Of all the decisions couples make when planning their wedding, whether or not to have a first look can be one of the most difficult. It’s a decision that should be made based on personal preferences, photography goals, and the specific details of their special day.
As a wedding photographer, I believe a first look can be a beautiful and memorable experience for couples. It can be a chance to spend a few quiet moments together before the fast paces moments of the day begins, and it can help alleviate some of the nerves and anxiety that can come with getting married.
One of the biggest advantages of a first look is that it allows more time for bridal and groom portraits. When couples choose to have a first look, we can capture stunning and intimate portraits without feeling rushed. This extra time can be especially valuable if the couple wants to take advantage of different locations around the wedding venue or if they want to capture portraits during golden hour.
Another advantage of a first look is that it can reduce stress for the couple. When the bride and groom have a moment to see each other before the ceremony, it can help to calm nerves and create a sense of calm. This can make the ceremony itself a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
However, there are some potential downsides to having a first look. One of the biggest is that it can break with tradition. Many couples want to maintain the tradition of the groom seeing the bride for the first time as she walks down the aisle. For them, a first look may not be the best choice.
Another potential downside is that seeing each other before the ceremony can detract from the big reveal’s anticipation. For some couples, the moment of the groom seeing his bride for the first time as she walks down the aisle is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. They may feel that seeing each other beforehand takes away from the magic of that moment.
Although there are potential drawbacks to having a first look, I believe it is a heartwarming experience and even convenient for certain situations. As an example of how a first look can be a great choice, let’s take a closer look at Samantha and Jack’s wedding at the Safety Harbour Resort and Spa in Florida. When I arrived, it was supposed to down pour with rain around the time of the ceremony. This could have been a major problem, as all of the portraits would have had to be taken inside, which was not the look the couple was going for. One of Samantha’s FAVORITE things about her wedding venue was the beautiful fountain where they were supposed to have their ceremony at. Since the rain was occurring around the time of the ceremony, we had to move everything inside. However, because they had decided to do a first look, we could still get all of their stunning portraits done before the ceremony, in front of the fountain, and before the rain started. After the ceremony, we didn’t worry about the weather because we had already documented their bride and groom portraits right after the first look.
Samantha and Jack’s first look was such a beautiful and intimate moment! They were able to share a private moment together, and their love and joy are evident in the photographs. Because we had more time for bridal and groom portraits, we could document a wider variety of poses and locations than we would have been able to during the limited time between the ceremony and reception.
A first look can be a wonderful choice for many couples. However, you need to consider your personal preferences and wedding day timeline when deciding. Ultimately, choosing whether to have a first look is personal, and it’s important to do what feels right for you. If you’re looking for a wedding photographer to capture your special day, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I would love to help you create beautiful and lasting memories of your big day!