It’s no secret that I am a big fan of First Looks. After photographing hundreds of weddings over the past 3 years, I can speak from experience and tell you that First Looks really make the wedding day more enjoyable. Not only for the photographer, but for the bride, the groom, the bridal party, the families… basically everyone. Wedding days are unpredictable. They can be chaotic and stressful if you don’t plan your timeline accordingly. When we design a wedding day timeline to include a First Look, we are able to pad the timeline with extra time throughout the morning/afternoon, before the ceremony, so that if hair + makeup is running late, or dad forgot to bring his tie, or your brother is dragging his feet because he doesn’t want to get dressed up, it’s okay! We have created a timeline with plenty of wiggle room so that photos are as painless and as stress-free as possible. The last thing you want is to feel stressed during photos on your wedding day.
So what exactly is a First Look? Simply stated, a First Look is when the bride + groom see each other BEFORE the ceremony. I’ll work with the couple to figure out a general location for the First Look – which is typically either near their getting ready location or at their venue. I’ll choose a more specific location on the day of the wedding, since it all depends on finding the perfect lighting. Regardless of where it takes place, it is always somewhere private where my bride + groom can share this moment away from everyone while me + my second shooter document it from afar.
While I LOVE First Looks, I try not to push them on my couples unless there is a conflict with their ceremony time + sunset. That is the only time I “strongly suggest” they consider it, only because I cannot create beautiful images that are true to my style without two things… natural light + ample time. The last thing I want for my couples is for them to be disappointed with their wedding photos, so I am always open + honest about what I need from them in terms of the timeline of the day to create the types of images they hired me for.
Other than that, I leave the final decision up to my clients. I am always up front about the benefits of doing a First Look because I truly believe it enhances the wedding day experience and I want what is BEST for my couples! More and more couples are choosing to do a First Look and here are some of the top reasons why couples choose to do one:
As you can see, there are a ton of reasons why couples should consider a First Look. I’ve never had a couple regret their decision to do a First Look, but I HAVE had couples regret NOT doing a First Look. Trust me when I tell you that a First Look does NOT diminish that moment when the bride walks down the aisle on the arm of her father towards her future husband. NOTHING can diminish that moment and it WILL still happen. The only difference is that with a First Look, the groom will feel so much more relaxed during that moment, when all eyes are on him. He’ll be able to enjoy that moment – and so will the bride – because the nerves are gone and they can relish in that beautiful moment together.
Need more convincing? Check out this amazing post from Jeff Marsh Creative.