For those of you who don’t know what a first look is let me explain. There are 2 options you have for the first time you see your fiancé on your wedding day.
1. You can go the traditional route of waiting for the ceremony and seeing him standing at the alter or watching her walk down the aisle.
2. You can share your first look with each other in private before the ceremony
Time is a HUGE factor in how you experience your wedding day. You hear all the crazy wedding day stories and about bridezillas on their wedding day but the truth is when you’re tight on time, how could you not be stressed out? I don’t know about you but I can’t handle being tight on time for important events, the stress drives me crazy.
The good thing about a first look prior to the ceremony is that you’ll be able to schedule most if not all of your photographic events before the big moment! It will also free up time for after the ceremony so you can enjoy your receiving line and your cocktail hour without running from place to place!
As a wedding photographer, I have experienced both types of wedding first looks. The weddings with a first look prior to the ceremony run SO much smoother. The brides are more relaxed the party is more energetic, your hair and makeup looks flawless because it was just done, you have more time to relax before your guests arrive and then have more time to socialize with your friends and family that are there for you without being pulled away to do pictures after the ceremony!
2. The intimacy
If you are prone to nerves this also lets you breathe a bit. Image being nervous throughout getting ready all the way until you’re at the alter. Most ceremonies dont start until between 3-5pm, thats a long time to be anxious. A first look gives you the privacy to indulge in your shared emotions together sooner in your wedding day. You get the luxury of time to tell each other how amazing the other looks, laugh your nerves out with each other, and just hold the other one preparing yourselves together for what the day is about to entail.
It’s a beautiful moment that you get to share without an audience.
Like I mentioned earlier the privacy of a first look evokes such a genuine reaction. As a photographer I can say that it is much easier to catch that emotion in a private, undistracted space than it is at the altar.
Whether it be at a church or outside or wherever you’re getting married there are always distracting elements for photography at the altar. Your groom is standing next to a lot of people up there and this could take away from the emotion of the image or maybe one of your guest has their iPhone in the air trying to capture the same moment and blocks the shot. You really never know what might happen but of course your photographer will do everything they possibly can to capture their reaction no matter what route you chose in the end!
Another reason: an epic backdrop!! You have the power to choose what the backdrop will be. Whether it be at the hotel where you’re getting ready or if you decide to travel together somewhere like the Chicago skyline or Lake Michigan or to a mountain top, your background will feel like you since you chose it!
And remember, just because you’re doing a first look doesn’t make the moment your partner sees you walking down the aisle any less special. That moment will never be any less special! You guys are getting married in that moment, there’s nothing bigger than that on your wedding day. The first look prior to the ceremony is just a great way of calming your nerves and making your day less stressful. When you look back at your photos I want you to remember how it all felt and stress is not an emotion I want you to remember feeling, so minimizing the stressors just makes sense.
Like I said, I am biased and images are clearly one of my priorities on a wedding day but your wishes are my TOP priority. I’m not here to convince you to change your traditional first look but rather share the information and perspective that I have. Regardless of which first look you chose I will always deliver beautiful, meaningful images and I guarantee, no matter what you have the most amazing rush of adrenaline, nerves, and most importantly love pumping throughout your body.