July 19, 2017

Should you do a ‘First Look’ on your wedding day?

FILED IN: Weddings

To Do or Not do a First Look on your big day…? After photographing some First Looks, talking with other brides, and studying wedding trends, I wanted to list out not only what a ‘First Look’ is, but also some reasons why you SHOULD do one with your soon-to-be spouse. Personally, my husband and I did not do a first look with one another before our wedding ceremony. Our day was still dreamy, unforgettable, and went by smoothly. I want to chat though, from a photographer’s perspective on the benefits of seeing your special person before the ceremony and how it can even enhance your wedding photos. We all want great photos right!?

So, what Exactly is a First Look?

Wedding traditions change over the years, and we know each culture has different practices for wedding day etiquette. Today, some people still believe that it’s bad luck for the groom to see his bride before the wedding. Aside from past tradition and superstitions, several couples do a First Look with each other moments before their ceremony. A First Look is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a time during the day that the two get to see each other and have a private moment. This has now become very popular, and it’s super special.

I’ve come up with some reasons why this special time can be so magical. (and about the bad luck thing– the couples that I know who did First Looks are all still happy, still together, having kids and all– just saying)

  1. A First Look can calm your nerves:  If you get anxious easily, then seeing your significant other can be soothing and somewhat reassuring. Sometimes, brides can work up internal stress before the ceremony — hey it’s your huge day — so when you see your hubby-to-be, it can lift a weight off. You have all these butterflies built up, and you get to release them with each other — and don’t worry, you get them all over again! After the first look, it seems that brides are more at peace. The rest of the day is a piece of cake. Literally
  2. Doing a First Look can secure a healthy wedding timeline + opportunity for more pictures:  This is my favorite pointer. Getting those beautiful ‘bride and groom’ photos is one major thing crossed off of your wedding day timeline. Yay! If that happens, you can even get to your reception sooner. Get the most out of the vendors you’ve invested your money into. You can plan your heart out to have the smoothest day, but wedding days don’t go 100% as perfectly planned most of the time. There will always be things beyond your control such as; important people running late, bad weather, missing rings, lost shoes, etc. Though if you decide to do a first look, you can bet that you will have stunning photos of you and your future spouse secured earlier in the day. During that awesome time, you can get a ton, if not the majority of your bride & groom photos as well as pictures of the full bridal party. Then, get more romantic ones later during golden hour. You won’t be rushed! I want my brides to get stunning pictures before they’re tired and just ready to party. After all, your wedding photography is all that remains after your huge day. If you like numbers and facts, here are some recent stats according to a poll of 100 newlywed brides—conducted by New York Magazine: More brides say they wish they had budgeted a larger amount of money for their wedding photography. Huffington Post 
  3. The feelings won’t go away if you do a First Look:  You might be thinking, “Well, if I see him once already during the day, then seeing him as I come down the isle won’t be that special…”. Trust me, if you two are crazy about each other, and there are real emotions there already, they will come out! Seeing each other in your time together before your ceremony is very different from seeing each other with everyone else watching during the ceremony. Your wedding day will go by fast — that’s an understatement. There will be so much excitement and so much going on. Doing a first look can give you more time and flexibility to get most of the posed (and Pinterest attempt) photos out of the way. In return, you could be more relaxed, present, and in the moment with your guests for the remainder of the day. Of course, it’s different for every couple. Personally, on our wedding day, as I came down the isle, I was so stunned. I was in such a “Ok let’s go!” mode, I took in EVERYTHING – not just my future husband. I was stunned with how many people were there, the smiles, the music, the birds chirping, our outdoor venue, my dad’s arm, my bouquet placement, making sure I didn’t trip, etc! I don’t regret not doing a first look – again it’s different for every couple – but it is an amazing, unmatched time. 

Know that your wedding day will be special, regardless of choosing to plan a First Look or not. I just wanted to share some honest benefits that I have experienced with photographing precious times that brides and grooms have with one another before the ceremony. I’d be glad to chat more and make some wedding day magic with you!

xoxo ~ Sydney

{Featured Wedding above:  Aaron & Verrio Keese//Lighthouse Venue }

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