The benefits of a “First Look”

What is a first look and what are the advantages of having one on my wedding day?

In the past tradition has dictated that the bride and groom not see each other before the ceremony.  This is no longer the case.  More and more of my couples are opting to get most of the photos out of the way before the wedding festivities begin.  This not only gets most of the photos taken care of for the day but it frees up time for you to visit with friends and family.  In these situations I always set aside a few minutes of photography time just for the “first look”.  This is the few moments were the bride and groom see each other in their wedding attire for the first time.  Typically emotions run high.  Kind words are exchanged, tears are shed and many kisses are shared between the happy couple.

I’ve photographed many weddings throughout the years and some of my couples choose to have portraits taken before the wedding ceremony and others opt to wait until after the ceremony to have photographs taken.  Either way, we make it work with the proper planning. This said, there are some advantages to doing a first look that you might not think of.

HOW it works……………….. I find a beautiful, private spot, away from all the flurry of preparation and set your groom up with his back turned to you.  I get you all set up; dress, hair and make-up looking fabulous, and then I back away.  I ask the groom to turn around and look at you.  I discreetly stand at a distance, photographing the moments as they unfold.  This is a moment that is just between you and your (almost!) husband.  Being able to have this moment, just between each other, instead of in front of everyone during the ceremony allows for a different kind of intimacy, an intimacy that truly sinks in and allows you to enjoy what is just yours as a couple. And from this moment on, the day is spent together!

After capturing the “first look” photos  we typically move on to photographing you and your soon to be husband alone.  After these photos are complete we then move onto adding in the bridal party for group photos and then finally timeless family portraits are captured. 

Now it’s time for the ceremony!  The moment when you walk down the aisle, will be just as special as if you had not decided to have a “first look”.  You will both still anticipate the moment the ceremony begins and you walk down the aisle.  After the ceremony, it’s immediately time to party! Time to celebrate with family and friends! You will not have to worry about making sure everyone is in the right place for photos after the ceremony and there will be no worrying about your guests waiting for you at the reception.

A first look can be a great thing and I’ve had so many brides tell me it was one of the best decisions they made for their wedding day, but no matter what you decide, the important thing is that you choose what is right for you and your groom as a couple.