I’ve been wanting to write about the pro’s and con’s to having a first look for quite some time now, but I wanted to wait. Now that I’ve been a bride and have experienced both sides of the first look, the ceremony and those special moments I thought I would share my thoughts, both as a former bride and photographer.
What is a first look? A first look is when the bride and groom opt to see each other before the ceremony. This can be done for several reasons: time constraints, natural lighting, to calm the nerves, etc. The main reason David and I decided to have a first look was because we had our wedding on a Thursday and wanted to push back our ceremony time as late as possible (but still have natural light for the ceremony since it was held outside) to give our guests as much time as possible to get there after work. This meant we needed to do all of our family and wedding party photos before the ceremony since there wouldn’t be enough light left after.
If I’m being completely honest, I was a complete ball of feelings that day (something I wasn’t expecting), and seeing David helped calm me so much. I needed to see him more than I thought I would, and I am so glad we ended up seeing each other before the ceremony. We were able to have a few moments alone together which meant the world. Not only that, but because I was able to see him before the ceremony I was able to enjoy my “walk down the aisle” that much more. Not only did I see David, but I was able to take in all of my family and friends who had traveled in for our wedding. It was a pretty amazing moment. We were also able to get to the reception that much faster since we didn’t have to do pictures afterwards. This ensured our guests weren’t waiting too long for us to get to the reception and dinner to be served.
As a photographer, I want your images to be the best they can be. That means taking all family and wedding party photos outside while it’s still light out. If you’re having a summer wedding, sometimes this means the best lighting is after the ceremony since sunset it later. The time of year and what time your ceremony is will have a big impact on if you should consider having a first look or not. If you have any questions about what is best for your day, shoot me an email and I will be happy to discuss the different options and scenarios with you.
*The photo above is from our first look, and taken by my good friend Katie.