This post is part of a series for brides (and grooms!) or for those who are helping someone plan a wedding. My goal for this series is to help you make informed and educated decisions about your wedding day so that it will be as beautiful as possible! If you're joining me for the first time, you can catch up here:
1. Should I Do an Engagement Session?
2. What Should I Wear for My Engagement Session?
3. Should I Do Bridal Portraits?
4. Making a Wedding Day Photography Timeline
5. How to Get Great Getting Ready Pictures
6. 6 Things Every Bride Should Get Ready for Her Photographer
7. Should We Do a First Look?
There are a lot of opinions on this topic! Before I share my thoughts with you, let me explain what a "First Look" is in case you haven't heard this term before:
What is a "First Look?"
The first look is a special time when the bride and groom see each other for the first time before the ceremony. It's intimate and private with only your photographers (and videographer if you choose to have one) there to capture each moment as it unfolds.
Now, I want to preface my opinion but sharing that I think the decision on whether or not to do a "First Look" is 100% up to the bride and groom. Your wedding day is YOUR wedding day and not your mom's or your photographer's or anyone else's day. So ultimately, you and your fiancé need to decide together on what is best for you. Also, while I'm about to share my thoughts on all the benefits of doing a first look, I completely understand why people choose not to do a first look. Most of my couples decide to do a first look, but I have some that decide not do it and want to be more traditional. I completely understand that and I know there is definitely something special about your groom seeing you for the first time as you walk down the aisle!
With all of that said, my opinion is that doing a "First Look" has many benefits and should seriously be considered as you're planning your wedding. Here's some of the main reasons I encourage couples to think about doing a "First Look":
1. You'll Get Intimate Time Together
Wedding days are a whirlwind and brides and grooms usually have no private time together to connect and take it all in. During the "First Look," I always tell the couple that I want them to enjoy the time together and not worry about me being there. I far stand back with a zoom lens and allow them to embrace and interact without any direction or posing. My goal and hope is that they'll forget I'm even there! I also think having some intimate time together before your ceremony can ease a lot of nerves and pressure. During my own first look, I found that it really helped me calm down and be a lot less nervous and it was such a sweet time to talk and interact with Alex before our ceremony.
2. You'll Get More Pictures
You're investing a lot of money into your wedding photography and you want to maximize the amount of time you have for pictures! Doing a "First Look" gives you more time before the wedding for bridal party pictures and bride and groom pictures. Instead of trying to cram bridal party pictures, bride and groom pictures, and family formals into an hour after the ceremony, you will have a lot more time if you do a "First Look." In addition, couples who do a "First Look" get a lot more bride and groom portraits. And I promise you, those pictures are some of the most important ones you'll take on your wedding day because you will cherish them and they'll end up hanging all over your house (90% of the wedding pictures displayed in my house are portraits of me and Alex that we took before our ceremony!).
3. You'll Get to Your Your Reception Faster
Let's be honest, no one really like waiting around after the ceremony to get all the pictures done before entering the reception. Everyone is ready to get to the reception and party! Doing a "First Look" cutsout most of the wait time for you and your wedding party so that everyone can get to the reception faster and enjoy it longer.
From the Groom's Perspective
What is it like to do a "First Look" from the groom's perspective? Obviously every groom is different, but here's a quote from my husband, "We chose to do a first look, and boy am I glad we did! It made the day run so much smoother and gave us more time to get the shots we really wanted. Now some of those images are among our most cherished."
Here's a shot of my husband and I during our first look (captured by the amazing Naisang Photography):
If you found this post helpful or interesting please share it and leave your thoughts or feedback in the comments section below! Check back next Wednesday and I'll be sharing my next post in the "For Brides" series on how to get great "Bride and Groom Portraits."