When I first meet with a couple, we always talk about whether or not they want to do a first look, so I thought I’d answer some pretty common questions and talk a little bit more about why I recommend them and the benefits. First, what exactly is a First Look?
What is a First Look?
A First Look will be an amazing addition to your wedding day! Not only will it add to your celebration and wedding experience, but it can also reduce stress. The first look is a private, pre-planned, romantic moment where the groom sees the bride for the very first time before coming down the aisle. This makes it very special and intimate for the bride and groom. Instead of 75 or more people sharing in their initial reactions of seeing each other for the first time (lots of pressure right there!), this is their time to be together… and alone.
The First Look Explained!
The “First Look” may seem to break the traditional rule of the groom not seeing the bride before they walk down the aisle, but there is a reason why I love first looks. They’re just plain awesome. Unfortunately, not everyone understands how awesome they really are because they can’t look past how “non-traditional” it is. Those not interested in a First look believe that they’ll lose that “big moment” if they see each other beforehand. I’m here to tell you, that’s untrue!
Everyone knows that a wedding day is a bit stressful. The whole day is focused on the Bride and Groom. They need to look their best, be on time, say hello to everyone, thank everyone for coming… the groom has no idea how to fold a pocket square or which side the boutonniere is supposed to go on. It’s right before the ceremony that the Bride and Groom start to become anxious. The dress is on & nerves set in. The groom finds his spot at the head of the aisle and what else does he find? Anywhere from 100 to 300 people… and they are all looking right at his face! Because everyone has expectations and anticipation about his first reaction too, not just the Bride. Talk about pressure.
What would it look like if there were no people, no on-lookers, and no distractions? Most brides don’t realize that when you come down the aisle, your groom can’t even tell you how amazing you look. He can’t touch you, embrace you or even speak to you. You have to wait until 30 minutes later when the ceremony is over for him to react and tell you how amazing you look. And after 30 minutes of the ceremony, the reaction isn’t the same as the initial first glance.
What are the Benefits of a First Look?
You’ll get your nerves out.
One of the benefits of doing a first look…the nerves. When the nerves are gone, true emotions are free to be expressed. I chose to see my husband before the ceremony on our wedding day it was one of the best decisions ever (The 1st best decision was having a destination wedding in Aruba!). We had about 35 guests at our wedding, but our “First Look” was the only chance we had to spend time alone on our wedding day. We didn’t have to share our first moments seeing each other with everyone else. It was our own special time together. This made me much more relaxed when I walked down the aisle. Like a huge sigh of relief! We also did most of our portraits beforehand, so we were able to enjoy a portion of cocktail hour with our guests too.
You can be yourselves & let emotions run free. Plus, ALONE TIME! Double Score!
You actually get to have an intimate moment on your wedding day. You can take the time to embrace one another, cry with one another, kiss, and enjoy the moment for as long as you want!!
More relaxed portraits.
Another great thing about seeing each other beforehand is that you are likely to get more portraits of the two of you! On a traditional wedding day, all the portraits are squeezed in during the cocktail hour. The romantic portraits of the couple are almost always last. After the ceremony, after the formal photos and I’m usually left with roughly 10 minutes to get those shots. When a couple chooses to have a First Look, I can move right into doing the romantic portraits of the couple right after. Noone is around, the coordinator isn’t checking in to give us the “10 min warning”. All is right with the world!
You won’t feel rushed.
When there is only an hour of portrait time in between the ceremony & introductions, everything gets crammed into that time. When portraits are done beforehand, the timeline of the day is very relaxed & casual.
While I do LOVE when a couple shares in a first look. Please know that I will never pressure any of my couples to do one. I feel it’s my job as a professional photographer to share my knowledge about First Looks, so you can make a choice that works best for you!
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