I know this might not be a popular opinion but I'm not a fan of a "first looks". The "first looks" scenario can take a couple forms;
1) The couple have their wedding photos taken the day before their wedding so that they have more time with their guests on their wedding day.
2) The bride and groom see each other privately a few minutes before the wedding ceremony starts and the moment is captured on video or photo.
I know I'm a little old fashioned when it comes to most wedding rituals but I just love being there at the moment the groom sees his bride for the first time. Whether it's when the doors of the church are flung open and the beautiful bride appears or when she steps out from behind the landscaping at an outdoor wedding, I just love seeing the joy and excitement on the groom's face as he lays his eyes on his future wife.
It is such a magical moment and you only get it once in a lifetime (hopefully!). It's one of the key moments I capture when I am video taping a wedding. Many times I will use 2 cameras so I can get both the bride appearing and the groom reacting at the same time. Later, I can edit the footage to show the moment in all its glory!
Some couples like to get their wedding photos done ahead of time because of scheduling or perhaps cost. The advantage to doing things this way is you have one less responsibility on your wedding day. Instead of being whisked away by the photographer after you walk down the aisle you can relax and spend as much time as you like with your guests.
The "first looks" option is a more recent twist and while I understand the reason for it I still prefer the old fashioned way. The idea is that the bride and groom see each other privately a few minutes before the wedding starts. This is the time when the groom sees the bride in her wedding gown for the first time. The videographer and photographer are able to capture some great reaction shots without the distractions of other guests, background noise or bad lighting. It is also a really nice quiet moment for the bride and groom to come together before the pressure and non-stop activity of the wedding begins.
There used to be a superstition that it was bad luck for the groom to see his bride in her wedding gown before the ceremony. While we certainly don't need to worry about that, it's my opinion that there is something incredibly special and romantic about the groom standing at the altar with his groomsmen and his loved ones looking on as he sees his future wife make her grand entrance.