What exactly is a first look?
A first look is an intimate moment shared between the bride & the groom where they choose to see each other for the first time hours BEFORE the ceremony. It is a pre-arranged in a private place between the couple and the photographer.
"But I want the first time that he sees me to be when I am walking down the aisle..."
We get that, too! In our experience, even couples who choose to do a first look show just as emotion, if not more when the groom sees the bride walk down the aisle. When the groom sees the bride walking down the aisle for the first time, he is in front of his closest family and friends, he will experience a whole other level of emotion just by being surrounded everyone when he his bride makes her entrance. It is a completely different feeling and we have NEVER heard of any of our couples "regret" doing a first look before.
There are many reasons to consider a first look and they are all different depending on how you envision your wedding day and what is important to the both of you. Personally, when I was a bride for a day I chose to do it because I have very high anxiety. I knew that when I saw John for the first time it would relieve my anxiety and pressure that I had about walking down the aisle. I knew the comfort of his arms was a place I needed to be before the big "I do" and it was the only way to get me to relax.... and SERIOUSLY, check him out below - he STILL cried like a little, handsome baby even though he had already seen me. You would have never guessed!
It saves you a lot of time for photos and you're not rushing through your cocktail hour!
Normal photos to be expected in 60 minutes of cocktail hour at ceremony site & other locations: bride/groom, bridesmaids, groomsmen, wedding party, family.
If you knock out your first look, this gives you time to get those pictures captured, as well as your formal bride/groom portraits & your whole wedding party! This even allows you to have some time to breathe and touch up your make up, eat an appetizer, take a shot of tequila with your new spouse, or bustle your dress.
You can pick who gets to be present for that moment.
It doesn't have to be just the bride, the groom, and the photographer. Some of the best first looks are when the family and wedding party can peak through a window and experience it with you, without the pressure of the ceremony timeline. Trust us - it is SO sweet to see a mother or father's joy when they get to preview a moment like this!
Winter weddings, say no more!
It sounds crazy to base this decision off of a season, right? Wrong! With a standard winter ceremony start time, the amount of sunlight you have is very limited. This goes back to making sure you are able to get ALL of the photos that you want in natural light. If you've done first look, bride/groom portraits, wedding party, then this gives you the perfect amount of time during cocktail hour to finish up with family, end it with golden hour/sunset photos, and take a breather.
I just can't get on board with him seeing me beforehand. What are some other options?
Okay, fine, we can't talk you into a first look, but if you still want to incorporate well captured moments into your wedding day timeline, we've got some ideas!
- First look with your father/mother
- First look with your bridesmaids... or groomsmen?! Guys need to feel the love too!
- First look with your dog - we've seen it done! And it's THE BEST!
- First touch - let the photographer pick the boundary; a corner, back to back, a door, etc.
- Sharing of vows or a prayer - same concept, but a good way to keep the distance and still calm the nerves!
We like to call this one
Here are the list of supplies you'll need to pull this off, if you're taking notes:
What are some of the first looks you have witnessed, photographed, or experienced? Comment your faves!
And don't forget we are taking blog topic requests! Is there a topic you want to hear more about while you plan your wedding? Is there a color palette, specific venue, or overall wedding flow you want to see more of? We want to hear from you!