Whether or not to take first look photos is a very personal decision that can only be made by the bride and groom, but as a professional wedding photographer I highly recommend it! The “first look” is an option to get together to see your groom for the first time before the ceremony and have that special moment photographed. Then we’ll take bride and groom portraits, and depending on your preferences, bridal party and immediate family portraits as well. In this way, we complete almost all of the group photos before the ceremony so that you are stress-free for the rest of your day.
There are several reasons why brides choose not to do the first look, and I’d like to address a few of those first.
First Look Negatives
- It’s against tradition and/or bad luck to see the bride before the wedding. The tradition of not seeing the bride before she walks down the aisle actually stems from ancient times when the marriage was arranged and the groom was going to see her for the first time, ever! How outdated and anti-feminist!
- It takes away from the magic of the groom seeing his bride walk down the aisle. This is simply not true. Your groom will be just as emotional seeing you walk down the aisle if he’s already seen you, if not more so! These are two completely different events, and both will be incredibly special no matter what!
Now for some reasons why I think first look photos are a no-brainer.
- Share this special moment in private- and get to actually enjoy it! Think about it- if the first time you see each other is walking down the aisle, you are sharing that moment with 200 guests and you don’t have any time to cherish it, say anything, kiss or hug. If you do a first look you’ll be alone to really enjoy that moment, your groom can tell you how beautiful you look, you can kiss and hug and just enjoy it- all while it’s captured forever on film!
- Have plenty of time for photographs. I need at an absolute minimum an hour in between the ceremony and reception to complete all the bride and groom and family photos. More time is preferred. Even with an hour, it will inevitably be rushed and we can’t get as creative with bride and groom photos. If you do a first look, we will have plenty of time to get almost all the photos out of the way before the ceremony, and then if time allows can take a few additional shots between the ceremony and reception. This allows for a ton of options, and we can get really creative with it! Also, this will alleviate stress for the rest of the day.
- It might be the only option, depending on available daylight. Check what time the sun is going to set! Depending on the time of year and the time of your ceremony, it might be dark afterward and the only time to get daylight photos will be beforehand.
- Enjoy cocktail hour with guests. If we get all the photos out of the way before the ceremony, you can go straight to the party after the ceremony, and don’t have to keep your guests waiting! You can even enjoy those hors d’oeuvres you paid for.
BONUS positive- extend your day together! It’s simple math that doing a first look = you get to spend additional time with your partner, never mind additional time with friends and family during cocktail hour. And isn’t that what the day is for?
Hopefully, these points will help you decide on the best plan of action for your wedding day! Click here
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