The “first look” might possibly be the best new wedding trend out there. When Randy and I first mentioned the idea of a “first look” to our families, neither side quite understood why we would want to see one another before walking down the aisle! However, I knew this was one of the main things I couldn’t do without on our wedding day! So, not only did Randy and I share a First Look on our wedding day, I also encourage all of my couples to do one as well! First Looks are amazing and SO incredibly helpful to photographers! But, I also completely understand why brides do NOT want to do First Looks… 1: Parents won’t approve 2. The Bride wants that “AH!” moment to happen when she is coming down the aisle and 3. It’s just too non-traditional.
Well, my answer to brides that are unsure is this… 1. I know you love your parents, but if this is something you want to do, it’s your wedding day and you should go for it! (obviously with explaining to them why it’s so important to you!) 2. I understand wanting him to be totally shocked and in awe of you as you come down the aisle… that’s understandable, I wanted that too! The thing is, he is going to be “in awe” of you coming down the aisle no matter what! That moment is so incredible and it doesn’t lose that special feeling if you see each other before hand… believe me! and 3. True, this is a very non-traditional concept but it’s AMAZING for several reasons:
1) Your guests won’t 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 tone of 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, and instead 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 a 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 way 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 touchup and this can take close to 15 minutes of time).
4. 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!
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.