What is a "First Look" and Do I Need One?

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What is a "First Look?"

In its simplest form, the “First Look” is the first time a bride and groom see one another before the wedding but after they are fully dressed and ready for the day.

While you can easily “Google” the term, we have many reasons why to have a first look for the sake of your photographs.

Why should I plan one?

Enjoying your moment.

A first look allows you and your soon-to-be spouse to share the first moment you see one another in a private, intimate setting unlike at your wedding ceremony. No matter which way you choose to see your other half for the first time on the day of your wedding it will be filled with emotion. The question we suggest you ask yourself is whether you want it to be a moment between the two of you or between the two of you and all of your guests.

Calming your nerves.

Many times a bride and groom choose to spend the night before the wedding apart. That separation can feel like a lot combined with all the activity of your big day. Many times anxiety can build and simply seeing one another can get rid of all those pre-aisle jitters. You are marrying your best friend after all, who could possibly be better at easing your fears or calming you down?

Timing is everything.

A first look allows ample time for bridal portraits. Scheduling the first look earlier in the day than the ceremony allows for creative portraits to be captured of you and your new husband or wife. Many times without the first look there are things that must be compromised later in the day to capture creative portraits.

Being a part of your party.

In addition to allowing enough time for creative portraits of you and your wedding party, planning a first look pre-ceremony allows the rest of the day to progress fluidly with minor interruptions. You will be able to enjoy your day at the same pace as your guests. Without a first look, we, as your photographers will have to “kidnap” you at some point during the night or before the reception – which means less time with your guests.

Keeping guests in check.

Typically if we don’t schedule a first look it happens between the ceremony and the reception. This is also the time that your guests will most likely begin enjoying adult beverages – and with that comes hunger. The longer we make your guests wait between the two the crabbier (and more intoxicated) they will be when we return. If you choose not to do a first look, be sure to plan hors d'oeuvres or an activity to keep your guests busy.

Our best advice is to simply sit down and prioritize the pieces of your day that mean the most to you. If seeing your new spouse for the first time walking down the aisle is something that you hold in high regard, it might make sense to forego things like “barhopping” and socializing between the ceremony and reception to allow time for portraits of the two of you, your family and bridal party after your ceremony.

At the end of the day, it’s your day and we are here to help you plan for the day no matter what you decide. Not sure if you will have enough time for portraits between the ceremony and reception? We would love to take a look at your wedding day timeline and let you know what might need to be tweaked.

Good luck planning!