Love Stories

I have had the honor of photographing and telling hundreds of love stories as a wedding photographer in Chattanooga.  Please take a look around for ideas and inspiration for telling yours.

To Do or Not To Do: The First Look

You may have heard a lot of people talk about doing a first look on your wedding day.  So what is a “First Look” exactly?  It is arranging for the bride and groom to see each other prior to the ceremony.  It is sort of a ceremony on it’s own.  They way I handle a first look is so that it is a private, intimate moment for the couple.  Probably the only private, intimate moment they will have until they leave the venue for the evening.Groom sees bride for the first time during "first look"

You might be thinking “Oh no, I want us to have that moment. I want that moment when we see each other at the ceremony to be special. Besides, isn’t it bad luck?”.

Why is it worth it to break tradition?

  1. Privacy.  The moment can be private and intimate.  Immediately after you see each other I snap those reaction photos and then I step away.  I give couples some alone time.  You need time to check-in with each other.  It’s pretty much the only time you will have alone until after the reception!
  2. Double the special moments.  There is still time for suspense and anticipation to build. We schedule some separation in the timeline so that the moment you see each other at the altar it is just as special.  Two big reveals for the price of one wedding!  I’ve had few a brides choose to add their veil after the first look, so that there is a surprise at the altar.
  3. Time & Stress.  Doing a first look allows us to schedule the day so that things are relaxed and we have opportunity to be creative and have breaks. Breaks are fantastic when the weather is at one extreme or the other.  We can go inside to either warm up or cool off for a few minutes.
  4.  Spend more time with your best friend. You get to spend more of the day with your partner, your fiance!
  5. More party time.  Doing a first look means we aren’t spending 1-1.5 hours after the ceremony taking photos.  You get to your reception quicker so both you and your guests can eat and party!
  6. More photos.  To be frank, you have trusted your photographer with a substantial investment to capture your special day and a first look gives you the biggest bang for your buck.  On average, you will get 30% more portraits.  You will get a greater number and variety of photos when choosing to do a first look.
silly first look

Some people like to have fun with it! Daryl and Charlie had a First Look experience that was fun and full of laughs, a lot like their relationship.

As far as the bad luck thing goes, I don’t have a great answer if you truly believe in that kind of thing.  I don’t think there are any scientific studies about the evidence of divorce after “First Looks” vs “Traditional Looks”.  In light of that I don’t think I can make a valid argument, haha.

All of the being said, I always respect the wishes of the bride and groom.  I love for my couples do a first look on their wedding day, but if they choose not to go that route that is 100% ok with me.  I just like to provide everyone with accurate information before they make the decision.  We will still get a lot of great photos and you will have a great experience. Either way, I hope I helped you decide whether or not you should do a first look on your wedding day!

First Look
First Look

Hi! I’m Sarah Larae! Nice to Meet you!

Chattanooga Photographer
chattanooga wedding photographer

Thank you for visiting my blog!  I’m a wedding photographer based in Chattanooga and I would be honored if you took some time to look around my website to learn more about me and what I do.  You can see more of my work on the blog and be sure to follow me on Instagram!  If you are looking for a fun, bright, classic wedding photographer who prides herself on excellent client experiences head over to our contact page!

wedding couple kissing after wedding

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