Series for the brides: First Look

Weddings are stressful! I’m providing some tips to make your day go smooth.  This is the 2nd in the series.  Be sure to check out the fist about the getting ready shots.  

By now I’m sure you’ve heard the term “first look”.  It’s basically the same as seeing each other before the ceremony.  I am a wedding photographer so this may be a little biased towards prioritizing photography, but there are more reasons than just photography to consider doing a first look.  On your wedding day, clients are number one and I really think that by having a first look that your day will go a lot smoother. 

Traditionally couples don’t see each other before the ceremony.  Have you ever thought where this tradition comes from? The tradition comes from when marriages were arranged and the couple were meeting for the first time at the time of marriage.  According to CNN not seeing each other before the ceremony was giving the couple a chance to change their mind about the arranged marriage.  This is a nice way of saying they might change their mind about marriage if they didn’t like the way the other person looked! Yikes! 

Even though that’s not the reason today (!!) you’ll need to decide if you want to do a first look.  Here are just a few reasons I’ve complied for you…

  1.  It makes you less nervous
    I was terrified of everyone looking at me when the doors opened at my wedding! In my experience, most couples are really nervous before the wedding.  It’s not about if they’re getting cold feet, it’s about having all those emotions all together.  I think having a first look calms your nerves because you see each other in a private setting.  There are a lot of details that go into a wedding day.  Depending on your personality there can be a lot of built up anxiety about all the details working together.  Having a first look can organize your day better.  This give you more alone special time with your groom.  Having a first look and seeing your significant other can help you to calm down and have a special moment.  I wanted to see my husband before the ceremony so that we could have a special moment to ourselves and not in front of everyone! 
  2. Less Risky
    There are many things that can go wrong on the wedding day! Planning on a first look puts the timing into your own hands.  I’ve seen it over and over again after the ceremony the bride and groom are excited and tired and just want to get to the ceremony.  Photos they claim they REALLY want beforehand get sidelined and in the end they choose not to do them because they just really want to relax at the reception.  If getting to your cocktail hour quicker sounds more appealing to you,  then a first look is for you! 
  3. It’s still special
    Since you’ve been dreaming about your wedding day for forever you’ll want it to be special! You can still have a special moment with your significant other with a first look AND the moment you walk down the aisle.  Many moments of the day will go by in a blur but even if you choose to go a first look, you’ll still remember seeing your significant other when the doors fly open.
  4. More photos! 
    If photos are important to you then I highly recommend the first look! You’ll have more photos and time for more of a variety of photos.  
  5. Time of day
    You’ll definitely want to aim for the best time of day for your photos! I’ll go more into that in a later post.  Typically this means two hours before sun set or 2 hours after the sun rises.  If for some reason this isn’t possible, then you’ll want to factor in lighting situations for your photos.  In some cases the sun will have already set by the time the ceremony is over and you won’t have any sun for your photos! You’ll definitely want to avoid inside photos so to get around this you might consider a first look so that you’ll have enough daylight.  

Enjoy this photos from first looks! The last photo if one of my favorites of a wedding party.  The couple did a first look so there was plenty of time to do more wedding party shots.