What is a First Look?

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What is a First Look? Do I need one?

A “First Look” is an intentional, meaningful moment between the bride and groom on their wedding day. Traditionally, grooms would see their brides for the first time when they walked down the aisle. Planning a First Look enables that once-in-a-lifetime moment to happen a bit earlier in the day, in a more controlled environment. Here are a few advantages to doing a First Look:

  • Privacy: rather than having “THE moment” of seeing each other for the first time be in front of the guests at the ceremony, the First Look enables the couple to be alone together (with the photographers a respectful distance away).
  • Prime Location: based on lighting and your venue, you can select a gorgeous location for your First Look, and have access to a wider range of areas (versus having these photos be at the altar, which you will get plenty of during the ceremony as it is).
  • Calmness: many couples share that having a First Look helped them feel more relaxed for the remainder of the day. The hustle and bustle of a wedding day can make even the most laid-back brides and grooms feel overwhelmed, and being able to see their future husband/wife early on makes a huge difference!
  • Emotions: couples often plan a First Look after considering the groom’s potential reaction. (If you’ve ever seen the movie 27 Dresses,you may remember that both Jane and Kevin share their favorite moment of a wedding: seeing the groom’s reaction to his bride).
    • Number one: that wonderful will reaction will also be captured during a First Look, and:
    • Number two: for some grooms, knowing an entire crowd is watching your reaction to your bride is a LOT of pressure! Some grooms value privacy and/or are wary of becoming emotional in front of so many people. Other grooms are not particularly emotional and don’t want the pressure of having to “react” a certain way, in front of a crowd of people. No matter where you fall on that spectrum, know that your reaction should be you and no one else. Your bride can read you like no one else can, and your photographers will capture your joy no matter how it may be displayed!
  • Efficiency & Enjoyment: planning a First Look means that you see each other before the ceremony…and that means that you can knock out all of your other posed photos before the ceremony even begins. After the First Look we typically go straight into Wedding Party photos, and finish up with Family Photos. That way, after the ceremony, everyone can relax and have fun without having to worry about being in an certain place at a certain time for more posed photos. After all, after the ceremony, you are officially married! At that point, it is a wonderful feeling to be able to relax and enjoy your guests. The photographers’ job at this point is to capture those unplanned, candid moments as you enjoy the remainder of your day.

If you and your fiancé feel strongly about honoring the traditional route, and would like to forgo the First Look, that is totally ok! Every year I have several brides who chose to do things this way. I will work out a timeline with you that both honors this wish, and also ascertains we have plenty of time for the rest of the photos as well. The most important thing is that your wedding day reflects YOU! Shoot me an email if you’d like to talk through your options!

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