As photographers we not only get to capture all the special moments throughout a wedding, but a huge part of our job is to create a timeline for our couples to help the day flow as effortless as possible. As a newly engaged couple (yay!) maybe you keep hearing talks of a first look but you don't really know what it is or why you should do it. Well we are here to break it all down for you to help you make the best decision for your big day!
Firstly, what is a first look?? A first look basically just means you and your spouse will see each other before the ceremony. Traditionally the couple will wait until the bride is walking down the aisle to see each other for the first time, but recently first looks have been incorporated into the timeline and we are all about it.
So maybe you are thinking, "But I have dreamed of my wedding day my whole life, and I always envisioned my future husband tearing up as I walk down the aisle!" I totally understand, I always envisioned the same thing! Now that I am on the other side of the camera, and get to experience all these beautiful first looks, I honestly wish I could go back in time and schedule a first look.
1. Calm the Wedding day Jitters
Lets face it, EVERYBODY gets the wedding day jitters. Whether its due to excitement, nervousness, hoping everything will turn out the way you spent so long planning, or if you're like me, just being terrified you will fall on your face walking down the aisle! If this is you, I TOTALLY understand, and it is completely normal! If you especially struggle with nerves, or your partner does, having a first look is perfect because it will give you the opportunity to calm those nerves with your them before everybody sees you. Most of the nervousness and excitement is built around your significant other seeing you for the first time, so getting to see each other earlier will help ease the nerves for the rest of the day!
2. Alone Time
Everybody says that your wedding day will fly by so quickly, and its TRUE. As much as we wish weddings could last forever, unfortunately they can't. Not only that, but most weddings don't start till 4 or even 5 o'clock! Which means on your wedding day you have spent almost the entire day and haven't even seen your fiance yet! Scheduling in a first look a few hours before the ceremony allows you to have some alone time. Maybe you want to pray together, or just talk about how the day has been so far and how you're feeling. This would be the time to do it, and sneak in a few kisses before the ceremony! :)
3. More time with Guests
Along with the reason above, if you do the first look before the ceremony, that means you can do all the bridal party photos BEFORE the ceremony as well! On a traditional wedding timeline bridal party photos and family photos are scheduled during a cocktail hour for the guests. Sometimes, if not most, photos take longer than expected, and then you have to bustle the dress, leaving you walking into your reception later than planned. While this really isn't a huge deal, it does mean less time you get to spend with all those family members you barely get to see, or ones who traveled far to come!
4. Safer Option
Weddings are known to always have something go wrong sadly. So while planning if its possible to cut out any risks then I would take it! Planning a first look could mean avoiding timeline delays, so less time for photos, or family members wandering off during family photos, which takes more time away from just bride and groom photos. Or possibly even the weather forcing your bride and groom photos to be taken inside (which we would hope never happens!). When you lump in bride and groom photos, with family photos and bridal party photos, there is a good chance that time could be limited due to unforeseen circumstances. If you schedule a first look, then you can confidently know you will have a time frame JUST for the two of you!
5. More Photographs
Lastly, but surely not least, is our favorite reason as a photographer! (can you blame us??) You get more photos! As mentioned before if you do a first look before the ceremony we are able to knock out all the bridal party photos and bride and groom photos ahead of time. This always seems to flow the best on wedding days, and also is less stressful on the bridal party. Another plus being that the bride and bridesmaids have spent almost all morning getting ready, so the earlier the photos, the best their hair and makeup is going to look! So on top of having a more relaxed time doing the bridal party photos before the ceremony has even started, we can also schedule another few minutes during sunset for even more bride and groom photos!
If I haven't convinced you by these points, please reach out to family members or friends who have done a first look and see what they say! I don't think I have met any couple who regrets doing a first look. They can be magical and emotional, but most importantly, personal. Seeing your spouse for the first time on your wedding day is something almost everybody thinks about, and what better way to do it than by yourselves in a quiet, private area?
We hope you enjoyed these reasons, and would love to hear your reasons for doing a first look, or if you did have one at your wedding please share below!!