The Otters’ First Look

Like many bees before me, I want to talk about the (in)famous first look. Not too long ago, Miss Blue Whale talked about why she ISN’T doing a first look. The very next day, Miss Gloves talked about why she IS doing a first look. One of the many great things about the ‘Bee is that we get to see all different kinds of weddings, points of view, and reasons why brides choose to include or not include certain plans or traditions in their weddings.

So, with that being said, yes—the Otters are doing a first look.


Photo via Stacy Able Photography / Photo by Stacy Able Photography


Photo via Stacy Able Photography / Photo by Stacy Able Photography

(And confession: this is one of the weddings that I interned at, so while you can’t see me in the photos, I walked behind Elya as she left the building to see her groom…and then I shamelessly stood with her family while they watched Brandon and Elya see each other for the first time that day. It was magical!)


Photo via Stacy Able Photography / Photo by Stacy Able Photography


Photo via Stacy Able Photography / Photo by Stacy Able Photography

The decision to do a first look was easy for me. There were three factors that I considered: that we want private moments throughout the day, that I’m an ugly crier, and, more practically, that we want time efficiency.

The private moment idea speaks for itself, I think. While I love the photos of a groom seeing his bride walking down the aisle, I really don’t think that anything can take away the magic of that moment. Walking down the aisle to marry the person you love is magic enough, and I know that it will still be special even if we have already spent time together that day. So tradition didn’t stop us from considering a first look.

Ugly criers, raise your hands. *hands raised* I really don’t want to walk down the aisle ugly crying. Does that make me vain? Probably. But I want to look how I feel—happy, excited, in love. Not like I can’t stop sobbing! To help avoid those tears, and to allow time for makeup touch-ups after I inevitably ugly cry after seeing Mr. O, a first look makes sense.

And last but not least: I want to enjoy as much of our reception as possible! There are a few guests that I want photos with immediately following the ceremony, but considering the size of our group, Stacy has assured us that, more than likely, we’ll be able to get all of our photos done prior to the ceremony. This will allow us to get those shots with a few certain family members, and then head straight into our reception without missing too much time with our guests!

So for us, the first look makes sense. We’ve even planned to have it be just us and our photographers, with everyone else arriving shortly after we’ve finished our first look and portraits. I can’t wait! :)

For those of you also doing a first look, what made you decide to do one?


Mrs. Otter

Indianapolis, IN
Wedding Date:
April 2013
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  1. Member
    mrsmaskatobe 1528 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:37 pm

    We are doing a first look! Mainly because it will still get dark earlier than if we had a summer wedding. We wanted to get most of our pictures out of the way before we partied on!

    I don’t want to miss the reception at all. 0 minutes. Why? Because each minute lost in our 4-hour slot is about $30 per minute!

  2. Guest
    39bride, Guest @ 3:50 pm

    We did a first look for a variety of reasons–we didn’t have a cocktail hour so there would be no time between ceremony and reception; we liked the idea of a First Look; we expected a short reception, so no time there, either.

  3. Member
    Mrs. Castle 1190 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:42 pm

    I think first looks are great. Can’t wait to see pictures of yours!

  4. Member
    RapunzelRapunzel 812 posts, Busy bee @ 4:46 pm

    I’m not doing a first look, but as I say time and time again…I just LOVE first look pictures!! Seriously, I eat them up and I cannot WAIT to see yours and Mr. O’s!

  5. Member
    Mrs. Coyote 1479 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:24 pm

    Hate to break it to ya, but we had a first look where I thought I had gotten all my tears out and I *STILL* ugly cried it down the aisle. Believe me, that walk is just as emotional whether or not you see your SO before the ceremony. ;)

  6. Member
    Mrs. Wallaby 2809 posts, Sugar bee @ 5:58 pm

    Same as Coyote – I did an ugly cry at our first look AND the whole time I walked down the aisle. Still, I loved the first look!! And we got a lot of the photos out of the way before the wedding.

  7. Member
    Mrs. Pony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 7:18 pm

    Your reasons for doing a first look are almost exactly the same as ours and I never regretted it for a second! I’m usually a crier, but didn’t cry once on our wedding day, so maybe you’ll just feel too elated to cry, like me :)

  8. Member
    Mrs. Thimble 857 posts, Busy bee @ 7:34 pm

    I don’t know how we would have had time to get all our pictures done without a first look. I don’t think it took anything away from the special moment walking down the aisle either, which I was a little worried about =)

  9. Member
    Mrs. Pain au Chocolat 2298 posts, Buzzing bee @ 8:05 pm

    First looks win for so many reasons running from practical (schedules are tight, man) to romantic… and even make sense for a shy/private bride or groom. I can understand the other side of the coin though. We wanted it to be just between us (and the photogs) and capture that lost time during our cocktail hour.

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