Should you have a first look on your wedding day?
Disclaimer: YES you should, but let me tell you why.
What if I told you that there was a way to make sure your First Look doesn’t take away anything from your wedding day traditions? If anything, it ADDS to an amazing wedding day experience! Let me give you a wedding photographer‘s insight on why you should embrace this new trend.
Some brides love traditions, but what a bride REALLY wants when it comes to her groom seeing her for the first time is a reaction.
These are the most common misconceptions brides have about having a first look:
- Couples who are initially not interested in a first look usually think that by seeing each other beforehand, they will lose part of that reaction.
- They also assume that it will not be as emotional or as intimate as it would be if they were coming down the aisle.
What I have found after shooting countless weddings and first looks is actually the total opposite!
1. More Bride & Groom Portraits
Wedding photography is one of the biggest investments for your wedding day. When you do a first look, we have so much more time to prioritize the most important photos of the day – your bride and groom portraits!…
Those are the images you will cherish above all others. They will decorate your walls in your home and become your family heirlooms. With a first look, you benefit from getting the most from your investment.
2. You’ll Get a More Genuine Reaction From Your Groom
If this isn’t the most overlooked benefit of the first look, I don’t know what is! Most brides don’t realize that
Most brides don’t realize that when you come down the aisle and totally SHOCK him with your gorgeous-ness… he can’t even tell you how amazing you look. He can’t touch you, embrace you, or even SPEAK to you. You have to wait until 30 minutes later when the ceremony is over for him to react and tell you how amazing you look. And after 30 minutes of the ceremony, the reaction isn’t the same as the initial first glance.
3. Extra Hours for Photos
First Looks allow you to extend your wedding day. Normally the wedding day would start when you come down the aisle. Then, after the ceremony, we rush through portraits so that you’re not late for the introductions, and then it’s straight on to reception time.
Most brides and grooms only have about 10-15 minutes to the whole day dedicated to their own formal portraits together!
With a first look, your wedding day is extended by almost 3 hours! Instead of being rushed for your bridal party portraits… you actually get to enjoy them and have fun hanging out with your BEST friends on your wedding day. The WHOLE first half of my client’s wedding albums are filled with images just from this time together before the ceremony.
4. Enjoy a Few Private Moments
First Looks allow you to be TOGETHER and alone on your wedding day. When Michael and I saw each other, not only was it intimate, it was our only time to be alone the whole day! We cried and laughed and cried some more… and then that put us in the PERFECT mood for our romantic portraits.
As stated before, portraits are a little rushed after the family formals, and it can be hard to really get back into that romantic mode…. especially with your entire family watching you! When you have just shared your first look, you’re READY to love on each other, and we can capture the sweetest, most genuine images during those moments!
5. Lowers Wedding Day Stress
For most grooms, the nerves kick in before they see their bride because when they see her, everything becomes VERY real! So when the nerves start creeping up, instead of keeping the groom in a secluded space until his time to enter the ceremony, what if you took him to a private place? That,s right, no people, no onlookers, no distractions…. and you let his beautiful bride, the love of his life, quietly call his name and have him turn around to see her for the first time.
He would turn around and finally get his first look at his stunning bride and not only would he get to see her… he could embrace her, cry with her, give her a kiss, and ENJOY that moment with her for as LONG as they wanted. As she shows him her dress, twirls a few times, and then asks him what he thinks, his nerves start to diminish.
SO much more relaxed and ready to enjoy the rest of the day!
What Happens After the First Look?
Because you aren’t on a time crunch, you casually move into your romantic portraits. No one is around, the coordinator isn’t announcing “15 minutes left”, and there is no pressure. It’s just the two of you and me, capturing the excitement and the joy of the wedding day. This is the time to be TOGETHER…and to be ALONE.
When does that happen on a wedding day? Without a first look, it doesn’t.
After romantic portraits are done, the bridal party joins in, and you’ll still have plenty of time to spare. After a few minutes, the bridal party portraits begin and instead of being stressful and rushed, they’re FUN. They’re FUN because there is time to make them FUN.
After portraits are done the girls and guys separate and prepare for the ceremony – giving you all time to relax and enjoy the big reveal to your guests. No stress, no worries – and guess what – your groom will still be AMAZED and emotional to see you coming down the aisle!
Then – you actually get to ENJOY your cocktail hour with your family and guests! They have been waiting to see you, congratulate you, and with a first look, you can enjoy that moment with them. It’s wonderful!
Is it Okay to NOT do a First Look?
It’s totally ok if couples choose not to share a first look! It’s just my preference to do one for many reasons…. Keep reading to find out more of the benefits of sharing your first look privately! For brides not interested in a First Look, let’s start chatting soon about how we’ll create a special timeline to fit everything in!