To peek or not to peek, that is the question. Many brides and grooms choose to stick with the tradition of not seeing each other until the moment the bride walks down the aisle. This is a beautiful tradition and allows your family and loved ones to share the moment of the first time a groom sees his blushing bride on their wedding day.

However, a pre-ceremony first look can be such an intimate moment just between the two of you, before all the festivities ensue. During your wedding, you will be continuously surrounded by guests and moving from ceremony to reception to the first dance and so on. It can be challenging to find a moment during the celebration to really enjoy privately as a newly married couple. While it is not a newly trending topic, the first look photos are one that many brides and grooms go back and forth on. The knowledgeable staff at Gruene Estate has seen this beautiful moment happen all over our historic outdoor wedding venue. They can help you plan the perfect first look! Whether in the historic chapel before guests arriving, or an elegant shot out in the middle of the Historic Texas Landmark field of Gruene Estate Wedding pasture, the Gruene Estates team can help you and your photographer plan out this extraordinary moment.

The Over the Shoulder Smolder

Coordinate with your photographer to have the groom turned away as you approach. Have the photographer capture a few shots of you walking up and seeing your future husband’s emotions alter from hearing you walk down to the big moment when he turns around. If you have more than one photographer, this is a great time to have one capturing your walk down, while the other captures the very moment the groom turns around. This is such an emotional shot as it genuinely will be the first time the two of you see each other on your special day. Some grooms break down in tears, and some are so excited that a little laugh or scream escapes them! Be sure you speak openly with your photographer on how you plan to approach either the groom. If you want to come from behind them and place your hands gently over their eyes, this makes for a cute and playful shot, but you want to make sure your photographer captures it, so let them know an idea of how you would like to conduct this shot. This moment is one you will look back on for years to come, remembering that rush of emotions you felt!

First Look – Without The “Looking”

If you want to stick to tradition, your first ‘look’ can be back to back against the chapel doors, where you cannot actually see one another. Before the wedding day, you can each write a love letter to read aloud while holdings hands. What a gorgeous shot! This moment allows your photographer to capture the raw emotion that shines on your partner’s face, just hearing you speak sweet-nothings to them. Not into writing letters? Read your favorite prayer together, or a prayer that you both picked out that best reflects your partnership and carries you through your wedding day and throughout life. Is one of you musically talented? Perhaps you wrote a song and want to sing it to your partner. Sharing that moment and still being visually separated, can account for a great photo op as well as keeping the traditional “first look” to be shared with your loved ones. Quick tip: if you have booked a videographer have them coordinate with the photographer ahead of time to make sure they do not get in each other’s way and are covering all the best angles for their role. This is a moment you will want recorded, so be sure to collaborate with everyone involved.

First Look with Father of the Bride

Okay, we have not yet sold you on the idea of seeing your future bride or groom before the big reveal walking down your charming outdoor wedding. We get it. Tradition is tradition. We invite you to consider doing a first look with a parent. This could be done for the father of the bride, mother of the groom or any combination. These can be set up as face to face in the courtyard, walking around the corner surprise, opening of the door glance – options are endless! What an adorable way to have them photographed in your farmhouse bridal room! Another way to capture and save the memory of your quaint and beautiful rustic Gruene Estate Wedding house. A perk is you’re likely to receive some comforting advice or share a pre-aisle toast to calm those nerves down. These photographs also make the best post-wedding gifts for your parents! 

A pre-ceremony first look provides a private moment between you and your future husband, and can also help ease some of your “pre-wedding jitters.” A first look offers and a truly intimate moment to share with one another, alone. The memories and photos will be cherished forever!

Photos by Map + Compass Photography