….they might possibly be the best new thing since sliced bread, well to me anyways :). When I first heard about doing a “First Look” I thought to myself…”that is neat… but I’ll NEVER do it for my own wedding”. Ohh I can be SO wrong sometimes! Not only did James and I share a First Look on our wedding day, I also encourage ALL of my couples to do one too! First Looks are amazing and SO incredibly helpful to photographers! They also help your wedding day run so much smoother.
There are many reasons why brides do NOT want to do First Looks: 1. Momma won’t approve 2. The Bride wants that “AHH!” moment to be when she is coming down the aisle and 3. It’s just too non-traditional (most grooms say this)
Well, my answer to brides that are unsure is this…. 1. I know you love your Momma, but if this is something you want to do, it’s your wedding and you should go for it! I am sure is she knew how important it is to you she will not have a problem. 2. I understand wanting him to be completely shocked and in awe of you as you come down the aisle…that’s understandable, I wanted that too! But here’s the thing, he is going to be “in awe” of you coming down the aisle no matter what! James still had a hard time keeping it together when I came down the aisle, even though we had seen each other before the ceremony. That moment is so incredible and it doesn’t lose that special feeling if you see each other before hand…. believe me! James would tell you that even though we saw each other beforehand, when I came through the back doors of the church and walked down the aisle, it was still one of the most powerful moments of our ceremony! and 3. True, this is a VERY non-traditional concept but it’s AMAZING for several reasons:
1. Your guests will not have to wait over an hour for you to arrive at your reception! When a bride and groom wait to do ALL of their portraits after the ceremony, (family, bridal party, romantic portraits and then travel to the reception) that usually takes an hour and a half, sometimes longer if the couple wants a ton of awesome portraits of just the two of them! Because this is so time consuming, it often leads to rushed portraits and can cause a little stress for the Bride and Groom because they aren’t enjoying their portraits together, they are worrying about their guests having to WAIT.
2. A first look allows you to have time with JUST your husband. When couples decide to see each other for the first time in private, it is an emotional moment that the two of them share and it’s so incredibly intimate. I get to stand off to the side and document it! This is a time for the couple to love on each other, for the groom to tell his bride how STUNNING she is and this moment serves as an once in a lifetime photo opportunity! What most brides don’t realize is that when a bride walks down the aisle, her man may think she looks fabulous, but he is unable to tell her that until AFTER the ceremony! The first look allows couples to embrace and just be together for a few minutes on their wedding day and that is priceless!!
3. Couples that choose a first look always end up with 40% more portraits than those who do not opt for the First Look AND the bride’s makeup is still in tact (sometimes tears from the ceremony can require a makeup touch up and this can take close to 15 minutes of time).
4. It calms nerves…. BIG TIME. This is huge for the groom. Almost ALL grooms that have experienced a First Look admit that seeing their bride beforehand eases the wedding day jitters and allows them to relax and actually enjoy their ceremony! (James would agree!)
5. Last but not least, a First Look is the answer to the wedding day timeline crisis! It creates ample portrait time and allows the bride and groom to celebrate freely.
Attention all late fall, winter and early spring brides…. you will most likely run out of natural light for portraits after your ceremony….a First Look is a great solution for this issue!! While I LOVE first looks, I never pressure my couples into doing them. I always tell them all of the reasons why it’s a smart decision but if they really aren’t interested, I drop it. It’s their wedding day! It’s my job to make them happy and to help them plan a great time-line for pictures, but ultimately, it’s their decision.
Here are images captured by my photographer Lauren Kinsey Photography of me and James doing a first look on our wedding day!