What even is a first look? I get asked this question often.
A First Look is when the couple getting married sees each other for the first time alone, before the wedding, with just their photographer and/or videographer capturing the moment.
I know this might seem like it breaks a sacred tradition, violates a taboo, or has become a bit cliché or cheesy. However, I have to say, over the years first looks have become one of my most favorite wedding day moments to capture.
With that said, here are my top five reasons why I think every couple should do a first look on their wedding day!
Wedding days can be hectic. Most of the day is spent getting ready with your bridal party, you have a beautiful ceremony, and then the party begins. You’re busy taking pictures with A LOT of people, like friends you haven’t seen since college and distant relatives. Doing a first look allows you to have so much more time (alone!!) with your fiancé on your wedding day. Waiting until your ceremony will reduce the few precious hours you are able to spend together on your special day, and even with the time you will have, you may not get much one-on-one or quality time together following the ceremony.
I have to admit: sometimes even I tear up shooting a first look moment. It’s so intimate and it never gets old. You’re about to commit your life to your true love, and that love is so evident when you see each other for the first time on your wedding day. It’s so precious when your groom can take his time and look at all of the detailing of your dress. There’s nothing sweeter than seeing a man swooning over his lady!
Are you nervous about walking down the aisle in front of a crowd? I’ve found that doing a first look actually tends to help calm pre-wedding nerves. Getting to see your fiancé and embrace them beforehand will help you to be solely focused on each other when you head into the ceremony.
Some brides worry that doing a first look will take away from the special moment when their groom sees them for the first time as they walk down the aisle, but this isn’t the case at all. Instead, it makes the moment much more special, because you just shared such an intimate moment right before the ceremony.
If you’re getting married in the late afternoon or evening, you should consider a first look. I always recommend that my clients keep an eye on the weather forecast and what time the sun will be setting leading up to their wedding day. You’re more likely to have better lighting for a longer period of time if you take your photos before your ceremony. That way, you don’t have to rush taking your formal before the sun goes down.
Also, if you’re getting married on a day with potentially rainy or overcast weather, the lighting tends to be better earlier in the day. Doing a first look before the ceremony will allow you to capture better lighting when there’s the possibility of difficult weather.
Related: How to Prepare for a Rainy Wedding in New England
Doing a first look means you’re taking most, if not all, of your formals before your ceremony, so you don’t have to spend as much time afterward. This means you get to dive right into celebrating once you’ve said: “I do!” Rather than spending your cocktail hour taking photos while your guests sip on yummy drinks and enjoy appetizers, you can join in the party!
So, what do you think? Is a first look for you?
Hit the button below if you have any more questions or considerations about doing a first look. I’d love to chat with you and help you figure out the best plan for your special day!
P.S. Want to know my other favorite wedding day moment? It’s the father-daughter first look. When Dad sees his girl in her wedding dress, there’s absolutely nothing sweeter to capture.