More and more couples are deciding to ditch tradition to see each other before the ceremony, also known as a “first look.”
Here’s how it usually works: We find somewhere away from the hustle and bustle of the day, a quiet, pretty spot to create a peaceful, private atmosphere. The groom stands in one spot facing away from the bride, and she comes up behind him, maybe tapping him on the shoulder or covering his eyes, and he turns to see her for the first time. I, as your photographer, am there to capture this wonderful moment and emotions.
Deciding whether it’s right for your day can be difficult for many couples, but there are many reasons to consider it:
1. Get rid of those pre-wedding jitters! Seeing each other before the ceremony usually calms the nerves and can help you feel more relaxed since you’re together for the rest of the day.
2. Time alone. The first look is shared by just the two of you (and your photographer) and takes place in a private spot instead of in front of a crowd. Because you’re alone, you can hug and cry, laugh and kiss. (something that usually doesn’t happen at the altar!)
3. Time for portraits. When you decide to see each other before the ceremony, it enables us to get some (or all) of those family and bridal party portraits out of the way. For most families and bridal parties, the cocktail hour usually isn’t enough time to take all the important portraits and still have time for photos of just the bride and groom alone. By taking those before the ceremony, your family and bridal party can head to the reception immediately after the ceremony to enjoy cocktail hour, and you will have plenty of time for romantic portraits of the two of you when the sun is soft and golden, and we won’t have to rush. Or, we can handle ALL of the portraits before the ceremony, and you can actually attend your cocktail hour to have more time with your guests! A shocking thought, I know.
I love a first look for all these reasons, but of course you should make your own decision based on what’s most important to you and the flow of your day! Every wedding is different, so talking about whether you’ll need or want a first look is an important conversation to have with your photographer. If you decide you do not want to see each other before the ceremony, there are still ways of taking photos before the ceremony to maximize our time for portraits in that golden hour once you’ve tied the knot.