The First Look
Is it right for you on your wedding day?
As a wedding photographer, I often get asked about the pros and cons of doing a "first look" on the wedding day. What is a “First Look”? Should you do one? Is it the right decision for your day? So many questions! Im going to do my best to answer all of these for you and after this hopefully, you will have a better idea of what the right decision for your day will be!
What is a First Look?
For those who aren't familiar with the term, a first look is when the couple sees each other before the ceremony in a private setting, usually with the photographer present to capture the moment. It’s a private moment shared between the two of you before all the fun and chaos of the day really begins.
Should you do a first look?
The only one that can be that decision is you and your partner but here are some of the advantages and drawbacks to consider before deciding whether a First Look is right for you!
More time for photos: One of the biggest advantages of doing a first look is that it allows more time for photos of the bride and groom together. Who doesn’t want to spend as much time with their partner as possible on their wedding day! By doing the shoot before the ceremony, you can get all the must-have shots out of the way (family formals I am looking at you) and be able to spend the rest of your day, and your cocktail hour, with your guests having fun.
A more intimate moment: Another benefit of a first look is that it can be a very special, private moment between you and your partner. Without the pressure of an audience or the distractions of the ceremony, the couple can have a quiet moment together to exchange special words, gifts, or just enjoy each other's company before the festivities begin.
- Better lighting: Depending on the time of day and location of the ceremony, a first look can offer better lighting conditions for photos. This is especially true if the ceremony is in a dimly lit indoor space or if the wedding is in the evening when natural light is scarce.
- More relaxed timeline: Getting all of your formal photos out of the way before your ceremony frees up the rest of your day to enjoy yourself and celebrate.
- Breaking tradition: For some couples, the idea of seeing each other before the ceremony goes against tradition or personal beliefs. If you value the element of surprise and the tradition of not seeing each other until you walk down the aisle, then a first look may not be the best choice for you.
- Less dramatic entrance: If you do a first look, it can take away some of the dramatic impact of walking down the aisle. Without the element of surprise, the entrance may not be as emotional or impactful as it would be if they hadn't seen each other yet.
- You have to be ready earlier: Doing a first look requires about an hour of extra time to be planned into your timeline before the ceremony. This means everyone has to be dressed and ready to go earlier than they would have to be without a first look.
There are both pros and cons to doing a first look on your wedding day. Ultimately, the decision should come down to your personal preferences, priorities, and what you envision for your wedding day! As a photographer, I always recommend discussing the options with your partner and deciding what matters to you both most!