First looks. Should you have them or shouldn't you? At every wedding consultation we have we make it a priority to discuss with our bride and groom the importance of a first look. Of course, if the bride and groom are absolutely set on not having one and taking the traditional route of not seeing one another before the bride walks down the aisle, we will totally respect that decision. BUT, let us share with you our 4 top reasons why we think having a first look is so important and then you can decide which direction you want to go. But, spoiler alert: there has yet to be a single bride and groom who have decided not to have a first look after hearing our 4 reasons!
It's your wedding day. You are about to make the biggest decision you have ever made and will ever make in your life. The decision to say "I do" to the most special person in your life. I can remember my wedding day. My nerves were sky high as I got my hair done, put my makeup on, and finally stepped into my wedding gown. BUT!!! I knew that in just a few moments I was going to get to see the only other person, besides my mom, that knew how to completely calm my nerves: the man I was about to marry. I walked up to him and instantly felt my nerves wash away as we embraced each other. He knew just what to say to me. After talking with him, I felt ready to take on the world...or at least our wedding day!
A busy day means no quiet alone time.
Wedding days are always full or excitement and bridesmaids and groomsmen run here and there, finishing last minute details and getting themselves ready. They are making sure everything is absolutely perfect for the bride and groom. Once the day starts rolling it pretty much escalates and rolls faster and faster, just like a snowball rolling down a mountain, until finally, at the end of the night once everyone is gone, the bride and groom get to be alone with each other as they exhaustedly fall into one another's arms. Do you really want to wait until the end of the day to share some quiet time together? I'm thinking your answer is no. That's why we love the first look. We photograph the bride as she walks up to her groom and we capture the look on his face as he, and only he, sees the woman of his dreams for the first time in her wedding dress. What a special moment to be shared between just the two of them! Then, here's the great part! We leave the two of you alone. Yes, just you and your man! This is your quiet time together. Enjoy it because it's probably the only quiet time you will get together all day! We, the photographers, promise to back away and leave the two of you alone to have that special intimate time with each other! Something you won't get without having a first look.
Makeup and freshness!
Think about it, you have just spent hours with your girls getting your hair and makeup professionally done. Everyone one looks simply amazing! Honey, you've never looked better! Now, ask yourself, how are we all going to look in 5 hours when it's time to take formal photos after the ceremony? Especially if the ceremony is outside in the heat and humidity, or perhaps a little passing shower went by as the ceremony was just beginning, you won't look as good. Yeah, I'm sure you'd probably be standing there wishing you had done a first look! You see, when you have a first look we are able to do all of the formal photos BEFORE the ceremony because the bride and groom can see each other, therefore, they are able to take pictures together. We love taking pictures as soon as everyone is finished getting ready. Everyone looks so fresh! There's not a hair out of place! The makeup looks absolutely perfect. There are no sweat marks on the guys' shirts from standing out in the sun during the hot ceremony. Oh, the list could go on and on. We have seen it all my friends! The first look provides you with the opportunity to have your professional formal photos taken while EVERYONE looks their best!
The "We're done! Let's go party!" problem.
What do we mean by this? Everyone has been waiting the entire day for cocktail hour to begin and anxious to get the party and dancing started! But wait! Oh, I'm sorry, we need you for at least 45 minutes before you can go cool off and get some drinks because we still need to do the formal shots. By now, everyone is hot, tired, and just done! We have done plenty of weddings where there was no first look and let me tell you, what a difference in the bridal party. When everyone feels great, looks great, and are still full of energy, they are ready and willing to stand there and have their pictures taken. Everyone is very compliant and willing to accommodate anything needed by the photographers. After the ceremony,...ah, not so much. But we get it! Who wants to stand around for pictures when you could be at the party?!!!
We like to use cocktail hour as family and friend portrait time and as overflow time to catch any photos we may have run out of time for before the ceremony. WOW, does this method really work well!
We have found in our 10+ years of photographing weddings that the entire wedding day runs so much smoother when there is a first look! We can't stress it enough! Again, we will totally respect your wishes if you want to stick with the traditional route of not having a first look. But just know, we have seen it plenty of times both ways and many, many, many of our brides have thanked us afterwards for talking them into a first look. There has never been any of our brides who have regretted making the decision to have a first look on their wedding day!
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