This past weekend, an engaged friend of mine asked what a First Look was, and while it’s common knowledge within the wedding industry, it never really dawned on me that it wasn’t for most people. So, I wanted to share what exactly a First Look is, why I love them, and why you should too! I think I need to first preface this blog by saying that there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a traditional wedding and not seeing your future spouse until the ceremony, I shoot them all the time and they are great and beautiful in their own right. So, don’t think that I’m against that tradition, I just slightly prefer First Looks.
A First Look is when a bride & groom decide to schedule a time on their own (w/their photographer) to see each other before their wedding ceremony. This usually happens about an hour or so before the ceremony away from family and friends. I’ve found that when a couple does a first look, it gives them an opportunity to really take the moment in and not worry about anything else going on other than this beautiful moment that they are sharing with each other.
As you can imagine, this gives me, the photographer, an awesome opportunity to capture that raw emotion that sometimes is lessened when others are around to witness it during the ceremony. Especially with my grooms, I’ve found that they let their emotional guard down a lot more if no one else is around. Quite a few let the water works go, and I know most brides love that!
Aside from being a great opportunity to capture a beautiful moment, first looks are great for your wedding logistics/timeline. If you choose to have one, you can not only have some extra time taking portraits with your spouse, but you will also give yourself more time to take pictures with your wedding party, family, and friends. The cocktail hour after the ceremony usually lasts about an hour, so that only gives us about an hour to shoot wedding party, family, AND your wedding portraits. This is totally possible, but it can feel a bit rushed that way. If you have a first look, you can have your wedding party and family photos shot BEFORE the ceremony which gives us a lot more time to shoot your portraits after the ceremony (when we have the best light), which in the end, are usually the most important pictures of the day.
So, that’s my two cents on First Looks! They’re awesome for so many reasons! Happy wedding planning!