April 21, 2020
If you’re unfamiliar with the term “First Look” … this is when the bride and groom decide to see each other for the first time in a special intimate moment prior to the ceremony. It’s becoming a lot more popular for an assortment of reasons, which I will touch on in this blog post, but ultimately you need to go with your gut on this one. Many couples still prefer the thought of holding tradition and waiting to see each other until that walk down the aisle. Whatever decision you make, I support you, and your photos will be beautiful!
Intimacy & Privacy
If you decide to do a first look, it will be just the two of you … (well, and me creeping from the bushes, lol). Your bridal party and families will be tucked away somewhere else, and you get to enjoy the moment alone. It is one of the only moments you will actually have alone throughout the whole day actually. Wedding days fly by so fast and it’s really nice to take a quiet moment, slow down, and just soak each other in.
Another thing that I hear brides say over and over again is that they feel uncomfortable with all of the attention on them. Walking down the aisle and having 200 people stand up and turn to look at you, and only you, can be quite nerve-racking. Imagine adding to that moment the stress of seeing your groom for the first time. The anxiety of getting down the aisle without tripping over your own feet may overshadow that special moment when your eyes lock for the first time. That moment should be yours and yours alone, it shouldn’t be overshadowed by everyone else that is watching.
A first look allows you to be your true self. To react the way that naturally comes to you instead of feeling pressure to look or act a certain way. You can say something silly (or inappropriate, lol) … you don’t have to be shy, or reserved, or proper (standing at the front of church) … you can be you! Your groom can feel comfortable to show emotion and not have to put on a brave face. Authenticity makes the best memories, and the best photographs. This is one of the reasons this ends up being a lot of couples’ favourite part of the day.
This is a major one in regards to how this one decision can affect your whole wedding day. Doing a first look allows you to flip around your timeline so that all of your formal photos are done before the ceremony. Usually in this scenario your ceremony would be later in the afternoon (4ish). We can do your first look just after lunch time which gives us hours of relaxed and fun bridal party photos and the option to utilize multiple locations. You will have more variety in your images, you will have more fun doing them, and you’ll even have some time to sit down and relax (together) before you walk down the aisle.
Convenience for Your Guests
A later ceremony also means that your guests can go right from the ceremony to cocktail hour without having to kill a couple of hours in the middle of the afternoon before the reception starts. Out of town guests will really appreciate this. This strategy is especially helpful for the increasingly popular Friday weddings because it allows your guests to still go to work and make it in time for your ceremony.
Enjoy Cocktail Hour
This is another huge advantage to the timeline flip … your cocktail hour. Depending on the timing of your ceremony, doing your formal photos after the ceremony might require you to miss most if not all of cocktail hour. If you do a first look and already have all of the formal photos done, then you get to attend your cocktail hour and enjoy mingling with your guests. This means that you won’t have to make the rounds to each table during dinner to greet everyone, instead you can actually sit and enjoy your meal.
Being present at cocktail hour also allows your photographers to capture lots of guests candids. Once everyone sits down to eat this isn’t possible, so cocktail hour is really the only part of the day that gives us the opportunity to capture the smiling faces of all of the people you love that came out to support you.
There are many different aspects to consider when deciding if a First Look is right for you, but I do hope you will consider it. Don’t think of it as giving up that special moment when you’re walking down the aisle, because you still get that special moment … doing a first look is actually adding another special moment to your day. The moments go fast, so take all of them that you can get.