‘Why a first look?’ It’s one of those questions that couples arrive at sooner or later when they are planning a wedding. I have worked with a number of couples who have been uncertain as to whether a first look would diminish the emotional impact of the ceremony and, in all cases, the couples have found that they were grateful to have done the first look prior to the ceremony. Here are some reasons why all wedding photographers strongly recommend couples to have a first look.
#1 It Allows You to Express Your Feelings Freely
First, it allows you to have a special moment together and alone before the ceremony. Let’s be honest, weddings are crazy and chaotic affairs and the time will fly by. Setting aside time for the first look provides couples with the chance to slow down and appreciate their personal bond in an incredibly emotional day. One of my favorite memories from my own wedding is the first look! I love how it gives the opportunity for me and Brian to express our feelings freely in private. The moment we shared was peaceful yet so powerful. So here’s my advice-don’t shortchange your experience by skipping the chance to focus on each other.
#2 It Gives You 30% More Bride and Groom Portraits
Of course! There are also some practical benefits-you will get more 30 % more romantic portraits. These are typically photographs that are filled with authentic emotion. Photographs after the ceremony are often busy with the bridal party, family members and more. First look photos are just about the couple.
#3 It Buys You More Time
Doing a first look can extend your day by 2 hours! Getting some of the photos of the bride and groom out of the way also means that photographs after the ceremony are less rushed. Most weddings struggle to stay on a timeline and anything that you can do to get the photographs that you want in a relaxed manner will make the day (and your pictures!) better for everyone.
Trust me, you will want to spend more time hanging out with your friends and family on your wedding day! There’s so much to catch up especially if you are having a bigger wedding (more than 100 people). Honestly, I don’t want you to be stuck with me for the photos’ sake. I want you to HAVE FUN! LOTS OF FUN!
#4 Want to Make Your First Look Extra Special?
This is also a good time if you would like to exchange a surprise or gift. For those who are doing a church wedding, some couples will choose to have a personal vow during this time as this is the ONLY ALONE time throughout the day.
If you still are not convinced, there are other types of first look you could do instead of having a first look with you groom.
(Second Shot for The Soulful Lens)
Father-Daughter First Look
You can also use the first look to give other members of your family the opportunity to experience the day in a deeper more personal way. I always ending up tearing up behind the camera during father and daughter first looks. If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for your dad!
First Look with Bridesmaids
First look with bridesmaids are fun. If you have more than 5 bridesmaids, I would recommend doing a first look with them. It is a real gift that you can give to the people who have helped you get to this special moment. Give your best friends the opportunity to experience seeing you for the first time. It will be a sweet story to tell for many years to come. We had the most fun and authentic first-look-with-bridesmaids photos from Julia’s wedding!
In short, first look with your groom doesn’t take away the special moment of him seeing you down the aisle. They heighten the experience by allowing those most intimately involved in all of the planning and preparation to see the result of their hard work. It allows the bride and groom to share something personal and intimate moment and sets the emotional stage for the ceremony. So if you are uncertain whether you should have a first look, the answer is most definitely yes, yes, yes!