Should You Have a First Look?

Should you have a first look? This can be a question that can plague a bride. However, some know just where they stand.

What is a first look?

A first look is when the bride and groom see each other prior to the ceremony. Usually the first look is a private moment between the bride and groom (and of course the photographer) where they can get the pre wedding jitters over with without the company of their guests. Most of the time, the wedding party is not present at the time of the first look. An area that is low in foot traffic is the best place to have one.

why should I have a first look? (the pros)

Sounds untraditional doesn’t? Yes, it does. But, there is a purpose behind it. There are many varying factors that go into play on a wedding day and there are so many moving parts. The first look is good because it addresses a few key things which I will be pointing out here.

  1. First, your anxiety level. The anxiety level (butterflies, nerves) are extremely high for some brides the entire day up until the point that they see the groom. At that time, when the bride and groom see each other for the first time, the bride’s nerves go down and she is much more relaxed.

  2. You get to spend more time with your groom on your wedding day (instead of hiding from him). When brides have a first look, they will get to spend about 2-3 hours more with their groom prior to the ceremony.

  3. First looks affect the timeline. You get the majority of your portraits completed prior to the ceremony which means you can enjoy your cocktail hour.

  4. You get your photos done when your makeup is the freshest.

  5. You can take advantage of beautiful lighting during the day for your photos (if you’re ceremony is at sunset). You will have plenty of light for photographs.

  6. Walking down the aisle will be less of a nerve wracking and you may enjoy it more + take in the moment.

  7. You can have more time to hold on to the moment of seeing each other for the first time because you will be able to hug, kiss and cling to each other.

  8. You’re wanting larger family grouping photos and you will have time for this after the ceremony.

  9. You are having a receiving line after your ceremony which will take up some of the time in which portraits would normally be taken.

what are the downsides to a first look? (the cons)

Some brides do not want to see the groom prior to the ceremony. And that is perfectly fine. Here are some of the reasons why you may not want to have a first look.

  1. You just don’t want to go against tradition and you’re just not ok with that.

  2. Having more time for portraits of the two of you isn’t something that you want. You are ok with a handful of portraits only.

  3. Nighttime portraits is ok with you.

  4. You do not want to go to cocktail hour.

  5. Your family grouping photos are so small that they won’t take much time after the ceremony.

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