Do THIS Instead Of A First Look! / by Hannah Byrne

There are some really GOOD reasons to do a first look on your wedding day! (And I'll probably blog a pros & cons list soon!) BUUUT, even with all those great reasons, Stephen and I opted not to do a first look on our wedding day. We valued the tradition more than those photos. So I totally get it. When a couple doesn't want to do a first look it doesn't surprise me at all, because that WAS me! So for those who are like Stephen and I, I wanted to share a few photo opportunities for you! These are great options for "before the ceremony" photos without actually seeing each other! (And one idea with Dad!)

Blind fold your groom!

I photographed Dan & Kendra's wedding this December! Their wedding day was an absolute DREAM! Last minute Kendra texted me and asked if we could do this photo and I absolutely LOVE it! It allows you to talk for a moment before walking down the isle, which can help settle some nervous energy!

Read some sweet somethings together!

Josh & Ally! These two are the sweetest! They decided to have family and friends write them well wishes. So while they stood back to back, they read some of the advice/hopes/dreams their favorite people had written to them. Such a sweet moment!

Read notes from each other

Write notes during your engagement and swap them on your wedding day. This is such a great way to "hear" from your fiance before walking down the aisle without actually HEARING them, since some people think that's bad luck! You can be reassured of their sweet love for you and keep the letters to remind you years down the road.

Hold hands!

OK, so this photo is kind of cheating since they ended up actually doing a first look. But you could easily do this without the first look. You get a few moments to yourselves to talk, pray and get excited for the big moment that's about to happen!

Exchange gifts

Like a note, a gift is a thoughtful touch to remind each other how excited you are to spend forever with them! And who doesn't love a gift?! A side note on this one (for the grooms out there) - if you're going to get her jewelry don't expect her to wear it the moment she gets it! Unless you pick it out together ahead of time, most brides already have their jewelry strategically picked out and (however beautiful) your earrings/necklace/bracelet might not go with what she had imagined. 

First look with your dad!

I do this at almost EVERY wedding whether it's planned or not (although it's always better to have it sketched into the timeline!). Can we all just agree that Dad's are the best? Who wouldn't want a "first look" with the first man they loved? I'm a huge fan!

All this to say, there's nothing wrong with wanting to keep tradition! And either way, your day is going to be incredible! Decide what works for YOU!

I hope this tip was helpful! Keep an eye out for the next TIP: How to Choose Your Wedding Photographer!