My thoughts on doing a first look
Traditionally, when it came to wedding ceremonies, the bride and groom didn't see each other until the bride made her grand entrance down the aisle (cue: stringed quartet playing "here comes the bride"). Nowadays, well, let's just say...it's different. Couples still get married in churches, but they also get married in backyards, nature preserves, at vineyards, in art galleries and just about every place in between. Sure, a lot still hold on to the traditional components of ceremonies, but times have definitely changed. With the modernizing of weddings, the First Look has become somewhat of a new tradition. If you don't know what a first look is, it's basically a scheduled time before the ceremony where the couple meets up to see each other for the first time.
Couples who hire me as their wedding photographer often ask if I think a First Look is a good idea. Most of the time, I try to be very bi-partisan about this topic. It's your choice. Whatever you're comfortable with. What feels right to you? So on and so forth.
But if you really want to know my opinion on a first look. Here is it:
Do it. You won't regret it. I promise.
There. I said it. And....if my promise isn't enough. I've listed my top 5 reasons why I encourage a First Look below.
Reason #1: When you do a First Look, you actually get more photos of just the two of you. First Looks are very intimate and often done without a big crowd around (hint: this might be your only chance to escape the reigns of that super bossy family member or over-committed bridesmaid). I suggest keeping your First Look to just you, your partner and, well, of course, me. I promise we will get some really great shots this way. Besides, a First Look *might* be the only alone time you have together all day.
Reason #2: The logistics of your wedding day (AKA: stress) can be limited by doing a First Look. With the proper timing after your First Look, we can get most of the formal photos of you, your love, your family, and the wedding party out of the way before the ceremony even begins.
Reason #3: You can actually enjoy your cocktail hour if you take part in a First Look. Like I explain above, we can get a lot of the formal pictures out of the way early when we do a First Look. Besides, shouldn't you get a chance to sip those signature cocktails and eat all those yummy hor d'oeuvres you planned? I think so!
Reason #4: A First Look can do wonders for those pre-wedding jitters. Standing up in front of your closest family and friends, nevermind hundreds of other people can be exhilarating, but also terrifying. That, mixed in with the anticipation of seeing each other for the first time can sometimes be a recipe for disaster when it comes to your nerves. A First Look can help to squash those nerves and leave you feeling just plain ole' excited to get married (and celebrating with one of those signature cocktails)!
Reason #5: A First Look is a special moment you are sure to remember forever. One thing I hear often from my couples is that they are worried a First Look will somehow diminish that magical moment you see your love come down that aisle. I'm here to tell you it won't. This moment is still special because your love makes it so. A First Look is a different kind of special because it gives you a chance to really see each other and to connect in an intimate way before you say the big "I Do". And, if you don't believe me, just check out the picture below of this groom seeing his bride come down the aisle AFTER already seeing her during their First Look. I'd say that was still a very special, and emotional moment for those two.
There you have it! My honest-to-goodness take on a First Look. Looking for a wedding photographer who supports this fun new tradition? Holler at your girl!