First looks are becoming more and more popular and there are many reasons for that! I know it’s traditional to not see your future-husband before the ceremony, BUT hear me out on the reasons why I think you should at least consider doing a first look. I have a few spreads in my bridal guide that explain what a first look is and why it might be a good option for my brides, and I wanted to share some of that information here on the blog as well. Many of my brides who were very opposed to first looks actually changed their minds after reading my reason for loving them!
A Private Moment
The biggest reason I recommend doing a first look is so that you can have a private moment with your soon-to-be husband right before you vow to love one another forever! This moment is so special and could be the only time you have alone before your grand exit. Wedding days are full of family and friends wanting to celebrate you – and thats a great thing! It’s such a blessing to have them there with you. But it also means that you probably don’t get a chance to really relax and share this excitement just the two of you. First looks allow you to have that moment together.
When my couples do a first look, I find them a secluded spot where they won’t be interrupted. I set the groom up looking away from where his bride will be so he still gets that first reaction moment when he turns around and sees his beautiful bride! While the groom is waiting, I get the bride set up, do a dress fluff, and then walk back to give the couple some space. I tell them to take as much time as they need to talk, laugh, and cry together before we start portraits. I want to make sure this is their moment so I use longer length lenses that allow me to capture the emotion of the moment without intruding on their space.
My husband, Seth, and I did a first look and I am so glad we did! We decided to take a few minutes and share hand written vows to one another during this time. It was so sweet to make that personal vow together before we stood in front of our families and said the traditional vows. Your first look is YOUR time, so take advantage of it! Share notes together, exchange gifts, pray together, whatever will make this time the best possible. It’s completely up to you!
More Portrait Time, Less Stress
From a wedding photography standpoint, first looks give you much more time. It gives us time to take couple portraits before the ceremony, take bridal party portraits, and maybe even some small family portraits if you’d like. That way, after the ceremony we just have family portraits and then some final bride and groom photos before the reception! It gives us that extra time we need in case something runs late, and it also gives us additional portrait time. Wedding days can sometimes feel rushed, and it’s important to remember what photos are going to be important to you down the road. For most of my couples, their portraits are a priority. So, we spend the most time taking these photos getting a variety of locations around the venue, poses, and photos including bouquet and veil combinations. I want to give my couples tons of portraits to choose from!
All of that being said, if you would rather not see each other before the ceremony, that is totally fine! This is your day and plenty of people go the traditional route. If this is the case for you, but you still want to get tons of portraits, plan for your ceremony to be a bit earlier, or to leave the reception for sunset portraits. That way we can still have a variety of bride and groom portraits!