What's a "First Look" and why you should do it!

When I first heard about doing a “First Look” from my wedding photographer I knew it was the ideal situation for my wedding day, but I was worried I would be missing out. But I was soooo WRONG! Not only did Eddie and I share a First Look on our wedding day, I encourage all my future brides and grooms to do one as well! First Looks are amazing and SO incredibly helpful to photographers! Here are the top reasons I hear against wanting to do First Looks: 1. Family/ moms expectations 2. The Bride wants that WOW moment to be when she is coming down the aisle and 3. Way too non-traditional.

Well, my answer to brides and grooms that are thinking about doing a first look is:

I love families, buuuuutttt it’s your wedding and you do what you want lady.  

I also understand wanting him to be wowed as you come down the aisle. Understandable, I wanted that too! The thing is, he is still going to be “in awe” of you coming down the aisle no matter what. Eddie still cried his eyes out when I came down the aisle (seriously we even paused the ceremony for me to tell him to breath), even though we had seen each other maybe 20 minutes earlier.  The moment you walk down the aisle is so incredible that it doesn’t lose that feeling if you see each other before hand.  Eddie can attest that even though we saw each other, when I walked down the aisle, it was still the most memorable part of our ceremony.

True, this is a non-traditional concept but here some of my reasons you should consider it:

·      Your guests will not have to wait for you to arrive at your reception for sometimes over an hour! When do portraits after the ceremony, (family, bridal party, romantic portraits and then travel to the reception) that usually takes an hour and a half (yes it takes that long), sometimes longer if the couple wants a ton of awesome portraits of just the two of them! Because this is so time consuming, it often leads to rushed portraits and can cause unnecessary stress for the Bride and Groom because they aren’t enjoying their portraits together, they are worrying about their waiting guests.

·      A first look allows you to have some alone time. 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. And for me it’s so awesome getting to be there and document it.  This is a time when you get to love on each other, for the groom to tell his bride how beautiful she is. AND as a bonus this moment serves as a once in a lifetime photo opportunity for me. You look amazing and this is a chance for your groom to tell you, versus waiting till after the ceremony.

·      Couples that choose a first look end up with about 40% more portraits than those who do not opt for the First Look. PLUS the bride’s makeup is still intact (sometimes tears from the ceremony can require a makeup touchup and this can take 15 minutes).

·      It calms both of your nerves, but this is especially huge for the groom. Eddie and I talked about it after the fact and he was in full freak out mode until we had our first look. ALL grooms that have experienced a First Look admit that seeing their bride beforehand eases the wedding day shakes and allows them to relax and enjoy the ceremony!

·      Finally, 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. AND you end up with more portraits than couples who don’t opt to do a first look.

Attention all late fall, winter and early spring brides…. you will most likely run out of great light for portraits after your ceremony. A First Look is a great solution for this issue!!

So while it is clear that I love first looks, I never absolutely never pressure my couples into doing them. I always give them the reasons why it’s a smart choice but if they really aren’t interested, OK. It’s their wedding day! It’s my job to make them happy and to help them have a great time and a solid schedule for pictures. It’s your decision, no judgement. I’ll make your day as perfect as possible. I get that it is a BIG decision but I have never had a couple that wasn’t happy that they decided to go for it!