Oh, the first look. If you have followed me for any length of time, I am sure you have heard me gush over first looks with my clients! I love them and I cry pretty much every time. But believe it or not, the first look is actually a fairly new addition to the wedding day timeline. So while you may not know the term, chances are you have seen some of the gorgeous results of couples meeting on their wedding day for the first time.
As a photographer, I am a big supporter for first looks when I am talking through the timeline of the day with my couples. For me I know it has a lot of unexpected benefits that you might not realize. So before you decide whether or not a first look is right for you, let’s talk about the pros and cons of this new wedding tradition!
As a bride, all I wanted was to get a reaction from Ethan the first time he saw me on our wedding day. I had spent all this time (and money) on finding the perfect dress and accessories, primped and prepared all morning. And at first I thought that moment would happen when I walked down the aisle, but if we had waited for that moment. I wouldn’t have gotten to experience this moment.
Most brides don’t realize that when you walk down the aisle and SHOCK him with your gorgeousness, he can’t really tell you how he feels. You have a few passing moments, maybe a quick “hey, you look beautiful” and then you have to get on with the ceremony. With a first look, I encourage my couples to take as much time as they need to truly enjoy the moment!
Even though I have photographed countless weddings, I never realized how nerve racking it can be when you are the one stepping into the white dress! I was a nervous wreck the morning of the wedding – call it a combination of nerves and overwhelming excitement. But once I saw E waiting for me all of those nerves just disappeared and I was able to relax and enjoy my ENTIRE day! And a lot of my brides (and grooms) say the same!
First looks allow you to be TOGETHER and alone on your wedding day. When E and I saw each other, we were alone on a bridge…just us. We cried and laughed and cried some more. Then we started our portrait time, but little did we know that was the only time we were truly together without distraction until the night was over and we were back at our hotel! To this day, those 10 minutes were my favorite part of the entire day because we could just share our excitement without a crowd of people watching us!
You are investing a lot into your wedding photography – hello memories that last forever!!! With a first look, you will receive 40% MORE portraits of the two of you. Portraits that are perfect to decorate your home! (Believe me, our house is packed with them…even if I still haven’t hung them up yet #MovedInAYearAgo) A first look allows you to get the most out of your investment!
Traditionally, your day would start with you getting ready with your girls and then walking down the aisle. Followed by a beautiful ceremony that would end with you walking down the aisle as husband and wife!!! Then you are immediately rushed into family portraits. After you jump into bridal party pictures. Then the start taking portraits of you both before you aren’t late to the reception! With a first look your day can actually start 3 HOURS before the ceremony. Instead of being rushed you can enjoy bridal party portraits and have fun hanging out with your best friends. Just imagine how beautiful your wedding album! The whole FIRST HALF of your wedding album is just you having the time of your life with all your favorite people!
Whew! I could go on and on! No, really I could! I LOVE first looks and I love how much my clients appreciate them after they have experienced them. But I also understand how big of a decision it can be too. At the end of the day, it is YOUR wedding day! And whether you decide to try the first look or decide to stick to tradition, I know your day is going to be absolutely beautiful!
Did you do a first look on your special day? Drop a comment below with your thoughts! I would love to hear from some other brides and what decision they went with!