Whether or not to do a first look can be a fairly divisive & personal topic. A “First Look” is when a couple plans to see each other before the ceremony (and usually take some photos). I totally understand couples that have the vision of going the traditional route – seeing each other for the first time as they walk down the aisle. I always reiterate to my couples that it is ultimately their choice! And I can make anything work with a carefully planned timeline. I do, however, have a few reasons why I think first looks are a good idea.
1. Limit Stress
I was shaking like a leaf on my wedding day before I saw Kevin. Most likely, you’re marrying someone that can calm your nerves and it is hard being away from them while there are a million things going on leading up to the ceremony! I instantly felt more comfortable once we did our first look and were able to spend the majority of the day together. I had him by my side to tackle any curve balls the day threw our way. I also just like hanging out with the guy! We had so much fun riding the party bus to our venue together with our wedding party, too. Playing cornhole before the ceremony is one of my favorite memories!
2. Intimacy & Reaction
A lot of people have this vision in their head of the groom weeping as his bride walks down the aisle. While I have seen my fair share of sweet moments like that, this is rarely what actually happens. Thanks, romantic comedies! In actuality, your groom is probably totally overwhelmed – so excited to see you, but also freaking out about standing up in front of everyone and waiting to pledge his life to you forever. NBD.
And if you’re anything like me, as you’re walking down the aisle, you’re not only thinking about getting to marry your best friend, but also trying not to trip as you walk past all of your family and friends staring at you. Yikes.
When you do a first look, you are more likely to get natural, joyful reactions to seeing each other for the first time. You can hug, kiss and simply enjoy the moment. Soak it in. Exchange handwritten notes or gifts. Simply hold your person close.
3. Alone Time
I highly recommend doing your first look privately away from family and friends. You will feel way more awkward if you have 20 people watching how you react during the first look and posing for portraits. This is a time for you two to feel relaxed in each other’s arms and enjoy some quiet alone time – it may be the only chance you get all day!
4. Timeline Advantages
There are tons of advantages for your timeline when it comes to doing a first look. The main takeaway here is simply having more time. More time with your spouse because you get to spend the majority of the day together. More time for portraits (of you two and your wedding party) because you get to start them earlier & aren’t crunched or rushed for time between the ceremony and dinner. More time with your guests because you get to join them more quickly after the ceremony. I never want to keep my couples away from their guests for too long because one of the best things about throwing a wedding is getting to celebrate with your family and friends. It’s seriously like one big party where everyone you love is there to support you!
If you want to read more about wedding planning timeline tips, check out the blog post I wrote here!
Like I said in the beginning, I am always understanding if my couples want to go the more traditional route, but I think these are some pretty solid reasons to at least consider doing a first look! Sound like the vibe you’re looking for in your wedding photographer? Shoot me an email to talk about your 2019 wedding today! I can’t wait to chat with you!
Want more happy in your inbox?!
Subscribe to my monthly newsletter to receive first dibs on mini session slots, exclusive behind the scenes info & tips and tricks to get the most out of your photo sessions!