What it is. A First Look is coordinated for the bride and groom to see each other before the ceremony. Your photographer will coordinate this so you're able to have the moment documented beautifully. As a photographer, I choose a location that is secluded but with great light.
What it isn't. A first look isn't a new concept but it is against the tradition of not seeing the bride before the wedding. So, before you write it off please read below before you decide if it's for you or not.
5 REASONS TO CONSIDER A FIRST LOOK
ON YOUR Wedding DAY
1. Be alone and free to express your love, privately!
With a dedicated First Look, you and your groom can enjoy this precious, irreplaceable, intimate moment privately - without hundreds of staring guests. When your groom sees you for the first time, he can hold you. hug you. kiss you. tell you how amazing you look. you can twirl and show off every detail of your dress. your one-of-a-kind shoes. your stunning jewelry. your grandmother's broach on your bouquet. you can tell him how handsome he is. how impressed you are with his ironed shirt. how excited you are to marry him. you can laugh. cry. and just be. Without a first look, you have to wait until after the ceremony, the receiving line, family portraits, wedding party portraits. and finally. your bride and groom portraits. That's hours later that you'll have your first moments alone (and those moments won't last too long because you'll be in a rush to get to the reception so dinner can start on time).
2. It's still a BIG moment.
Here's what many people don't realize. When the bride walks down the aisle and the groom sees her, his reaction isn't changed, eliminated, or lessened with having done a first look. In fact, I've witnessed it be the complete opposite, time after time. I still see grooms cry and get emotional when their bride walks down the aisle, even after having done a first look and spending the last few hours together. That's because it's a BIG moment. It's life-changing. There's nothing else like it and it's emotional. Whether it's the first time he's seeing her in her dress or not.
3. More Romantic Portraits!
After your first look, you are so full of emotion that there could not be a better time to get started with your bride and groom portraits. You're in this lovey-dovey-uber-romantic-I-can't-let-go-of-you mood and that makes for the BEST portraits! Without the first look, bride and groom portraits come hours after the first look down the aisle. At this point, the reaction and mood is still great, but it's just not the same. Plus, since you've carved out dedicated time for portraits before the ceremony, you actually get MORE portraits which is awesome since you clearly value your wedding photography investment. :)
4. Less Stress + More Fun!
With completing your portraits before the ceremony, that means more time for you and your wedding party to, well, party! You can relax and enjoy cocktail hour without having to worry about more portraits. Now it's just time to eat, dance, and have fun!
TIP: depending on your timeline, sometimes we can fit all of the family portraits before the ceremony too! Ask your photographer!
5. Enjoy your own cocktail hour.
You're paying for it (or someone is). Enjoy it. Be there. Celebrate with your family and friends. Spend quality time thanking guests, accepting their countless compliments and well wishes. Grab a nibble of food from the cocktail trays. Believe me, your guests want to SEE YOU, not wait around for you to get back from portraits.
Here's where I'll end. A First Look is not for everyone. If you're having a 1pm ceremony in the middle of summer and cocktail hour doesn't start until 5, there is plenty of time for portraits to not be rushed. If you strongly believe in the tradition of not seeing each other before the ceremony - then don't. I'm not trying to change anyone's beliefs or values. Do what is best and right for you. I simply want to educate and inform brides on a topic that is often misunderstood.