First looks are not new in the wedding industry, but they do seem to be getting more popular as couples plan their special day! A first look is when the bride and groom see each other prior to the ceremony in a setting that is still private and very intimate. It goes against “tradition” and your grandma will probably not understand, however there are many benefits when you opt to see each other before the ceremony!
Enjoying A Moment Together and Calming the Nerves
A lot of brides and grooms choose to do a first look because of this reason. Your wedding day is fast paced and at the end will probably feel like it went by in a flash. With a first look you get to see each other and have a moment alone without your whole guest list looking on or interrupting to congratulate you. First looks also calm the nerves, but don’t take from the excitement of walking down the aisle.
You Get To Attend Cocktail Hour
Because a lot of the photos can be taken before the ceremony, you don’t need to schedule a lot of time afterwards to take portraits. Groomsmen, bridesmaids, and the whole bridal party can be photographed beforehand and they are free to start the celebrating early! You will also get more time to mingle and chat with your guests before dinner and won’t have to worry about getting around to everyone when all you really want to do is dance!
A first look makes the timeline of your wedding day more flexible. As mentioned above, a lot of photos can be taken before you say “I do” which gives us some cushion on how the rest of the day will go. If you are worried about being rushed or stressed about timing, a first look is the way to go!
If you are having a fall or winter wedding, it may be dark by the time the ceremony is over. For bright, natural photos you will want to take advantage of the daylight that you have on your wedding day for bride and groom portraits, along with bridal party photos. You will also be able to schedule photos for the “golden hour”, which is when the lighting is softest right before sunset.
Some couples can’t decide whether to do traditional vows or write their own. Or the thought of reciting personal vows in front of family and friends makes them shy away from the idea. With a first look, you would have time to read private vows to each other or exchange letters. These are some of the best moments I have been able to photograph and should definitely be a consideration when planning.
When you decide to do a first look, theres a pretty good chance that you will end up with more photos delivered in your gallery. There will also be more variation! We will take portraits after the first look is done, after the ceremony (so you are really Mr and Mrs in the photos!) and at sunset. That’s three different sets of photos and will give you more to choose from!
Doing a first look is a couple’s choice and personal decision. While it makes the day flow easier and less stressful for the bride, I never require or push my couples to do one. Have you done a first look? Do you plan to do one at your wedding? Let me know below!
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Journalistic and intentional photography for the modern couple who wants to remember how they felt in the moment 20 years from now.