What’s a first look?
First looks are relatively private moments where the bride and groom get a “first look” at each other, in their wedding attire, before the actual ceremony takes place. It’s typically a very emotional moment for the couple and usually produces some breathtaking photos. Pictures aside, it just gives the couple a beautiful moment to share with each other amongst the usual chaos of a wedding day.
What’s the point?
Some of you might be wondering, “Why would I have a first look?” It might seem like you’re just adding more to an already packed day, but a first look definitely has its benefits.
The moment lasts longer
The feeling you get when you see your fiancé for the first time on your wedding day, there’s nothing quite like it. It’s an incredibly special moment, and you have the right to enjoy it for as long as you want. If you wait until the ceremony, the moment really only lasts from the entrance to the altar, then boom, the wedding starts and it’s over. With a first look, you get much more time to hug, hold and kiss each other, while the photographer captures all of it. Then once the two of you are ready, you can go on to take your wedding and family portraits before the ceremony starts.
Calms the nerves
Your wedding day can be an emotional roller-coaster. Those final moments before the ceremony begins, will almost 100% leave you feeling stressed or flustered. So by the time you actually made it down the aisle, you can be a giant bundle of nerves. Now while having a first look means an addition to an already hectic day, it can actually have a very calming effect. Sharing a moment with your spouse before the ceremony can help relieve so much anxiety! It’s like one deep breath of air before the final push. There’s going to be a big wave of emotion as you see your partner, but once that subsides you should start to feel more relaxed. And trust me, that relaxation definitely shows in your pictures!
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Get portraits out of the way earlier
In most weddings, once the ceremony is over, there is a brief cocktail hour for guests while the newlyweds, bridal party, and close family have to run off to take portraits. Now, you would think this is enough time for this to be done, but you’d be surprised at how rushed the entire process can be. Before you know it, time is up and you have to get back to the guests at the reception. By scheduling a first look a few hours before the wedding starts, there should be ample time for the photographer to capture the moments between you and your spouse, as well as, the additional portraits with family and the bridal party. You know what that means? When the ceremony is over, you get to enjoy cocktail hour with everyone else!
Extra time to touch up for the ceremony
Now I wouldn’t wish this on any bride, but picture this. You decided that to wait until the ceremony to see each other. The ceremony has started and the two of you see each other for the first time. It’s a magical moment, but it quickly becomes overwhelming and before you know it, you’re crying. Not a few baby tears, we’re talking full blown ugly crying. You try to wipe away the tears, but all you end up doing is smudging your makeup. The ceremony is starting and there you are at your own wedding looking like a hot mess. Now picture the same scenario, but it’s a first look. You might still look like a hot mess, but thankfully you have another 20-25 minutes to go back and have your makeup retouched before the actual wedding starts. And like we said earlier, with most of the nerves out of your system, you’ll be so much more relaxed during the actual ceremony.
Q: Does a first look cost extra?
Q: How long will it take?
Q: Will I have time to readjust my makeup?
Q: Where do we take the pictures?
Q: Can our families be there too?
Q: Can we wear our rings for the pictures?
Q: Do we have to do family portraits after the first look, or can that wait until after the ceremony?
If you’re curious, here are a few first look portraits that I’ve taken over the years:
If you have any questions about first looks, just click the button above and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible!
For those of you who are curious about the idea of having a first look, I hope that this post gave you some good insight. Also, please don’t think that I’m trying to say, you absolutely need to have a first look done. If you and your spouse prefer to do things a bit more traditional, that is more than fine. It’s your wedding day and you have every right to plan it the way you want.