Your wedding day is going to be full of countless modern and historical traditions that add to the experience for both you as a couple and your guests. One modern tradition during your wedding day that is highly debated across the internet is whether or not you and your spouse should do a first look.
My answer is always going to be: YES! You should consider doing a first look before your ceremony. But, before I get into all of the reasons why a first look should be included in your wedding timeline, let’s talk about what exactly a first look is.
The first look is a modern tradition where the couple purposefully see one another for the first time on their wedding day prior to the ceremony. This is a one-on-one moment between the couple so that the two can enjoy a second to pause before the ceremony and spend some time with one another before all of the wedding festivities begin. During the first look, the soon-to-be newlyweds are in their wedding attire and often are showing their outfit to their spouse for the first time.
In my experience, first looks can be an emotional time for you and your spouse. If I am being completely honest, you will sometimes catch me wiping away a tear while photographing this beautiful moment. It is the first chance for you to see your lover after a long morning of getting ready, and you can take this time to remember why you are here in the first place–to celebrate your love.
First looks allow me more time to capture pictures of just you and your spouse. I will be able to deliver up to 40% more portrait photos to you after the wedding if you opt-in on a first look. Intimate couple portraits taken during a first look allows us to focus on family and bridal party pictures after the ceremony.
When you invest in a photographer for your wedding day, you are paying for pictures of the bridal party, your guests, your decorations, but most importantly pictures of you and your spouse. But lets face it, out of all of the pictures of the two of you that I take throughout the day, the first look portraits will matter the most. The first look pictures will likely be the ones you print off to hang in your home and they will be the shots you share on every birthday, anniversary, or special occasion.
With a first look, you make the most out of your photography investment, they give you more bang for your buck!
First looks serve as a type of insurance to you in the case of rain on your wedding day. As much as we try to predict the weather, rain can truly be one of the most unpredictable aspects of your wedding day. If it happens to rain during your ceremony, the window of opportunity for bright and glowy portraits has passed. However, if you chose to share a first look, you have already taken a majority of your couple portraits!
Rain is not the only delay that could hinder portraits getting done after the ceremony. Be proactive and choose a first look to get ahead of any unpredictable issues that could hinder your photography timeline!
Something that I always hear couples talk about when evaluating their wedding day is how little time they enjoyed together. First looks give you and your spouse that one-on-one time together you might not get otherwise. You will get to have intimacy during your wedding day with your favorite person.
Imagine this: you build up this moment to see the love of your life for the first time as they make their way down the ceremony aisle. They come to you, and you cannot wait to tell them how amazing they look. But then you realize, you do not have the opportunity to touch them, embrace them, or even speak to them. You wait an eager thirty minutes during the ceremony to share how blown away you are by their appearance. But, before you can share your thoughts, you are swept away to get more pictures done with family. First looks cut out this awkwardness and allow you both alone time before the chaos begins!
When I shoot weddings, often first looks are a couple’s favorite part of the day. They get a chunk of time to be with the one person this entire day is about–their spouse. My couples get to enjoy each other freely. They cry a little, laugh a little, and get the best pictures together during this portion of their wedding day.
You both will get to truly enjoy the rest of your wedding day if you choose to do a first look.
When you first book with me, and we discuss your photography investment, I always urge couples to choose a first look. I explain how nerve wrecking the wedding day can be, and how beneficial this moment is for the two of you to take a breath and prepare for the festivities ahead. Usually, my brides love the first look idea for its practicality! It is generally grooms that I have to convince a little more to hop on board.
Grooms often believe that a first look is not necessary because they will not be nervous on the wedding day. However, in my experience this is not the case at all. Everyone is nervous on their big day! Parents, families, bridal parties, and the spouses are all going to have jitters the day of the ceremony. Utilizing a first look will help release some of these built-up nerves and allow you both to get it all out before the wedding festivities.
Doesn’t that sound pretty perfect… Your wedding day, stress-free, and time for the two of you to be alone and together!
The best thing about getting portraits done towards the beginning of the day: you feel your best! You and your spouse will have fresh faces, fresh outfits, and fresh smiles. First looks give you time to get those jitters out and you both will feel your best for the rest of the day. This moment gives you alone time, where you and your spouse can be with one another without any other eyes on you.
There has been a time or two (or most of them!) where my couples need to touch up the mascara and fix the hair after portraits are over. If you wait on portraits until after your ceremony, there is virtually no time for a reset if anything went haywire during! Of course you will both look stunning all day long, but first looks give you time before the ceremony to reset. Be proactive and choose a first look to ensure you look and feel your very best all day long!
If you choose to opt out of a first look, that is totally okay with me! This is YOUR wedding day, and I want your day to go as you want it to. Please do not feel pressured to alter your ideal wedding day! I know that you have researched this thoroughly and are making the best decision for you.
Are you ready to book your wedding with me and have the best first look experience you could ever imagine? Get in touch with me here!
I am SO happy that you are here! If you are new here, I am Wedding and Portrait photographer based out of Jacksonville, Florida. I love documenting love stories and here you will find lots of them while also coming across portrait sessions and wedding tips. So please, sit back, kick your feet up, and stay a while!