I had only been a photographer for two years when Weston and I got married. During that time, I photographed a small number of weddings. I quickly learned that weddings with first looks were generally much smoother. It influenced my decision to do a first look for my own wedding. Weston and I decided to do a first look for many of the reasons listed below.
In case you are unfamiliar with first looks, it’s a special time where the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony. Traditionally, it’s considered bad luck for the bride and groom to see each other before the ceremony. However, couples are choosing to kick superstition to the curb for many reasons.
You’ve planned your wedding day for months. You’re about to marry the most important person in your life. For me, I wanted to spend as much time with Weston as I could on our wedding day. After all, it was OUR wedding day. Shouldn’t we spend it together? This time together can also be emotional because it’s the first time you’re seeing each other in your wedding attire. It makes everything feel more real.
As a photographer, I want you to have as many photos as possible from your wedding day. If you do a first look, that doubles the number of photos you get with your new spouse. You’ll have time carved out before the ceremony for photos and also a short time after the ceremony. I love including the time after the ceremony as well because it’s usually close to sunset when the light is dreamy. It’s also your first photos as husband and wife, which are extra special.
This is a great option if you hate taking pictures and if you don’t want to keep your guests waiting for an hour after your ceremony. Once all the posed photos are taken, all you have to do the rest of the night is relax and enjoy your reception. Your guests will greatly appreciate it too because they usually have to wait to eat until after the couple arrives.
Many couples get nervous at the thought of standing in front of hundreds of people with all eyes on them. Some are perfectionists (like me!) and get anxious because they want everything to be perfect. I was so nervous at my wedding until our first look. Once I saw Weston and got to spend time with him taking pictures, I didn’t care about anything else. We were together and we were getting married. That’s all that mattered.
If you get all your must-have photos out of the way before the ceremony, it gives you the opportunity to spend more time with your guests and be fully present with them. Many of your guests have traveled to celebrate with you. There are people that you haven’t seen in years and some that you don’t see as often as you would like. A first look allows you to get to the reception sooner and celebrate with your guests.
Now that I have eight years of photographing weddings under my belt, I still think first looks are the way to go! Some couples still choose not to see each other until after the ceremony, which is perfectly fine. It’s your wedding day and you can choose to do whatever you’d like!
If you are already married, did you do a first look?
If you’re getting married, are you convinced to do a first look or are you going the traditional route?