First Looks.  They give you time on your wedding day!

So I am sure at this point you know what a first look is.  I am sure you have heard ALL kinds of opinions on them.  I wanted to take a moment and let you know MY perspective as a photographer and a past bride who had a first look.

First things first. What is a first look and why in the heck do I want one?

A first look is an intimate moment arranged in advance for you and your betrothed to see each other- talk – hug- laugh and have a quite moment together – BEFORE walking down the aisle.  It is just you two and me off in the distance with my long lens letting you have your moment together all the while capturing the emotions.  After that initial capture of that moment – I walk away so you can truly have a few PRIVATE moments – just the two of you.

After some alone time in the awesome location we have chosen for the occasion we will go ahead and take your bride and groom portraits.  After that we will be joined by immediate family and the bridal party to get those necessary images.  We like to finish up at LEAST 45 minutes prior to the ceremony to give everyone some downtime to relax a bit.

Then of course you get married! Speaking from personal experience, walking toward my husband surrounded by family and friends was MORE special to me since I had already had a chance to spend the morning with him.  I knew he loved my dress, I knew my makeup and hair was in tip-top shape the first time he saw me, and I had already got to hug him.  He didn’t have to tell me, he already had earlier! When I was walking down the aisle toward him I was able to focus on him without a worry in the world.  I really got to see his reaction because I wasn’t worried or nervous about what he thought.  I wasn’t nervous at all – I was excited and I wanted to sprint to the end of that aisle to marry my best friend.

The first look gave us the opportunity to spend our whole wedding day together.  We also got some killer pictures that have become some of my favorites of the day.

So you may be thinking – Isn’t it considered bad luck to see each other before the ceremony?

Id LOVE to touch on this.

The tradition of hiding away stems from a time long ago – (all the way back to the Egyptians in fact) when your marriage was arranged by your family.  You had no choice in the matter.  For this reason you were not allowed to meet until you were at the altar bonded by marriage.  It made certain that neither party could run away beforehand.

I assume you have no fear of your future spouse running away.  So really, it’s an outdated idea.

The first look will always be the one thing I am SO glad we did.  I am SO glad I got to see Ben’s very tiny teardrop fall when we hugged.  I am so glad I got to talk to him.  I got a chance to calm my nerves and build even more excitement for our upcoming vows.

Now that we have talked about the emotional reasons of the first look, let’s address the practicalities of it:

  • You get most of the pictures done before you ever have the ceremony.  You only need a few photos on the altar, and maybe an extended family shot or two at the reception.
  • You get to ENJOY and ATTEND your own cocktail hour.  You can even have drinks with your guests and say hello to everyone during that one hour cocktail time that you have already paid for.  Wouldn’t it be GREAT to actually attend it?! Woohoo! You know the bridal party will love you for this too! You look like a superhero.
  • You absolutely get more photographs.  You have WAY more time with a first look.  More time = more creativity = more photos for you. Yippee!
  • Wedding days are busy.  Timelines get messed up.  The first thing to go usually? Portrait time.  The first look makes sure this doesn’t happen! After all you hired me to document your day creatively – I just want to do the best job I can for you!

With all of this said, I realize that this still isn’t something for everyone.  That’s totally fine.  I get it.  We can still be friends, and I will still rock out your pictures. PROMISE.

A few additional reasons you may want to consider a first look –

  • If you have a ceremony that ends around sunset.  Obviously if there is no more natural light your pictures will look very different – If you want those light and airy shots, you need light!
  • You want a location that is no where near the ceremony or reception for portraits.  Maybe you are getting hitched in the country but would LOVE city pictures?  Or the reverse of this perhaps.  With a first look we can choose ANY location you like because WE WILL HAVE TIME!!!
  • A first look allows the photographer (me 🙂 ) PLENTY of time to be creative and get some images that are unique to you guys – This extra time allows my creative juices to flow freely.

Now you know where I stand on the matter! Hopefully you can mull it over.  In the mean time here are some first look images from *MY* wedding.  All images by 😉

(We got married this past June! We took a 3 day Disney Cruise to the Bahamas.  We had our ceremony on Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island.  It was perfect for us :))

Disney Cruise Wedding Disney Cruise Wedding Disney Cruise Wedding Disney Cruise Wedding Disney Cruise Wedding Disney Cruise Wedding

For more Wedding Wednesday Tips/Articles see:

Planning your Wedding Timeline   |   You’re Engaged! Now What?