Tradition, superstition, and most parents say that a couple should not see each other the day of their wedding until their marriage ceremony begins. However, you might consider the alternative: what we call the “First Look.” The First Look is a special moment when the couple sees each other before the ceremony. If you're not tied to tradition, there are a lot of benefits to this approach.
To set the scene, I usually like to position the one of the fiancés looking out to the ocean, at the end of pier, or even with the venue behind. Then, I capture the anticipation as the other one sneaks up behind them. My favorite part though, hands down, is when they lay eyes on each other for the first time - their expressions are always precious! The First Look doesn't replace the walking-down-the-aisle photo, but actually is an additional wonderful moment! It doesn't make the aisle walk any less special and can actually help take the pressure off that momentous event.
Another benefit is that the First Look also allows for time in the day's schedule to take posed and candid shots of the couple, wedding party, and families before the ceremony, so you can avoid the typical photo rush between the ceremony and the reception. The extra flexibility gives the opportunity for dozens or even hundreds more wedding day photos. Some couples even opt to do the "Around Key West" session after the First Look for photos at some of the island's most iconic locations.
Most importantly, you can take a breather after your ceremony and enjoy your cocktail hour and/or reception, which, let's face it, you put a lot of planning into! You'll get to spend more time with your guests, wedding party, and family by getting all the most important photos done before the ceremony.
Whether you stick with tradition or opt for a First Look, remember, it's YOUR day! Choose what works best for you. No matter your choice, your photos will be cherished for a lifetime!