First looks might be one of my favorite parts of the wedding day. It always leads to the most heartfelt moment between the bride and groom, usually involving sweet tears & tight hugs. They have become increasingly popular over the years- and for good reason! I am sharing 6 reasons why you should consider a first look- from the perspective of a photographer & past bride.
First off- you may be wondering “what is a first look?”- it is when the bride and groom have a reveal with each other privately prior to the ceremony (with photographer/videographer there to capture it from a distance). It is a special moment for just the two of you, with no distractions around.
I believe couples should do what is best for them and I would never want anyone to feel pressured to do something that isn’t fit for them! These are just some thoughts that I want to share as a photographer & and a bride who chose a first-look, I hope that my unique perspective can help make others choose the best decision for them (:
1. More time together (& big bonus- more photos together!)
Who wouldn’t love more time on their wedding day with the person they’re marrying?! My personal favorite part about my first look was being able to spend more time with Ty. Believe it or not, time with just your groom is few and far between on your wedding day- but why does it have to be that way?! Shouldn’t you be able to have even just a little bit of time just you two? The first look gives you that time. And a bonus- more portraits! You pay a lot for a photographer to be there and by doing a first-look, you are able to knock our bride/groom portraits before the ceremony. Since we have more time to take them, you will end up with more bride/groom portraits.
2. Join cocktail hour
You spent a lot of money for drinks and food for cocktail hour- many couples don’t realize that if they don’t do a first look- they are spending cocktail hour taking photos (family formals, bridal party AND bride & groom portraits). If you do a first look you can knock out bridal party + bride and groom portraits before the ceremony, allowing you to attend almost all of cocktail hour so you can spend it with the ones you love! I absolutely loved spending cocktail hour with my family during our wedding, it was so special to be able to talk with all the family and friends who came.
3. Eliminates Nerves
So many brides and grooms are filled with nerves leading up to the ceremony. The grooms feel a certain pressure to deliver the emotions that the bride expects. Let’s face it- nearly every bride wonders if their groom is going to have tears when he first sees her. But can I be honest? I see tears from the groom way more from first looks than the walk down the aisle. And that doesn’t mean he isn’t emotional when you walk down the aisle, but grooms typically get very nervous with all eyes on him expecting tears… but there is way less pressure when it’s just you two during a first look. It allows you to freely show your emotions without worrying about all the eyes on you.
4. Walking down the aisle will still be so special (2 super special moments instead of 1)
Brides often think that if they do a first look, they are spoiling that special moment where they walk down the aisle- and I can say from experience (and talking to my brides who chose the first look) that it makes it just as special (if not more special!). I see the most emotion from first looks, and I promise the emotion is still there when you walk down the aisle during the ceremony! No matter what- that moment will still be emotional and special, with or without a first look. But if you do a first look you get TWO joyful moments like that!
5. A more intimate moment with no distractions
Going off of the #1- this moment is just between you & your groom. You don’t need to worry about anyone else at that moment. No distractions- just the special moment that will be so memorable. For me, it was my favorite moment of our wedding day.
6. Schedule runs smoothly
I can’t lie- wedding days can be chaotic! It isn’t uncommon for the schedule to run behind. I find that weddings with a first look run a lot smoother and don’t often get behind because the wedding timeline is freed up and more relaxed after the ceremony. You’ve spent so much time and money on your day- the last thing you want is to feel is rushed and stressed!
I hope my unique perspective was able to help even one bride decide whether a first look is right for you. And let me stress this again- It’s totally okay if it isn’t your thing! My job is to educate my brides to the best of my ability and I want to make sure my brides know that they can go this route if it’s what they want (: don’t let anyone tell you that it’s bad luck or wrong to do it (it isn’t bad luck! The history to why couples wait to see one another for the ceremony comes from arranged marriages… not as romantic as expected!)
Ultimately- Do what is right for you and your fiance- whatever it may be!