The First Look
Couples were prohibited to see each other prior to arranged marriages, so their first look would be at their wedding at the altar. Seeing one another before might cause them to get cold feet, so it was deemed bad luck. Now we see many couples opting in for a first look rather than waiting to see each other for the first time as they walk down the aisle.
As an Ottawa Wedding Photographer, I hear a lot of couples ask me to build them a timeline based on having a first look. (Helpful timeline blog post in progress) The biggest reasons couples tell me about that makes them want to have a first look are these:
1) They want more time for photos
2) Their ceremony is later and they want to join the cocktail hour and just party
3) They don't want to feel nervous walking down the aisle.
A first look means all the above, to elaborate: all your formal couple portraits, wedding party portraits AND family formals can happen before your ceremony. It gives you the opportunity to go party after you say your I do's. You also get rid of all the pre-ceremony jitters getting to see your person, and that moment in itself is beautiful to photograph.
Also, a first look doesn't have to be with just your partner, you can have one with your wedding party, parent or grandparent, really, with anyone special to you. I personally had a first look with my husband and then another first look with my Nana, because I had a broach of her and my grandpa made and wanted a private moment with her to show her. I can tell you the moment is all butterflies and sunshine and rainbows, I loved it. (Check out my wedding here.)
So, in conclusion, no, a first look is not bad luck, have one if you want one! Just don't walk under any ladders on your way to see your loved one.