledge the special moment with an extra hug. "
Also consider your family dynamics before opting for a parental first look, Kaley advises. Brides and grooms with step-parents, or whose parents have divorced, might find that gathering everyone together and photographing this special moment only opens up a can of worms, she says. "Or," Kaley adds, "if you know you become really overwhelmed when your family is around, it might not be the best idea to do a separate first look. It could create more stress than is needed in this case. Be realistic about your emotions and the personalities of all those in mind. Choose a plan that will keep things as comfortable and calm as possible."