One of the big decisions a couple has to make with their photographer is whether or not they should do a “first look”. A first look is when the bride and groom see each other prior to the ceremony. It’s often a private moment for the bride and groom where they get to see each other before the ceremony and the rest of the wedding day, which moves very quickly.
If your heart is set on not doing a first look because you want the emotions of the moment of seeing your bride walk down the aisle, then I totally understand this. When deciding between having a first look or not and what the pros of it are, there are really no cons. My goal is not to sway you one way or another. My hope is just to give people who are on the fence some options!
Here is an outline of three pros to having a first look on your wedding day.
#1: Maximizes the best light for bride and groom portraits
- Doing the first look before the ceremony allows you to take a lot of photos, which in turn gives you more time for bride and groom portraits during the hours with the best light.
- Before the ceremony starts you can do all of the bridal party photos, immediate family photos — you can do as many family photos as you want.
- This frees up cocktail hour, which is usually when the sun is about to set and we can utilize the best light for bride and groom portraits, which is a huge plus.
#2: Eases your nerves to enjoy the day!
- Couples who opt to do a first look typically are much more relaxed going into the ceremony and the rest of the day because they’re doing it all together. And, that’s just a huge, huge plus for everyone. You can be at peace and enjoy your wedding day more, and it’s a pro for me because your photos end up better!
- If you’re someone who is already anticipating being nervous or anxious about your wedding day, the first look eliminates all of that. You’re able to spend more time with your groom on your wedding day, which helps to calm the both of you and just enjoy the day.
#3 Maximizes the hours of your timeline
- Because we’re able to squeeze in a lot more before your ceremony starts, couples will typically book me for between six and eight hours.
- If you don’t do a first look, chances are you we will be spending a lot more time on the back end, and so you’ll just need me there for more hours.
- If you’re someone who has a tight wedding photography budget, I would recommend going with a first look. That way you can get all of the photos that you want and need.
- If you need help organizing your wedding timeline, I have a sample one for you right here!
So, those are my three reasons for having a first look, but ultimately it’s about you and the experience you two want!