Why do I love thee...let me count the ways:) Oh, first look, you had me at hello!
So if you are looking for a totally unbiased opinion of the first look then this blog post is probably not for you! I'll give you the few drawbacks to doing a first look but I am a huge fan!! Maybe, by the end of this post you will be a fan too!
So What Is a First Look Anyway?
A first look is a moment hours before the ceremony where the bride and groom see each other for the first time on their wedding day. It is a pre-arranged time in a private place away from family and friends to capture that moment just for them.
Below are the 5 top reasons why I LOVE the first look!
1. The First Look is a Private, Intimate Moment
Many brides worry that the first look takes away from that amazing moment when you walk down the aisle and your groom sees you for the first time. But most of our past brides that have done a first look will tell you that this is not the case!
Instead, now you get two amazing moments!! The first look gives you a private, quiet moment where you and your love get to take each other in, the way you want to. If you want to hold each other and cry, laugh, kiss, high five...anyway that you express love, you are able to do during the first look.
Speaking as a bride who did NOT do the first look, all I wanted to do was hold Tony and kiss him but it wasn't that part of the ceremony yet! I had to wait till the end before I got to do that!
Honestly, there is so much going on as you walk down the aisle that I found it hard to focus on Tony (I was focused on not tripping!). Doing the first look gives you that moment where time stands still and you can take each other without any distractions!
Also, I LOVE when couples use this time to read each other their vows or letters that they have written to each other! Talk about a sweet moment!!
2. The First Look Creates a Better Flow to Your Wedding Day Timeline.
I am a photographer so of course I think of your wedding day flow. But this sets the tone for your WHOLE day! It is so important to have a great timeline so that you can really enjoy the day!
I am sure that you have been in or at a wedding where they did the traditional layout of NOT seeing each other before the ceremony.
Typically it goes like this...the morning is spent getting ready (with little to no portraits being done), then you have the ceremony and immediately following begins the frantic, flurry of photographs.
Most couples try to get all of the wedding portraits done during the 1 hour cocktail so that they are not away from guest too long. That leaves 1 hour to complete family formals, wedding party, bridesmaids, groomsmen, bride, groom and the couples photographs. That is a lot to cram into 1 hour!
Now imagine this...you still spend your morning getting ready but start a little earlier. (I told you that I would share the few downsides and this is one of them...you do have to start getting ready earlier in the day) After you are done getting ready, you go to a designated location to see your soon to be hubby while you are fresh and looking your best!
After some quiet minutes alone (with your photographers hanging around on the sidelines) you take some portraits of you and your man while you are still emotional and connected from seeing each other for the first time. These create powerful portraits because you are truly in the moment and have a visible connection.
Next your wedding party joins you with hugs and congratulations and we capture the wedding party portraits and the bridesmaids and groomsmen photographs.
Now you head off to the ceremony site where you have some time to freshen up and get ready to share your wedding vows with family and friends.
After the ceremony all you have left is your family formals and off to the party you go!!
So which one sounds better to you??
3. A First Look Allows You to Get More Variety
When you are on a time limitation after the ceremony, it really affects the location you are able to choose. Obviously, the closer the better if you don't want to use up time driving there and back. So doing a first look gives you the opportunity to pick a location that may not be as close but it is a spot you love.
It also gives you more time to get a variety of poses. We have done weddings for 10 years and at this point we are able to get everything we need within 20 minutes. But these are just the basic necessities. If you love variety in poses and backgrounds, you need to give yourself the time to get those.
4. Doing a First Look Can Help Ease Your Nerves!
I was one of the most nervous brides in history! I hate being the center of attention and the thought of everyone looking at me as I walked down the aisle was overwhelming. I was so nervous that I cried almost the entire morning and afternoon before the ceremony. My dad even asked if I needed to leave, lol!!
Tony is the one person who can talk me down from the ledge (although he can talk me onto the ledge too, ha!) and I wasn't able to talk to him all morning. First looks were not a thing when we got married so it never occurred to me! If I had gotten to talk with him and hug him, I would have been totally fine!
Any other nervous nellies out there? If you are then a first look might be just the thing for you! You get to connect with your man before you see the masses and it takes away a lot of the jitters! Then you can be more calm and engaged during the ceremony!
5. If You are Doing a Winter Wedding, the First Look is a Must!
We live in the beautiful Mid-West and during the winter months it gets dark so early!! Unless you are doing a really early ceremony time, typically the light is gone after the ceremony in the winter. This means that you need to do all of your photographs inside (which may be fine with you since it is cold too).
But if you love the winter landscape and want to incorporate that into your photographs, doing a first look gives you the time and light that you need!
So are you a fan yet? Ultimately we ALWAYS tell couples to do what feels right to them! We can give you the pros and cons but it is up to you whether it is a good fit. That is the beauty of todays weddings...there are no set rules! YOU get to choose what is right for YOU!