The First Look : Savor, Celebrate, Enjoy

The last time I wrote about a First Look, I was a single girl. I had photographed many weddings, but had yet to experience my own. Kyle and I have been married for over 3 years and I still remember our first look vividly. Last time when I wrote THIS first look blog, I was writing from the position of a bridesmaid & a photographer. Now, I’m writing from the position of a bride and a wife.

WHAT is a first look? In a nutshell, The First Look is done before the ceremony and is the first time that bride & groom will see each other on the wedding day. The groom (or bride, if she prefers) is placed in a beautiful location and told to wait for their spouse. Normally, the groom’s back is turned and the bride is able to get into place before he turns around to see her, or she can always walk up and tap him on the shoulder, give him a hug, or call out his name. The moment is usually intimate, but some couples prefer to have family and friends watching from a distance.

I am not lying to you. Of our entire wedding day, the first look was one of my very favorite moments.

As unique and different as each couple is, there is one thing that is the same on every wedding day. It goes by in the blink of an eye.

The anticipation I had on our wedding day before I saw Kyle seemed to multiply with each passing hour. I had been looking forward to this day for my entire life, and I could not wait to see him.

Also – the wedding day is filled with people! Which is one of my favorite parts, but it also means that there are tens, sometimes hundreds of people who want to hug you, chat with you, and congratulate you! So a first look can help you carve out some time together before the party starts!

Here are a few reasons why we are the BIGGEST fans of First Looks!

1.) A First Look Gives You Time. 

By taking a minute to see each other before the hustle and bustle of the reception, you can take time to hug each other, breathe, talk about the day and all of the things you’ve been thinking about. It gives you time to be TOGETHER! And by doing a first look you can spend more of your wedding day with each other rather than apart, making the day feel a little longer!

2.) A First Look Doesn’t Take Away From the Ceremony 

I STILL cried when I walked down the aisle. It still was an emotional moment for me. And it still felt like one of the moments I had waited for my entire life. Instead of taking away from the ceremony, the first look just added another memory to our day. I have a memory of seeing Kyle when it was just the two of us at our first look. And I have a memory of looking at Kyle and all of our family and friends and squeezing my dad’s arm as he walked me down the aisle towards my future husband.

3.) A First Look Helps You Enjoy the Party You Planned! 

It’s not a secret that weddings are probably the biggest celebration you will plan in your life. The amount of time, preparation, and money that go into each wedding day makes it something to remember. With a First Look, you are able to head right into your cocktail hour or reception to celebrate!!! Most of the formal photos have been taken care of before the ceremony and mean you can get right to mingling and dancing and talking with your guests!

4.) Your Favorite Photos are the Ones Together

Out of all of the weddings I have photographed in 7 years, everyone’s favorite photos are the ones of the bride & groom together. Honestly. They are the ones you want to hang in frames, they are the ones that my girls post on Instagram, and they are the ones you are going to want a variety of. By allowing time for a First Look, it means you will have more time before the ceremony to take photos. Allowing time for the bride and groom, bridal party, and immediate family. The more time you give your photographer, the more images you will receive.

Now, let me say. I’ve had some clients feel that a first look just isn’t for them. And that is totally okay! It’s your wedding day, and you do you, boo! But the reason I recommend them to my brides & grooms is not because they make my job easier as a photographer. It’s because out of 100+ weddings, I can tell you that they are one of our clients FAVORITE parts.

Here are a few quotes from our past brides & grooms :

“We loved the candid, raw emotion that you were able to capture during our first look pictures. Other than that, we were so nervous going into the ceremony that having a private moment alone before hand was really beneficial. It kept both of our nerves at bay having a moment to be with each other before all the crazy happened – plus the added benefit of getting some of our pictures out of the way so we could enjoy more of our reception.”

– Elizabeth R.

“…it allowed the ceremony to flow smoothly into the reception, it wouldn’t take anything away from the ceremony (and it didn’t), and it got to be just me and my bride (oh, and you guys). The first look was a great idea, I would and have recommended it even though I was against it initially.”

– James G.

“So nice to have some quiet time together before the madness especially for such an intimate moment! The ceremony is a blur so to have to do that immediately after seeing each other would be overwhelming. I LOVE our first look photos, they capture all the feelings.”

-Rebecca H.

And since every blog is better with beautiful photos, here are some pictures of some past first looks!

I’d love to hear YOUR thoughts about a “First Look”! Did you do one on your wedding day? Would you consider doing one? Tell me below!!!

Kels