The skinny on the first look.
What IS a first look? Many brides aren’t exactly sure what a first look is and what it means in the grand scheme of things. Before you decide what is best for you, it may help to know the pros and cons of first look wedding photos. There are a lot of wedding traditions, some old and some new, but when it comes to your wedding day, you ultimately have to embrace those that are the most important to you. There’s many things to consider such as lighting, location, and time, not to mention the different ways you can see each other.
So, let’s dive in. By the end of this blog, you should have a better idea if this photo-op is right for you.
THE PROS: Let’s start with a list of positives.
It’s intimate, romantic + more documented. It doesn’t take a lot of time for the bride to walk down the aisle.. especially if nerves are encouraging a faster pace. With that being said the photographer (s) have limited amount of time to document the bride AND the grooms reaction to seeing each other for the first time. With the first look, it is slower paced and we can take the time we need to ensure we get the best shots possible from all angles. This wedding below did not have a second shooter but I was still able to capture both reactions because I had more say on the angle I shot from.
We get more creative + unique photos. More time to prepare and shoot means more time to explore, get different backdrops, and take more creative photos for your special moment. A lot of couples choose to read letters written to each other right beforehand. This is a sweet add on to an already special moment.
Get your planned portraits finished prior to the ceremony. By doing a first look, you are then able to follow it up with the rest of the formal portraits prior to the ceremony. That way, once the wedding ceremony ends, you have nowhere to report to but the bar and of course the dance floor! We can still set aside 15-20 minutes later on to capture those beautiful golden hour photos.
You get to share + document your special moment twice! Many people are afraid that the grooms reaction won’t be the same when the bride walks down the aisle after a first look. I have seen the groom not cry at the first look and then sobbing when their gorgeous bride to be walks down the aisle. Or visa versa. They are both such big + special moments.
You can get the tears + nervousness out of the way. If you or your fiancé anticipate that you’ll cry, a first look may be a great way to get the tears out of the way. After all, who loves crying in front of people? It also gives the bride an opportunity to fix her makeup and recompose. If you are nervous, seeing each other beforehand may help ease the anxiety before the actual ceremony when you’re in front of all of your guests.
Enjoy your cocktail hour! Since you won’t have to rush off to take hours of formal portraits, you can enjoy your cocktail hour! Yay! This is a great time to relax, sip on cocktails, and enjoy the company of family + friends. It’s a great time for those candid portraits too!
You will have to start getting ready much earlier. Since a first look means taking photos before the ceremony begins, that means your hair and makeup will need to be completely finished much earlier on in the day. However, that means you can snag more photos while sipping on mimosa’s + hanging with your tribe. Those are usually some of my favorites to capture.
It’s not traditional. In the end, you have to choose what is best for you! Times and traditions are changing, but you don’t want any regrets. If the parting ways with tradition aspect bothers you, it’s probably not right for you.
The groom might feel pressured. Since first looks are becoming all the rage, the groom may feel pressured to have an over the top reaction. Just remember to be yourself , relax, and enjoy the moment. The photographer will tell your story in the way that is true to you.
Losing the aisle moment. You’re afraid you’re going to lose the feeling of that epic ‘walking down the aisle’ moment.
First look with Dad.
Whether you’ve decided to go ahead with the bride and groom first look or not, you can always plan for one with dad. Or your parents in general. This moment is always a favorite. It tugs at my heart strings every time.
Whatever you decide, talk to your photographer. They will have a plan to execute both successfully!