I’ll be honest, I didn’t always understand why some photographers LOVE the first look. You may be wondering the same thing, especially if your wedding photographer is encouraging you to do one! After photographing many weddings both with and without a first look, I am totally sold on them. Let me share why I recommend doing a first look on your wedding day, and how versatile they can be!
I know that all brides dream of that moment when their groom sees them walking down the aisle and begins to cry happy tears. The truth is, though, a lot of grooms are too nervous and uncomfortable to cry in front of a crowd of people for that two-second window! Those same grooms, however, might cry and get emotional during the first look.
The first look is a special moment with just the two of you, without any rush or expectations. It can be a special time before the ceremony when you two can see each other and read vows in front of each other without the pressure. It can be a really meaningful experience.
Another reason that I recommend doing a first look is because it makes more time for pictures. When you have guests flying in for your wedding, why skip cocktail hour if you don’t have to? The wedding day can fly by in such a whirlwind. When there is no first look, the majority of the wedding photos need to be take right after the ceremony.
Family pictures are usually take before everyone isn’t around and go to cocktails hour. Next is the full bridal party shots followed by the bride and groom portraits. This typically runs into cocktail hour. If you do a first look, you open up time to take some of these pictures before the ceremony (excluding the bride and groom sunset portraits of course). This allows the couple to make the most out of the cocktail hour and enjoy quality time with their guests.
Last, doing a first look lets you avoid the stress of inclement weather. If you’re expecting poor weather on your wedding day. Doing a first look opens up your options to take pictures whenever the weather allows! Especially for natural light wedding photographers like me, that flexibility is so helpful.
Now that we’ve established WHY you need a first look, let’s talk about HOW many first look options there are! Can you do a first look with more than just your groom? Yes!
Dad and daughter first looks are one of my absolute favorite moments to document. For a lot of dads, this is when everything sinks in that his baby girl is getting married today. These are precious moments to photograph and I highly encourage any Daddy’s girl to make time in their big day for this moment.
Another fun idea is a bridesmaid’s first look with your girls! Basically, you’ll get into your gown and accessories in a room separate from the bridesmaids, sisters, mom, etc. You will get help from your maid of honor, mom, or sister.
From there, I’ll organize the big reveal with your girls where they see you all at once. You can expect lots of squeals, hugs, and happy tears!
Including a first look in your timeline can be so helpful for so many reasons. I highly recommend it! Let’s talk about your wedding day and how we can make your first look dreams come true.