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.
You might be thinking “Oh no, I want us to have the moment when we see each other for the ceremony to be special. Besides, isn’t it bad luck?”.
Many brides struggle over the decision to do a “First Look”. So why is it worth it to break tradition?
- Privacy. The moment can be private and intimate. Immediately after you see each other and I snap those reaction photos I step away and give couples some alone time and time to check-in with each other, pretty much the only alone time until after the reception!
- 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 alter it is just as special. Two big reveals for the price of one wedding! I’ve had few a brides choose to not add their veil until after the first look, so that there is a surprise at the alter.
- 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.
- Spend more time with your best friend. You get to spend more of the day with your partner, your fiance!
- 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!
- 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.
As far as the bad luck thing goes, I don’t have a great answer for you 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” to have a valid argument, haha.
All of the being said, I always respect the wishes of the bride and groom. I prefer my couples do a first look, but if they choose not to go that route that is 100% ok with me. I just like to provide everyone with the accurate information before they make the decision. We will still get a lot of great photos and you will have a great experience with or without a “First Look”.