Should I do a first look or should I stick to tradition? It is a question that nearly all of my couples are faced with. But as first looks become more and more of the norm, I have found that I am explaining the process and benefits less and less. Why? Because my brides already know they want a first look. (Just like I know that when I get married … I will 100% opt to see my groom beforehand).
So what happens during a first look? I scout out the perfect private location before the ceremony, and I set up my dapper groom with his back towards my gorgeous bride. Myself and my assistant stand back and photograph the moment with zoom lenses as my bride slowly approaches her groom … so that the moment is entirely theirs. It is their moment to cry (what every girl hopes for when her groom sees her for the first time), laugh, hug, kiss, twirl and just take in everything. No one expects anyone to react in any way and all of your friends and family are not starring at your every move. It is intimate and emotional …. and in that moment you still have the surprise and wow factor that happens as you come down the aisle.
I can’t hide it from my couples that I LOVE first looks. But if they still aren’t 100% sold on the idea, here are a few other reasons why I think first looks are amazing.
>> YOU GET TIME ALONE TOGETHER : Your wedding day goes by so fast! But by opting for a first look, you can slow it down a little. You have almost a whole hour set aside for just photos of the two of you. You can whisper sweet nothings into each other’s ears and sneak in little kisses. After all, the day is all about you, so you deserve time to just be …. together!
>> YOU CAN SMILE, CRY, HUG AND KISS THE MOMENT YOU SEE EACH OTHER FOR THE FIRST TIME WITHOUT EVERYONE WATCHING YOUR REACTION : Brides often worry that by seeing each other before the ceremony, they won’t get that “reaction” they hoped for as they come down the isle. But let’s face it. Grooms are nervous. They are standing in front of hundreds of people as they watch for that same “reaction” the bride is looking for. With a first look, you are in a private area where the two of you can have that special moment to yourselves. You can tell your groom how handsome he looks, and he can get teary-eyed. Because it is just you two.
>> YOU GET MORE PHOTOS OF THE TWO OF YOU : My couples that opt for a first look get almost twice as many photos of them together. Why? We start with photos of the two of you, so if things are off schedule or a bridesmaid is having a fashion crisis, the time doesn’t get cut out from the photos of the two.
>> THE DAY FEELS LESS STRESSFUL : After getting ready, you have time together followed by time with your closest friends and family. My couples who choose a first look, love that they get all of their photos done before the ceremony. They don’t have to rush out after the first kiss to try to crunch in all the photos they want in just one hour.
>> YOU DON’T HAVE TO MISS COCKTAIL HOUR : You know that fun little hour where you get to visit with all your friends and family who traveled near and far to be with you on your special day … you get to be there … for the whole time! And you don’t have to miss all those yummy cocktail hor d’vous you spent hours picking out. :)
I love it when my couples choose to see each other before their ceremony. The photos are magical and the moment is forever captured. But if tradition is more your style, don’t fret! You will still have amazing photos. After all, every couple has to design their dream day. I am just grateful I am there to tell their story.