April 28, 2021
On one of the most thrilling and emotionally charged days in your life, a wedding first look is a pre-arranged meeting time for you and your spouse to see each other before the day begins.
We’ve been photographing weddings for over 5 years and have witnessed how a wedding’s first look can calm nerves, provide much-needed space for feeling all the emotions together, and allow for alone time in a day full of activity.
Typically, besides the photographer, no one else is present for the first look. It’s the most effective way to share your emotions without having everyone staring at you.
The photographer will select a beautiful and private location, build suspense, and capture that unique moment when you first meet each other that day.
We’ve got five reasons (both practical & romantic) to have a first look before the ceremony, as well as a few reasons when a first look may not be appropriate.
Doing a First Look Will Put You at Ease
It’s a good reason to include a first look if the idea of being the center of attention makes you anxious, you don’t like big gatherings or you become nervous easily.
It’s difficult to know (until the day of) how nervous you’ll be and how you’ll feel until the day of. More frequently than not, it’s the groom who is most nervous on wedding day.
Whatever the case may be, once you see each other, those butterflies will subside.
You’ll both be in a much relaxed and ready for the ceremony.
You’ll Have More Time to Interact & Experience the Emotions Together
You won’t have much opportunity to embrace or chat if the first time you see each other during the ceremony.
You’ll have to wait until after the ceremony to hear the reaction of your spouse and to share your own thoughts. And after 30 minutes of the ceremony, the reaction isn’t the same as that initial first glance.
During the first look, the photographer will capture all the emotions as you embrace, interact and chat all right in that moment. Soak it in, the rest of the day could be a whirlwind!
It’s a one-of-a-kind event you’ll always remember together. (And we promise, that second look as you walk down the aisle will be just as emotional and moving.)
You’ll be able to spend more time with your family and friends.
A first look allows you to spend more time enjoying your wedding day with friends and family. Alternatively, the day begins with a few bridal party and family photographs just before you walk down the aisle if there is no first look.
Normally, after the ceremony, you’d hurry through photographs so that you wouldn’t be late for the introductions, and then it’s reception time.
With a first look, you’ll have 2 or 3 hours prior to the ceremony to spend with your family and bridal party. It’s like adding a pre-game celebration with your closest people!
Rather of being rushed for wedding party photographs, you have time to relax and enjoy yourself with your closest friends on the big day.
Couples who choose a first look, frequently create the first half of their wedding album using images from those taken prior to the ceremony.
A First Look Is Likely The Only Alone Time The Two of You Will Get
It’s totally possible that your wedding day will feel like a whirlwind, and reality is it might be difficult to have a quiet time just between the two of you.
A first look will guarantee you’ll have time alone (besides the photographer). The anticipation and excitement of seeing each other and having that private moment to feel the feels and express your love puts you in the perfect mood for some romantic shots.
Portraits are frequently rushed after the family photographs, without a first look. Therefore it might be difficult to get back into that perfect mind set you were in when you first saw one another—especially with family present!
Immediately after your first look you are looking and feeling amazing so taking those romantic photos right after is the perfect time to create those. We capture some of our favorite images of the day during those moments, which leads us to the next reason…
Even when everything is going according to plan, things frequently get behind, and setbacks can occur… traffic, bad weather, dad forgets his shirt (yes it happened once).
Scheduling a first look is the best way to ensure the proper amount of time for photos with your fiancé, family and bridal party. In our experience we found that planning a first look means you’ll get about 40% more photos of the two of you!
These pictures will soon become some of your favorites, and they’re very likely the ones you’ll want to hang in your house.
Although it’s true when it comes to a first look, there aren’t as many con’s as there are pro’s to consider. But here they are…
No First Look because you’ve had this dream since you were a little girl.
It’s just what little girls dream about… Seeing their groom as they walk down the aisle hold the arm of her dad. Locking eyes with him as if no one else exists. Her dad place her hand in the hand of her groom, a hug and then kissing her cheek and finally taking his seat to witness his little girl commit herself to this man in front of him.
We don’t want to take something that you’ve dreamt about for such a long time if that’s something you still feel so strongly about.
If you value that moment more than the extra time with your groom, family and friends then we are by your side! We will make this happen for you!
We would still get some portraits of you, your bridesmaids and your immediate family before the ceremony. In addition to your groom, his guys and his family all while keeping the two of you from seeing each other.
No First Look because it just doesn’t make sense with the schedule.
Sometimes a first look just doesn’t make sense because of the timing of the day. maybe your church ceremony is so early you’ll have several hours before the start of cocktail hour. Or maybe you wanted a sunrise ceremony and a traditional evening reception. Doing all your photos during that in between time simply makes sense when it comes to the schedule for the day.
Your wedding images will be something you treasure for years to come, make memories you want to remember.
As wedding photographers, we may be a bit biased but we’ve see the impact of having a first look can have on a the wedding day. Not just when it comes to the couple sharing emotions but on the timeline, the stress level for everyone involved and the final collection of images.
Keep in mind that this is YOUR wedding day. We aren’t here to tell you what to do or choose for you but to simply educate you on the options so you can choose what your wedding day looks like. So regardless if you choose a first look or no first look, we are here to support you and the vision you have for your wedding day!
We have more wedding tips for you to check out!