I’m going to start this blog post by explaining what a first look is because I don’t think that they are necessarily as widely known about in my state as they are in other parts of the country. The more brides I talk to, the more I notice this to be true! A first look is when the bride & groom see each other before the ceremony starts. On their wedding day after getting all spiffy, the groom goes to the location that they have picked out beforehand and waits to be tapped on the shoulder by the bride. The end results are PRICELESS photos — but more on that later 🙂
I’ve had the opportunity to experience photographing traditional weddings and weddings with a first look. While I totally and completely DO NOT expect all of my brides to go this route, I DO think there are some benefits! And I’d love to share with you the 5 reasons why I think that!
- Smoother Flow | first looks are 45 minutes to one hour built right into the wedding day timeline. Because of that, there’s no longer any rush or feeling of being under pressure! Plus it makes taking family formals go SUPER fast. After the ceremony during a traditional wedding day timeline, the bride & groom head over to a park to start family formals. Next come the bridal portraits. If the formals take longer than expected, I’ll still be able to get portraits of you (of course!) but maybe not as many as I’d hope to give you — just because the timeline might not allow for it.
- More portrait time | like I said, first looks can take anywhere from 45 minutes to one hour. Think about ALL of the beautiful portraits that you can decorate your new home with!!! Sort of kind of related side note: you’ll look your best because I’ll be photographing you shortly after you’re done getting ready rather than after the ceremony & family formals!
- It eases nerves | ok, real talk: you’re probably going to be super nervous for the sole reason that you’re getting married! Now add in the fact that you’ll have 200+ pairs of eyes on you and your groom…. cue ALL of the nerves!!! Doing a first look gets most of those jitters out of the way. It gives you & your groom the chance to breathe, take it all in, and just relax. And if you’re worried that your man won’t have the same reaction as you’re coming down the aisle as he would have if you hadn’t done a first look…. trust me, he WILL.
- You get to enjoy cocktail hour with friends and family | doing a first look allows you to go and enjoy cocktail hour with all of your guests! Family & friends have travelled from all over the place to come see and celebrate with you! Some of those people you probably haven’t seen in forever, and I’m sure you’d love to catch up with. Plus, cocktail hour food. Enough said.
- You get to spend some alone time with your husband-to-be | there basically is (almost always) no such thing as taking a few moments together alone to soak in what just happened. A first look gives you the chance to do that (with me standing from afar taking photos, of course, haha!).
So there you have it! That all being said, you shouldn’t decide whether or not to do a first look just because the structure of it all makes life easier for the photographer. I just want to give you all of the information so that you can make the best possible decision for yourselves on your wedding day! Hope this helps 🙂