Just another person over here trying to convince you to do a first look at your wedding. First off, I want to share that I never want to pressure my couples into choosing this option. I believe this is completely your decision and you and your fiancé should decide this together. For me, I am obviously biased because I’m a photographer, and I know a first look allows for more photos opportunities. I love photo opportunities, but I also know not all of my couples will choose this option, and that completely is OKAY! I just want to share some of the main reasons why I do love them so much.
To my surprise, it is usually the groom who is not interested in doing a first look for their wedding. I thought about this for a little bit and then came to the realization, DUH, because of the pressure we put on them to have this huge reaction when they first seen their bride. Not all men will cry when they first see their fiancé in her white dress. If it is not their personality to cry, then that is completely fine and this should be understood. But in reality, grooms will have LESS pressure to have a big reaction for their first look than during the actual wedding ceremony, because the entire wedding guest list will not be there watching. It is a shared moment between you two and just you two alone. If you think about it, you really don’t have much alone time with your spouse on the day of your wedding. Sharing this moment together can be so special and a time for you guys to really soak it in together. Everything is flying by at this point and there is no better place to be than to slow it down in the arms of the one you love most.
Another huge reason why I love when my couples choose to do a first look is because of the timeline of the wedding day. When there is a first look scheduled before the ceremony, this allows for more time for portraits and for photos with the full bridal party. If this important to you, then you might want to really consider doing a first look. Typically when there is no first look, the bridal party is split and one photographer will do photos of the bridesmaids while the other photographer will do photos of the groomsman. In this case, the only time to do the full bridal party photos is after the ceremony. Usually, there is not much of a gap between the end of the ceremony and the start of the reception. If there is no first look that means we have to do family photos, full bridal party photos, and all of your portraits during this short time. By this point you may be completely checked out and just want to get the party started with your friends and family. This is why taking portraits before the ceremony always seems to be way less stressful for everyone.
There is also more of a middle of the road option where couples choose to have a first moment rather than a first look. This can be holding hands on either side of a door, a corner of a building, or even a tree. I have had couples pray together during this moment, read each others letters, and just share this special quiet time together before the ceremony.
There are definitely couples who still wish to take the more traditional route and I am COMPLETELY fine with this! I still love a good mix of wedding day experiences and I love when couples are passionate about their choice. These are just a few of my top reasons to organize a first look based upon my time as a wedding photographer.