A “first look” is when a couple sees each other on their wedding day before their wedding ceremony. It is a private moment for the couple, away from the eyes of family and friends.
Most couples struggle with this question when they first start planning their wedding. For years the tradition has been to wait to see each other until you are walking down the aisle. Now don’t get me wrong this is an AMAZING moment. Truly it is… But in my experience even when having a first look before taking the big walk doesn’t take away from that. You will still have that big impactful moment walking down the aisle!
Now let’s talk about why you should say YES to a first look!
Most of the time pre-wedding jitters are real and can be intense. There is a lot of pressure on wedding day and it can be super overwhelming and scary to be standing up at the altar waiting for that big moment. Everyones eyes are on you watching to see how you react. But when you do a first look you get some of those jitters out of the way. You have a moment to be real and honest with how you are feeling and you don’t have hundreds of eyes watching you while you let that vulnerability out. When you see each other for the first time and it is just the two of you, you really get a chance to soak it all in. To embrace each other and love each other and admire one another in your own space. In my experience this is when the real emotions tend to shine. You are not in your head, you are not focused on keeping it together in front of a crowd and you are 100% focused on your soon to be husband or wife. (HOW AMAZING!) This definitely makes for great authentic and timeless images and helps you relax a little before walking down the aisle. But trust me once that music starts playing and you see your bride walking down. Those emotions will still be there!
Hey guess what??? Wedding days are never perfect!
Now they might seem to be running smoothly and have that perfect appeal to the guests and hopefully the couple but guess what 90% of the time something will go wrong or off schedule the day of your wedding. You can’t let that thought scare you though. That’s why you hire professionals to help make this day happen. Time is always a huge factor into making a wedding run smoothly and staying on schedule as much as possible helps reduce stress. Having a first look planned is a way to help guarantee you have wiggle room in your schedule just in case something happens. Giving yourself extra time is always a good thing. It helps guarantee that you will capture those amazing couple portraits you want while still having plenty of time for all the other things that need to happen.
Now in my mind this is one of the number one reasons you should do a first look. So you have more party time with your friends and family. When you opt to do a first look this allows you time to knock out bridal parties and family portraits before the ceremony. This way after the ceremony is complete you can join your guests at cocktail hour and get the party started. This also gives you the option of having alone time just the two of you if needed. Even without cameras! Some couples opt to have 15-20 minutes alone so they can just embrace one another and breathe. Even if family formals have to wait until after the ceremony they still should only take up a small portion of your cocktail hour and give you time to unwind or mingle with guests. This also gives us photographers time to photograph your reception room before it has guests taking their seats. You want to capture those beautiful tablescapes and room decor to remember the full day and all of the thought and detail that was put into action. This is often looked over when planning the day but when you do a first look there is always extra time for the photographer to make sure these shots are captured and the best time to do this is during cocktail hour.
Having a first look gives you more time to get those romantic and dreamy couple portraits after! By having a first look you have the ability to snap those portraits early in the day, after the ceremony and at sunset!!That is giving you three options and times to capture amazing images!
Think about it. If you wait to see each other when walking down the aisle you have to cram everything in right after the ceremony. That means family formals, bridal party portraits and then couple portraits…. A full hour of hustle. It can really tire you out and stress you out. So why not give yourself a positive wedding day experience and some peace and of mind knowing everything will get done and you will still be able to relax by incorporating that first look into your wedding vision.
Other helpful First Look Articles:
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