September 2, 2020
Put your seatbelt on and get ready because I am about to discuss one of the things I am MOST passionate about when it comes to one of the most amazing and important days of a couple’s life!! First, let me preface this by saying that I do also speak a lot from personal experience when it comes to wedding days. My husband and I’s wedding didn’t go so well and looking back, I WISH, everyday, that time machine’s existed. Because if they did, our wedding would have looked A LOT different. One thing we would have done is a “First Look”, 10000000%. Ok, so why?
First, you have to understand from my point of view and keep it in consideration while reading about all the benefits of a first look. The thing you have to remember is this: I only had ONE wedding…. ONE DAY. I have taken photos of nearly 100 weddings….. Just think about that statement for a second. No one knows how their own wedding is going to go. We can only plan, plan, and PLAN SOME MORE and hope for the best! But why not plan your wedding in a way that allows you to truly bask in this amazing day, to enjoy it to the fullest WITHOUT worry, to experience it without STRESS in all its glory? Again, our day is long over. We can’t redo our wedding day. Therefore, my ultimate goal as I continue on my journey as a wedding photographer, is to present couples with amazing options for how they can experience their wedding days. Because, in my opinion, a couple’s wedding day should be one of the best days of their lives….not something they are wishing would just hurry up and get over with!!
Ok here we go, 10 reasons why I believe First Looks can be EXTREMELY beneficial to how a couple experiences their wedding day…..
Ok this point is specifically to gauge a couples expectations when choosing to hire a photographer, whether it be me or someone else, because they LOOOOVE their portfolio and they LOOOVE their bright and airy editing style! A very important thing to keep in mind is your ceremony time and the SUNSET time. Time and time again, couples who love my style tell me they are having their ceremony at 6pm and expect it to last an hour with the sun setting just after 7pm. I then will ask if they have thought about doing a first look or if they even know the benefits. There answer is almost ALWAYS no. In this scenario, there is NO time to capture their portraits in natural daylight hours. This is EXTREMELY important if you love bright and airy photos and plan on hiring a photographer for this reason! By doing a first look before a 6pm ceremony allows the flexibility to do all of your portraits beforehand in beautiful natural daylight! This, in turn, will ensure that you get those beautiful bright and airy portraits that you fell in love with to begin with!! 🙂
2. A Private Moment Between the Bride and Groom
I believe a lot of couples truly do not realize that on any given traditional wedding day, you don’t get a private moment alone together, with the exception of if you choose to have a meal in private before your grand entrance at the reception. However, this is still completely a different experience with choosing to do a first look before the ceremony. When you think about the tradition of the couple seeing each other for the first time as the bride walks down the aisle, the couple doesn’t even get to talk to each until 30 minutes to a whole HOUR later, depending on ceremony length. By choosing to do a first look beforehand, you again, have the flexibility to plan for as much TIME as you want together ALONE, without upwards of 200 eyeballs staring right at the two of you. You get to bask in the moment TOGETHER!! You get to hug, kiss, talk, tell each other how amazing you look, and then roll right into romantic portraits!!
3.More Variety in Your Portraits/MORE FOR YOUR MONEY
After the two of you are done sharing your private moment together, and again, there is freedom and flexibility with how much time that is, we then move into taking your bride and groom portraits. When planning to do a first look, you then have the flexibility to plan for MORE TIME for your beautiful bride and groom portraits. I have seen many weddings where unfortunately, the bride and groom’s portraits were more or less compromised due to the lack of time after the ceremony. In my humble opinion, I believe the portraits of the bride and groom are SO important and that couples should allot plenty of time to capture those WITHOUT rushing!! By doing a first look, you can easily plan this time and get so much more than what you would get if you saved all of the important portraits for after the ceremony. Couples that choose to do a First Look end up receiving twice as many photos with so much more variety within them, ultimately, receiving MORE FOR THEIR MONEY!
4.Opportunity to Complete All Portraits Before Wedding
This one sort of explains itself! But basically, when choosing to do a first look before the ceremony, you can create a wedding day timeline that allow the necessary time to complete ALL of your portraits including family formals and bridal party before the ceremony as well!! This is a beautiful thing because after your ceremony you can go straight to the reception and feel rest assured that everything is already done!! You can RELAX!!
5.Guests Won’t be Kept WAITING
This point is a direct play off of the previous point. By doing a first look, and then completing all of your portraits before the ceremony, there is no worry or fear of keeping your guests waiting at the reception! Yay!
6.Reduces Nerves, Anxiety, Stress
So this is something you truly will not know unless you experience it yourself. I can confidently tell you that by doing a first look it will help release some of the built up anxiety and nervousness because I have WITNESSED it… so many times in brides and grooms!! It’s easy to think and understand that you will have more time for portraits, you will have more time to create variety in your portraits, get everything done before the ceremony, and won’t have to keep your guests waiting…..but this benefit is truly something you won’t know until you feel it in the moment. Just picture this. Groom turns around and sees his bride…the two of them become overwhelmed with emotion and excitement, AUTOMATICALLY diminishing those nervous feelings. Because, here you are, in the moment, TOGETHER. It’s impossible to feel any other emotion than pure happiness to be in each others arms!!
7.Extends the Wedding Day
When I say “extends the wedding day”, it truly does. It makes the day feel longer in a GOOD WAY! When choosing to do a first look, the day actually starts a good 2 hours earlier than it would have by not doing a first look. When I look back at my own wedding day, it went by so fast and was nothing like I expected. I feel like it went by faster than I even had time to let it sink in so I could truly ENJOY it! This is just another benefit, in my opinion, of choosing to do a first look!!
8.Less Pressure on Groom
Ok this is a big one. So its only normal to get excited about how your groom is going to react to seeing you as a gorgeous bride for the first time. And I am equally speaking to the grooms as well to see it from their perspective! Consider this, and if your a bride OR groom, really ENVISION this moment…. so bride walks through the doors and the groom sees her for the FIRST time, all eyes are on the bride, then probably 2 seconds later, all eyes go straight to the groom. Speaking from personal experience, I personally didn’t care for the fact that everyone was looking at me as I was walking down the aisle to marry the man of my dreams!! And turning to my husband’s perspective, he’s actually an emotional guy and I KNOW he didn’t let his true reaction and emotions out on our wedding day because he could feel everyone staring at him!! I guarantee you, that if my husband and I would have done a first look before our ceremony, that moment would have been so much more sentimental and heart-felt because neither of us would have had that worry of everyone staring at us in the back of our minds! I believe, on a couples wedding day, the two of them should be all they are thinking of… no one else! To enter into a moment where it feels as if you are the only two on the planet is such a blessing that I truly believe gets compromised on traditional wedding days!
9.More Reception Time
This benefit plays a little into the point above about not keeping your guests waiting. If all of your pictures are done before the ceremony and after your first look, you then in turn don’t keep your guests waiting after the ceremony, thus, allowing MORE reception time!!
10.No Feelings of Being RUSHED
By doing a first look before the ceremony, you again, have the opportunity to create a timeline where its IMPOSSIBLE to be rushed. That is such a beautiful thing in my opinion. Not feeling rushed or stressed on a wedding day? Where is the nearest time machine? I’ll take it! When you don’t constantly have that “rushed” feeling on your wedding day, I believe you can experience it to the absolute FULLEST….beyond your wildest dreams! I guarantee it!!
Have I convinced you yet?! Haha! So if you considered all of the benefits of a first look and your heart is still leaning towards the traditional way, I will tell you what I tell ALL of my couples, whatever you decide is NOT WRONG!! It is your wedding day and I wish the best for every couple! However, my goal is always to make sure couples KNOW that they have OPTIONS for what their wedding days will look and feel like! Remember, it will only happen once and make sure to soak it all in and ENJOY IT…. no matter what!! Happy Wedding Planning!!