I’m going to go ahead and be frank. My PERSONAL opinion is heckin yes. 100%. Hands down.
Here’s why after photographing over 100 weddings, I will always recommend doing a first look.
So I promise I can see both sides. Heck, I did the traditional “don’t see the bride until you’re walking down the aisle”, at my own wedding! Which is why I’ve got a good sense of the honest to goodness pros and cons of the ever debatable situation.
Today I’m sharing Taylor & David’s first look photos. Theirs ALONE are enough to keep my beliefs in tact that a first look is the greatest thing ever. Keep scrolling and you’ll see why!
Ok, I’ll pause real quick and explain!
1. First looks give you a smoother/more photo-friendly timeline!
By opting with a first look you’re allowing yourself time to get ALLLLLL of the photos done before the ceremony even begins. I’m talking: Wedding Party, Family Formals and even a good chunk of your Wedding Portraits, if not all. That means once the ceremony is over you guys can actually mingle and ENJOY the cocktail hour you’re paying for. Also, usually after the ceremony it gives us a few quick minutes for some sunset portraits and by that point you’ve had a good break from the photos that you’re mentally ready to do a few more. Gone are the days where you have to stay put after the ceremony for 1.5 hours of photos when all you want to probably do is see your guests and party!
2. You get to pause on what is normally a very busy day and JUST BE with your soon to be spouse.
Honestly if the timeline wasn’t enough for you this right here is worth it’s weight in gold. I’m on the back end of these days so I KNOW how crazy they can get with getting ready and prep before the actual ceremony. First looks give you a chance to STOP and breathe. You get a chance to love on the person that means the most to you and probably the one person you really want to see! Once the ceremony takes place it’s back to back photos and/or you’re busy mingling/dancing etc if you don’t opt for the first look. Imagine having to wait until you’re plum tired at the end of the day to take a quiet moment alone with your spouse?! Oy.
By this point, Taylor & David were soaking in the moments and a few minutes of letting them be later they were ready to move forward with portraits.
3. It gets the nerves out and gives you a chance to be emotional!
After doing a first look most people are ready to go when it comes to photos. They haven’t been pushed right into them not really allowing themselves to let their feelings out. I know it’s not always super emotional for everyone but no matter how you react its only natural to be a little nervous when beginning photos. It can also put a lot of restraint on your emotions during the ceremony when you KNOW there’s 100 people staring at your face. No pressure, huh? This is a fantastic way to get it all out and become comfortable in front of me as well as your guests. Win-win right?
Alright, I’ve shared my piece. Now let’s hear it from some real couples!
Eve & Austin: “We did one and it was the best thing about my wedding day. It was the only time that was truly calm and peaceful all day, and I loved getting to see Austin’s reaction without a lot of other people watching us. My walk down the aisle was totally a blur because I was nervous about being in front of so many people, but I remember our first look perfectly because it was just us and nothing about it was nerve wracking. I also hated even being apart from him for the getting ready portion of the day so I can’t imagine if I had been separated from my best friend all day long on our wedding day of all days.”
Bonnie & Quinn: “I’m so glad we did out first look!! It took all pressure off the ceremony for me. Instead of being worried about how I looked, if my lipstick was still there, if the wind was blowing my veil around, or if my husbands hair looked good, I could just BE in the moment of our ceremony because I knew we’d at least have pictures where we looked perfect from the first look. It also gave my husband and I time to share in our joy and anticipation of the day! He hadn’t seen me in my dress and he was so excited to. He could show all his emotions with just me, that he would have a hard time doing in front of a crowd.”
Kelley & Matt: “I was hesitant about a first look because I thought it would take away from the moment walking down the aisle… But I’m so glad I did. It was one of my favorite parts about our wedding! I was so nervous, and it helped so much getting to talk and see my best friend beforehand. And nothing was taken away from the moment of walking down the aisle besides my nerves! After our vows, we were able to immediately visit with everyone, eat, and start dancing the night away! If you are on the fence, do it!”
Deanna & Justin: “I actually didn’t have a choice. We had to get all pictures done before the wedding because the wedding was at 5 in December so it was about to be DARK. I was very upset about it because I feared it would ruin “the moment” that every girl dreams about walking down the aisle. It didn’t AT ALL. My booty still cried both times. It was nice to have that special moment just us two because we didn’t get anymore alone time until we left our wedding. Let’s face it. Weddings are for the guests. But a first look is for THE COUPLE. A time where your fiancé gets to see you first, not with the audience. Your fiancé gets to lay their eyes on your first. That’s a special moment.”
There you have it folks! Thank you to the couples who shared their input on the real experience they had with a first look. At the end of the day if you still decide it’s not for you… THAT’S OK!! It is your day and I will do everything I can to make your day smoother no matter what. Scouts honor.