First Look or First Sight
Many of our brides at The Commons 1854 feel as though the most important moment of their wedding day and maybe their lives thus far is when her groom will see her for the first time.  Many of our couples are opting out of the traditional first look at the beginning of the aisle and are deciding to do a “first look”. 

History…
In the past, in many cultures a bride was the property of her father and her future and husband was arranged without her authority.  The matrimony of a visually unappealing woman was often arranged with a man from another municipality.  The bride and groom would have never met or seen each other.  The fear was that when the groom first saw his future wife for the first time on the day of the wedding, he may change his mind and leave the bride at the altar. This is why It became bad luck for the groom to see the bride on the day of the wedding prior to the ceremony.

The Common’s 1854 preferred photographer’s thoughts…
Roland Silva (one of The Commons 1854 preferred photographer’s) thoughts…

“Times have changed..... No longer is it bad luck seeing the bride before the wedding, as far as I have seen very little is different.  What is different is that instead of the bride and groom seeing each other for the first time from 500 feet or more.

They have a special moment that can be either private or shared with the company of family and friends.  I suggest a special gift or a card right after the first time they see each other, and if it’s with family and friends then I suggest 5 minutes alone.

It is truly a magical moment.....

I once had a bride’s mother that was very much against the brides wish to do a first meeting then the formals before the ceremony so she could really enjoy her cocktail hour and reception without interruption or stress.

The bride’s mother looked at me and said, "you know that special look, the one when they see each other for the first time, you have seen that, right ?", I replied " yes it’s called nervousness, anxiety, deer in the headlight look at being in front of so many people and sometimes even squinting to see so far away".  There is nothing private or intimate about seeing someone from 500 feet or more in front of hundreds of people.

Formals/Photographs before the ceremony:

 I always recommend if possible doing the photographs before the ceremony for a multitude of reasons. First you can enjoy your cocktail hour with your family and friends, and its burning time that you are paying for and getting to enjoy very little.  Second, if something happens

like someone is late or does not show up, you have the backup of the cocktail hour in reserve, and we all know nothing ever goes wrong at a wedding and no one shows up late.  It also allows for weather considerations, running late getting ready (hair dressers, makeup etc) and

acts as a buffer to ease stress on everyone, the bride, families, vendors and the reception hall.  It also adds one more element of flexibility of choosing an alternate location for formals and allows formals also at the reception site.  So if you wanted to stop by the beach first

then the time can be appropriated without time constraints from the reception sites.  The reception sites main goal is to give the best possible experience and food.  This means if something goes wrong earlier in the day, then the kitchen can do its job and not worry about each course coming out too early or late or food being over cooked. Preparing a multicourse meal for a multitude is a daunting task, so being on time is critical so they can produce amazing culinary treats.”

Thank you Roland!

Vladi from The Perfect Image (one of The Commons 1854 preferred photographer’s) thoughts…

“We always capture the expression on the groom's face as he sees his beautiful bride for the first time, be it down the aisle or down the stairs.  As she approaches we capture her smile as she approaches the man she will be marrying very soon. I feel privileged to have been a part of hundreds of such special moments. Capturing those special loving looks with my camera can produce a timeless image to be enjoyed for generations.  But imagine if you could see a thousand such moments with the actual sound of the wedding day, the first words exchanged, the music playing... that is why everyone must have a video.

I believe doing formal photographs prior to the ceremony is a great idea.  The bride and groom tend to be more relaxed, happy to be getting married soon.  The photographer is not quite as rushed and will have the time to take romantic and creative photographs of the couple.  Plus, they will be able to enjoy their cocktail hour with friends and family”.
Thank you Vladi!

Gaby McCarthy of Benoit and McCarthy Photography (one of The Commons 1854 preferred photographer’s) thoughts…
"We love doing the formal photos before the ceremony! That way the bride and groom can enjoy the cocktail party and we have time to photograph all the fun details. Doing a first look is fun. Capturing the look on the grooms face when the bride walks up to him and he is turned the opposite way is just great."

Thank you Gaby!
At The Common’s 1854, we advise our brides and grooms to decide on their first look based upon what is best for their style, culture and personalities. This will ensure they are happy with their decision. We embrace tradition and trends to help create the style of event that is best for each bride and groom’s special day.