Updated: Mar 18
Traditionally wedding ceremonies in churches were the norm usually starting in mid afternoon (around 2.00 or 3.00 pm) to fit in with church services and after the long formal religious ceremony guests had a bit of gap time to move on to the external reception venue, and the bridal party could go for photographs for several hours (2-3hrs) before joining guests at their reception.
With more couples now opting for civil ceremonies with celebrants being available at almost anytime, many couples are having ceremonies at the same location as their reception, later in the afternoon around 4.00pm or 5.00pm (often considering when golden hour or sunset will be for their photographs). Not only that many are writing their own vows to each other and ceremonies are usually much shorter. Some couples are opting for less formal photographs with their Bridal Parties, and some don’t even have formal bridal parties! For those that do, they no longer want hours and hours of photos at different locations, many just stay around their reception venue for photos.
Traditionally, “first looks” were reserved for the Father-of-the-Bride, or the Parents of the Bride, this has now been extended to others such as Bride’s Maids or Grandparents. But following the success of “First Looks” between the Bride and Groom in the USA and Canada, Australia is now starting to follow suit. With many couples already living together before marriage, some are choosing to have a “First Look” before the ceremony with each other. This lets the couple reconnect on their wedding day for the first time as Bride and Groom and lets them have an intimate moment to breathe each other in and fall in love all over again in private (all be it with a photographer orchestrating it) without all of their family and friends watching on.
This also allows time for some pre wedding portrait photos which can either supplement or replace some of the photography schedule after the ceremony. What this means is that the couple get to be with their guests much earlier and get on with their enjoying their reception.
Whilst a “First Look” between the couple might not be for everyone, for those that have experienced it they say that it enhances rather than taking anything away from the tradition of seeing their Bride walk down the aisle for the first time with the Groom waiting and their family and friends looking on. In fact they felt that it gave them the joy twice over with two special moments!
At West Coast Weddings we work with you in your Design Consultation to help you plan the most amazing wedding and images to capture those magic moments in your family history - your wedding your way!