I love photographing a couple’s first look. More than the planning logistics (which admittedly my Type-A personality enjoys), I love the private moments that are captured when a couple sees one another for the first time on their wedding day. All the planning is complete, you’re in your suit and dress, your hair is perfect, every thing is done! A first look is a breath of fresh air, a moment for just you and your spouse-to-be to take a time out and just spend a moment together.
I always encourage my couples to talk, kiss, and enjoy the moment. The focus should always be on you, and should feel completely natural. I once had a couple do their first look completely in private. They were able to enjoy an intimate moment together before their day officially started.
Weddings are beautiful and meaningful , but they can also be hectic! A first look is the antithesis of hectic. It’s a moment for you and your best friend to just take a moment together to just be in the moment. In a few short hours you’ll be walking down the isle, saying your vows, dancing the night away with your friends and family, and then – woosh! – just like that it’s over.
Some couples want to uphold the tradition of not seeing one another until the ceremony, and I totally understand and respect that. You can still have time for photos and have a relaxing day without a first look, it just requires a different set of plans. So for those couples planning a first look, or who are on the fence, here are five reasons to fall in love with a first look:
You get to spend more of your day together
This has to be the number one reason to do a first look – you get to spend all day with one another! Nothing can be better than that. All your planning has come to fruition and your wedding day is finally here. Who better to spend the day with than the person you’ll be spending your entire life with?
More time for photos
This, of course, is my favorite aspect of doing a first look. I get to have the couple all to myself for their photos, and then additional time to photograph the bridal party, and maybe even get the family photos done ahead of time. Couples who do a first look typically have 2-3 times more portraits than couples who don’t.
You will be able to spend more time with your guests
After your ceremony, you’ll be able to relax and greet your guests. You won’t feel distracted by meeting a certain timeline to make sure you get to your reception on time, or worry about getting all your family together for photos before they all make their way to cocktail hour.
You can go enjoy your fabulous party!
You’ve planned this fabulous cocktail hour and reception, so you should be able to enjoy it! Your guests won’t have to wait for photos to be done, and you’ll be able to join the party that much sooner. As a bonus, this gives me extra time to photograph reception details before the guests arrive.
Walking down the isle is still special
Walking down the isle is a special and emotional moment. A first look doesn’t diminish from that. Seeing one other before the wedding can be very calming. My husband and I saw one another before the wedding, and I know that it helped me feel more composed before the ceremony. This can be especially true for couples who aren’t as comfortable being the center of attention. Seeing one another before the ceremony can help keep the day in perspective, and make walking down the isle feel completely natural.