A “First Look” is the moment you and your beloved see each other for the first time before the ceremony. With it being the first time, it’s extremely emotional and meaningful. It’s truly a wonderful moment to have captured by your photo and video team because you’ll cherish it forever. Some couples even opt to share their vows in private during this time.
A lot of photographers do recommend a first look because of the special and private moment that it creates. But for those of you who may have been dreaming of that down the aisle moment your whole lives, I’m sure you need a little more food for thought and that’s why I’m here to share real benefits with you.
I’ve got 5 reasons you should consider doing a first look! Now all I ask before you start reading is that you read with an open mind, and just remember- it’s always your choice. I firmly believe that you should never be pressured by your photographer or videographer to do a first look if you truly don’t want to.
1. Eases Stress and Calms Nerves
Good options for those who are shy or more guarded with their emotions
There’s often a lot of pressure on the one who’s waiting at the top of the aisle for their loved one to walk down the aisle. I’ve seen plenty of groom’s who were about to tear up, suck their emotions right back in as they see guests turn to stare at their reactions.
I think few of us like wearing our vulnerability on our sleeves in public- even if that public is our friend’s and family. Especially when there’s been so much leading up to this day- the planning, the decisions, the getting ready, and finally it’s here. It takes a lot a heck of a grounded person to stay present in that moment and keep their eyes trained on the love of their live’s walk down the aisle.
This is the first reason why I LOVE First Look’s because they give an opportunity to actually have your emotions in a much less intense situation. When it’s just the two of you and you can actually react outloud, and touch one another, it really does allow for more emotions to rise to the surface (at least in my experience).
And if you’ve always dreamt of waiting until the ceremony, please know there is nothing that can take away from the significance of the walk down the aisle even once you’ve seen each other. In fact, sometimes having some of those big nerves out of the way, just gives the person waiting up front that chance to actually take it in with everyone else too.
2. Gives You More Time Together On Your Wedding Day
Time flies on your wedding day
We’ve all heard that saying right? But I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve had a couple look at me as we’re walking into their reception with their eyes big saying, how is already time for the entrance? We laugh and I always say, “it really does go by fast right?” And they look at me with that knowing that they could never have known before they experienced it.
Now my thought is if you’re having a morning wedding, maybe there’s more of a reason to wait until you’re walking down the aisle- after all it’s only the morning you’ve spent apart. But for those who are having late evening ceremonies, you have to ask yourself if you really want the first time you get to share two words alone together to be at 7pm as you walk down the aisle together.
3. Usually You’ll Receive More Photos AND Get More Variety
One of the things I often tell clients is “the more, the more.” When you have more time together on your day, you’ll get more photos of just the two of you. It also should give you more time to spend with your entire wedding party, and more time alone before the reception.
It also gives us more of an opportunity to do your special pictures of just the two of you in a wider variety of backdrops because we can do your first look and your after ceremony portraits in different locations! This will really allow us to showcase the beautiful venue you chose to get married at.
4. Less rushing between the ceremony and reception
Without seeing each other before hand, it means we only have one real opportunity to do all the portraits that you want to be together in! This includes all the different family photos that you’re hoping for, with your wedding party all together, and the part most people are most excited about afterwards which is the two of you alone.
When you get a large chunk of those photos done before hand, it means there’s less to do afterwards and you’ll instantly feel that relief after your ceremony.
5. Gives you a built in backup plan for unexpected weather
And this is one of my favorite unexpected benefits to doing a first look because if for any chance there’s going to be rough weather on your wedding day, there’s more opportunity to rearrange things.
This actually came in handy at one of our early Spring weddings. It had been raining off and on all day, and since they had decided to do a First Look- we were able to sneak outside when it wasn’t raining for their first look an some romantic photos before the ceremony. We also got all their wedding party photos done.
As their ceremony started so did little baby raindrops, which had become full on rain by the time the ceremony was over. We tried to push through for a few family photos but the bride was getting cold and hair was getting a bit messed with so we jumped under umbrellas and the couple joined their cocktail hour instead. 40 minutes later we walked back outside with all their families and took all of the family portraits under a sunny sky.
If they hadn’t done a first look we probably would have been in a much tougher situation to get all their together photos done, and while I’m sure we would have managed and found a way for it to be great- it really felt like a luxury to not have to worry about any of that as the day unfolded.
So there you have it! I really hope that gives you some insight into the reasons why it’s nice to at least consider doing a first look! And if you decide not to- that’s okay too! It’s all about finding what’s going to work out best for your wedding day!